Edward Don Cargile passed away on May 20, 2020, peacefully in his sleep with his bride of 65 years by his side. He fought an 8 year-long battle with Alzheimer's.
He was born in a tent in Rogers, Arkansas to Garland and Nancy Jane Parish Cargile, while his father worked for the Highway Department building roads in the Northwest part of the state. They finally made their way back to central Arkansas where he was raised in Quitman, on the family's cattle ranch. He was the eldest of three siblings.
Ed excelled in basketball, gaining him a scholarship to the University of Central Arkansas which was Arkansas State Teachers College back then. He graduated with an athletic degree and met the love of his life, Bonnie Lou Hale while attending. They were married in August 1954 and had three daughters, Kim, Kaye and Krista.
Ed started his coaching career at Sylvan Hills Jr. High School where he was asked by Harvey Young Sr. to start the 1st football program even though he had never played the game. After a 1-year stint in Missouri coaching, he was approached by a college friend, Max Harris, to enter the world of insurance with Travelers Life Inc., then 4 years later they were going to transfer him to San Jose, California. He resigned because he didn't want to move his family so far away and because he couldn't take his bird dog, Ole Bess. He had been interviewing with Jack East Jr., about starting a personal lines division in his company. He later joined friends, Gerald Barnett, Floyd McCann and John Meadors and started an insurance agency. Jack Ramer joined soon after and they formed Ramer, McCann, Meadors & Cargile Insurance Agency.
Early in his business career, he was introduced to the game of golf. He and Bonnie joined Riverdale Country Cub. Later the members bought land in West Little Rock to form Pleasant Valley Country Club. He became one of the top golfers in his age division in the state of Arkansas. He often said he sold more insurance on the golf course than he did sitting in his office.
Another passion of Ed's was horses. A lifetime member of the Arkansas Quarter Horse Association, he made many lifelong friends. They shared many adventures and laughs together, especially since Ed was such a joke teller. He often said how lucky he was to have them and treasured them all. His nickname for his friends was "Pard" for partner. Friends called him Big Ed or Eddie Don. He was Big Daddy to his grandchildren. One of his best friends, Ray Bell, lovingly called him 'Easy Ed'.
Ed is preceded in death by his mother and father, Nancy and Garland Cargile. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Cargile; brother, Bob Cargile; sister, Nadine McGhee; daughters, Kim Alexander, Kaye Cargile and Krista Wilson; grandchildren, Austin Alexander, Makenna Wilson, Aspen Long, and Catlin Levitt; and great-granddaughter, Addison Levitt.
Bonnie is indebted for the loving care of Ed, to her daughter, Krista Wilson and caregivers, Eric Grimes, Yvonna Linder and Dana Downs.
There will be a private family graveside service Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at Pinecrest Memorial Park. A celebration of Ed's life is scheduled at Pleasant Valley Country Club on June 28, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to Arkansas Alzheimer's Association, 10201 West Markham, Suite 100., Little Rock, AR 72205.