Ellajane Sutley, 94, a former teacher and active community volunteer, died at Baptist Medical Center in Arkadelphia on Friday, Nov. 25 after a brief illness.
The daughter of William E. and Ella Inman, Mrs. Sutley was born Feb. 4, 1922 at her home in Perry, Fla., where she was reared.
Mrs. Sutley moved to Arkadelphia in 1954 when her husband accepted a faculty position at what was then Ouachita Baptist College. She later earned both a bachelor's and master's in education from Ouachita Baptist University, working briefly as a teacher in area school systems and daycares, including the Kinder Care program at First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia.
She was also an active literacy volunteer in the Arkadelphia area, helping dozens of residents learn to read. She was also active teaching English as a Second Language. After her husband retired from OBU in 1987, they served as volunteer Southern Baptist missionaries in Liberia for 18 months and Niger for six months. They also served shorter stints as missionaries in Vermont and Montana. After returning to Arkadelphia, they served together for 20 years as volunteers delivering Meals on Wheels.
Mrs. Sutley was an active member of First Baptist since 1954, teaching Sunday school and helping with Vacation Bible School. She was also active in the church's Women's Missionary Union and sang in the Young at Heart Choir.
In 2014, Mrs. Sutley moved into Twin Rivers Health and Rehabilitation Center. Her husband and other family members visited daily.
Survivors include her husband of almost 75 years, Cecil C. Sutley of Arkadelphia; four daughters, Marie Dallas of Arkadelphia, Jeanne Hanson of Arkadelphia, Susan (Pete) Reed of North Little Rock, and Jacque (Elmer) Goble of Johns Creek, Ga.; one son, Bill (Brenda) Sutley of Arkadelphia; six granddaughters, Robyn (Randy) Cox of Garland, Texas, Judy Nance of Memphis, Ginger (Sean) Johnson of Midlothian, Texas, Molly (Shannon) Winston of Conway, Jennifer (Ilya) Atkins-Gordeeva of Maumelle, Erin (Brandt) Hacker of Athens, Ga.; four grandsons, Clark (Sherry) Atkins of Harrisburg, Clay (Carrie) Hanson of Benton, Trevor Goble of Atlanta, and Coy Sutley of Decatur, Ga.; 15 great-grandchildren; and two great great-grandchildren.
A memorial service in celebration of her life will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 at First Baptist Church in Arkadelphia with the Rev. Lee McGlone officiating. Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 at Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the Ellajane and Cecil Sutley Scholarship Fund at OBU.