Willa Bea Odom Tipton, age 81, of Arkadelphia passed away Monday, March 6, 2017. She was born July 28, 1935 in Quitman, AR, the daughter of the late Arthur and Mable Odom. On August 17, 1955 she was married to Nelson Tipton. Bea was a graduate of Southside High School in Bee Branch, Henderson State University and received her master's degree from the University of Arkansas. She taught Home Economics and Science at Arkadelphia Public Schools for 21 years where she was honored as Teacher of the Year for the district.
Bea always shared her talents with others by teaching floral design classes and assisting the community, friends and family with many design projects. She was an unusually gifted floral designer and proud member of Primrose Garden Club where she served as president. Bea was a member of First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia where she served on the Sanctuary Floral Committee and as a Sunday School Teacher. She was also a member of the Clark County Retired Teachers Association, AEA and NEA. Bea was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Nelson Tipton, and her brother, Jerry Odom.
She is survived by three daughters, Angie Elrod of Conway, Nan Kirksey (Brian) of Amity and Tammy Graves (Paul) of Hot Springs; sister-in-law Trish Odom, and brother-in-law Lindsey Tipton (Sandra); six grandchildren, Jenny Elrod, Searcy Elrod (Brittnee), Kathryn Speights (Sloan), John Brian Kirksey, Matthew Graves and Megan Graves; one great granddaughter, Dylan Elrod.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday March 10, 2017 at First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia. Immediately following the service, family and friends are invited for a gathering in the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Bea's honor. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Clark County or First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia.