of Conway, AR
September 27, 1938 - October 17, 2021
It is with sadness the family of Joanne (MinnieBelle) Stevens, Ph.D. announces her passing on Sunday, October 17th, 2021 in Conway Arkansas at the age of 83. Joanne was born on September 27th, 1938 in Hanford, California to Arlis R. Stevens and Roma Norman Stevens. Joanne was a fiercely independent person and that never waned. She described herself as being a feminist in a time where it wasn't kosher to be a feminist; she took much pride in keeping her maiden name, again, in a time where that was uncommon. Education was important in Joanne's life, she attended Arkansas State Teachers College where she earned a bachelor's degree in home economics and attended graduate school at East Texas State University where she received her doctorate in psychology. Joanne married her friend and the love of her life, Bruce Holliman, in Florida. Bruce and Joanne had many wonderful years filled with travel and laughter. There were always many stories shared when the two made their way to Arkansas for the holidays. Joanne, along with her husband Bruce Holliman, worked for over 20 years at the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, where she taught psychology and was the dean of student services for the last 10 years of her tenure. Of the many talents and interests Joanne held, her love of travel was the one that spoke most to her heart. Joanne began her travels at an early age, she left Big Flat for France where she worked for the US Army as a civilian for 2 years. The experiences she had and the wonderful people she encountered on that first trip, never left her. In her latter years she continued to travel back to France where she took painting classes. Joanne also loved the art of cooking and she did it well. Not being raised in a state where gumbo was served, she entered a gumbo cooking contest in the gumbo capital, of Louisiana, and won. Anytime you would visit her home she always had something on the stove cooking. Joanne made her move back to Arkansas after losing her home and all its contents to Katrina. She picked herself up, bought a mansion, fully renovated it and turned it into the Ward Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Conway. The dream she and Bruce had of owning a bed and breakfast after retirement became a reality for her. She was in her element and she had the reviews to show it. Left to cherish the memories of Joanne is her brother Bobby R. Stevens of Bee Branch, step-son David Holliman of North Carolina, niece Marbie and Johnny Mitchell of Beebe, nephew Brock and Beth Stevens of Clinton, nephew Kurt and Amanda Stevens of Greenbrier, niece Melissa Mott of Missouri, niece Sarah Holmes of Virginia, great niece Carlea Stevens, great nephews Tyler and Logan Stevens as well as many cousins and countless friends. Joanne is preceded in death by her parents Arlis and Roma Stevens, husband Bruce Holliman, sister Neal Smith and sister-in-law Rose Stevens. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Joanne's caretakers who spent countless hours and were with her daily over the past year to ensure she had everything she needed. Graveside services for Joanne will be 2:00 PM Monday, October 25th, 2021 at Big Flat Cemetery in Big Flat, Arkansas. Visitation will be 6:00 till 8:00 PM Friday, October 22nd, 2021 at Roller-Coffman Chapel in Marshall, Arkansas.
We loved you, Joanne! What fun we had together. The world won’t be the same without you. You and Bruce meant so much to us! We even bought one of your former houses. Ahhh, the memories of our time together …
Bob, we are so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed every interaction with Minnie Bell. She was a fascinating and fearless woman. I know she will be well remembered —- and greatly missed.
I will miss my sweet friend, always had a great time with her. She was so beautiful inside and out! Thoughts and prayers for Bob and family 🙏🏻
My dear sweet Joanne, thank you for the incredible days of laughter, the amazing dinner dates and for all of the mornings you showed up at 6 am on the dot for your morning walks with Charles. You will always hold a special place in our hearts and we will be eternally grateful for the time shared. Rest well, friend rest well❤
What a beautiful soul and wonderful example of living life fully, joyfully, and generously. We have so many happy memories of Joanne and Bruce - especially with our group of training buddies. The stories, the laughs, and the meals shared forever enrich the tapestry of our lives. I know there are countless others shows lives were made better by this beautiful soul. Until we meet again…
We are extending our deepest sympathy to the family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
I will miss Joanne dearly. She was a wonderful person and neighbor. She was very interesting. One of our last outings together was to a gallery opening in Little Rock where artist and Hendrix art faculty member Matthew Lopas was showing his work. Joanne loved Matthew's work. He has painted the Ward mansion when she owned it as a bed and breakfast. After the show, we drove back to Conway and ate dinner at Wunderhaus. Joanne was a wonderful cook. I was so honored to be invited to her house for a dinner party. She also would drop by periodically with yummy desserts and dinners. Loved her chocolate pie.
Joanne was a bright and shinning light. Her grace, spirit, whit, energy, and spontaneity made every moment a pleasure to be with her. I was so blessed to have been among her friends. She had a way of making each of us feel uniquely special. I will sincerely miss our many wonderful chats, fun times and trips. Most of all, I will miss her genuine friendship and love. Rest In Peace my dear friend! Jodi CollinsAtlanta, GA
Never laughed so much as when I was with Joanne. So much fun! The best chicken salad, cakes (especially coconut), you name it! If she wanted to do something, she'd figure out a way to do it! Rest in peace, my dear friend. Love
Love and prayers to all of the family. Sorry I won't be able to make the funeral. I was sad to hear of Joanne's passing. Love you all.
Please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of Joanne. She will be missed in the Village. Joanne was a good friend to many.
We always enjoyed Joanne’s smile and friendly hellos as we crossed paths in the neighborhood. May God watch over the family at this time. Rest In Peace Joanne.🙏🏻
Goodbye sweet neighbor.
Bob and the Stevens Family, so sorry to hear of Minnie Bell’s passing. We dearly love Minnie Bell. We know you are all saddened by your loss. Praying for all of you. Love to you all,Carl & Ruth
Fond memories of Joanne here in the Village as a sweet neighbor. Always pleasant and kind to us. We only knew her for a short time, but could tell she was an energetic classy lady. She will be missed. Our deepest sympathy to her family.
Deepest sympathy for your loss.Joanne was loved by many!
Mr. Bobby,I am so sorry for your loss. Ms. Joanne was always so kind. I will miss her!You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
It's difficult for me to express the impact of Joanne's friendship on my life...so many experiences at USM , co-training with her, and visits with she and Bruce! She was a loyal friend, talented facilitator, and just good human being! We had "sooo" much fun working together, particularly in the shipyards in New Orleans, where we had the opportunity to search out many new restaurants. Becki and I fully appreciate, you Bob, and the caregivers who assisted and watched over her during these last difficult months and days. In loving memory, Walter & Becki Cooper
I’m sorry to hear of Joannés passing She was a classy lady—kind, generous, thoughtful, and ready for fun.— a loyal friend for many years. I hope she is at peace. My condolences to her family.
I’m so very sorry to hear of Dr. Stevens passing. She was my Director at USM. I had nothing but love and respect for Dr. Stevens. My prayers are with you and your family.
There are so many people in Hattiesburg and Bay St. Louis who are heartbroken at the news of Joanne’s death. She and Bruce treated my sister, Emily Nelson, and me like family when we lived behind them in Hattiesburg. Joanne was the world’s best neighbor and cook. Then, I had the great fortune for them to retire here in Bay St. Louis, where I lived, and they continued treating me and Jerre Martin like family.Our parents, Lorene and Walter Deen, loved them dearly, too. Bob, I don’t have the pleasure of knowing you, but you were a great brother to her, and I’m so thankful she had you close the last few years. With great sadness yet appreciation, Jeannie Deen
Bob and Family sorry for your loss, prayers
So sorry bob and family for your loss. She was a very sweet lady. Visit with her a few,times at roma house.May God bless and give you strength in this sorrowful time. 🙏
16 years of memories and friendship. Joanne, you became instant family and loved more than you knew and will be greatly missed…. Godspeed sweet friend, Ivo
Rest In Peace my dear friend. ❤️🙏