of Batesville, AR
October 21, 1935 - October 23, 2021
William ''Sonny'' Preston Huddleston, Jr. of Batesville, Arkansas passed away October 23, 2021. He was born October 21, 1935 to William Preston Huddleston, Sr. and Alma Britton Huddleston in the Ashley Township, Independence County, Arkansas. He is predeceased by his parents, a sister, Eddie Ann Boling, and a granddaughter, Staci Kathryn Smith. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joella McMillan Huddleston; son, Brian Russell Huddleston (Stephanie) of Tulsa, Oklahoma and daughter, Sherry Lyn Huddleston Runyan (Dwayne) of Beebe, Arkansas; six grandchildren, April Smith, Megan Jones, Grace Sorail, William Huddleston, III, Bradley Runyan, and Mark Runyan; eleven great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Hailey, Graham, Landon, Hannah, Elaina, Nathan, Timmie, Colton, Lukas, and Adalyn; and his surviving siblings, Janie Huddleston Hester (Doug), Melvyn Huddleston (Phyllis) and Ronald Huddleston (Jane).William ''Sonny'' Huddleston graduated from Cave City High School in 1953. He then attended the University of Houston before joining the Air Force in 1958. During his time in military service he finished his Bachelor's Degree from Park College and entered Officer's Training School. He was awarded numerous service awards, The National Defense Medal and The Bronze Star for meritorious service, outstanding leadership and unwavering perseverance during the Vietnam Wartime conflict. He retired as a Captain in the Air Force after 23 years as a Missile Launch Officer and a Special Agent with the OSI. He and Joella returned to Batesville in 1980 where he then pursued an awarded sales position at Bailey Ford. It was once quoted to his daughter, by one of his customers, that her Daddy was so honest ''you could play poker with him over the phone''. Sonny and Joella attended First Baptist Church in Batesville where he helped driving the bus for the active senior members of the congregation. He took this job so seriously that he had the bus and van insurance rules taped to the inside front of his Bible. Papa Sonny was kept very busy through the years helping care for his grand and great-grandchildren, especially keeping their cars running and safe. Sonny and Joella were very involved with their R.V. camping group S.M.A.R.T. (Special Military Active and Retired Travelers). He enjoyed their many trips all over the United States with the Arkansas S.M.A.R.T. Hogs. His presence, common sense, and gentle laugh will be greatly missed. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of his Sunday School Class as well as the members of the Arkansas S.M.A.R.T. Hogs. Memorial services will be held Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 11:00am at First Baptist Church of Batesville under the direction of Roller-Crouch Funeral Home with Bro. Stacy Reed officiating. Memorials may be made in his honor to White River Area Agency on Aging ''Emergency Fund'', P.O. Box 2637, Batesville, AR 72503 or Alzheimer's Arkansas Foundation, 201 Markham Center Dr, Little Rock, AR 72205.
Joella, I am so sorry to get the news (today) of the passing of Sonny. As you know he and I were together a lot when growing up. I think it was sometime in 1950 when one Sunday morning we both received our eternal reward from Christ. I followed Sonny down the isle to the pastor. Seems like such a short time ago. May God be with you in this time of sorrow. Leon Brewer
Dear Jo and family’Jim and I want extend our sincere condolences to all of you. What a blessing to have such a long happy marriage! We pray that these memories carry you through the coming weeks and years. Our time at First Baptist with all of you will always be special to us. Blessings, Jim and Pat
Condolences to the entire Huddleston family. Was so surprised to hear this news. I remember Sonny and his family as a kid, coming to Ar., after I was fortunate enough to have his aunt "Babe", become my sister-in-law. My brother made a good choice, no better clan, than the Huddleston's and their extended families. RIP
Sonny was my roommate when we were stationed on the island of Crete while in the Air Force. I remember him as a very humble and honest man. We both had motorcycles and explored many miles on the island together. I'm sure all of his many friends and family will miss him greatly.
Jo, We are so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers. We love you.Mary Ann and Howard
Joella, what a long and wonderful marriage you had with such a special man. I pray that your precious memories will be of comfort to you.
Soar with the angels, my big brother.
Joelle, saddened to learn of your husband’s death. My sympathy to you and your family, as I have experienced that recently myself. My memories of our BCM gatherings are still precious after many years.I served at UA Cossatot.
Joella and Family, my heart goes out to you. My prayers are for your peace and comfort in the knowledge that you will be reunited for eternity and in your precious memories.
Rest in peace old friend.
Always a smile and a kind word from Sonny! My prayers for Joella and family.
Joella and family, we regret the passing of Sonny. We know you will miss him terribly. I pray you can be comforted in knowing he is in a place of peace and rest. Please know our thoughts are with you during this time. i
Joella I'm sorry for your lost and will remember all the great times I had with growing up with Sonny in Batesville. Rest in peace my sweet cousin.God bless you all.The Craft Family
Joella, Sonny was a sweet and gentle Christian man. I got to know him a little better in the Sunday School class. He always made the class a little brighter. May the grace and peace of God surround you and your family during this difficult time. Love in Christ. Kathy
HI JOELLAJudy and I have you and your family in our prayers and are so sorry for your loss. Time sure does flee very fast. It does not seem that long in the past when we were in High School. Please let us know if we may be of help.
So sorry to hear this , I worked with sonny at Bailey Ford , He was a great salesman , and a great person , very Nice , and a soft spoken person , he was attentive and careful in his speech, The list could go on and on ! He leaves a Void That only memories of those that had the pleasure to know him can share, Family You are In My Prayers , That God Will comfort all !
Joella, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this terrible time. May Our Lord Comfort and Hold you....Love, Linda
Rest In Peace dear Sonny.Fondly remembering you and our early years at Grandma’s. Although the years have passed by, treasured memories remain.Sincerest condolences to all the family. We share in your grief and give thanks that Sonny is at rest with our Lord.Love, Howard & Mary Allen
Joella, so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband, Sonny. May God give you peace & comfort.Love & prayers. Glenet.
I have loved Papa Sonny more than I can express in words. He was an amazing father-in-law who was always steady and reliable and dependable. He and I had many times of laughter and shared moments together over the years. I trusted him with my children and always knew he would watch over them and keep them safe if I couldn’t be there. Papa Sonny was a light and a strength in our family and I miss him dearly. Thank you Sonny for all your quiet and steady love and support, for all that you have done over the years for your family and friends, and for being the example of a Godly man for us. I am thankful that you are with the Lord and are happy and whole. I look forward to the day when I will see you again. I love you.
Joella and family, I am so sorry to hear of Sonny's death. You will be in my thoughts and prayers! Love,Mary Helen