Eugene P. (Gene) Hobbs died Jan. 3, 2014, at the age of 91 in Van Buren. He was born Feb. 7, 1922, to Ostie C. Hobbs and Nellie Testerman Hobbs in Schaberg, Ark. He married Edith June Hebard on April 14, 1946, at First Baptist Church in Van Buren by the late Dr. T.J. Jordan.
He graduated from Fort Smith High School in 1940 and attended Fort Smith Junior College. He served in the United States Army Air Forces in World War II from May 27, 1942, until Dec. 21, 1945.
He returned to Van Buren where he and his brother, George, owned and operated the Western Auto Store at 500 Main St. in Van Buren. After that he went to work for Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Fort Smith. In 1954 he moved his family to Pine Bluff and then to El Dorado to manage stores for Goodyear. In 1957 they moved home to Van Buren. In 1962 he joined Citizens Bank & Trust Co. as cashier later serving as vice president. During this time he served as Van Buren city clerk/treasurer and was a member of the Rotary Club. He retired in 1997.
He was a member of Van Buren First Baptist Church where he served more than 60 years as a Sunday School teacher, deacon and trustee. He also served as Missions chairman, preached and taught at several local missions.
He was preceded in death by his grandson, Cody Blaine Bell; his parents and his four brothers, Richard, Ray, Bobby and George Hobbs.
He is survived by his wife, June Hobbs of Van Buren; his daughter, Sherri Bell and husband Jimmy of Van Buren; his son, Stephen Ray Hobbs and wife Shareen of Van Buren and his son Randall Gene Hobbs and wife Rosa of Alma; and daughter, Terri Hobbs and companion Cheryl Hill of Tulsa; his grandchildren, Kevin Bell and wife Edie of Van Buren, Dr. Chris Bell and wife Christy of Van Buren, Sage Hobbs and wife Naomi of Rincon, Puerto Rico, Eric Hobbs and wife Laura of Boulder, Colo., Natasha Evans of Bentonville, Nathan Hobbs and wife Deanna of Van Buren and Jordan Hobbs and wife Lola of Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah; and his great-grandchildren, Christopher, Blaine, Cortney, Jay, Bryan and Kylie Bell, all of Van Buren, Joe and Randy Evans, both of Bentonville and Luke, Austin and Cheyenne Hobbs, all of Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah.
Memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church Chapel under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home in Van Buren with visitation following in the Fellowship Hall.
Pallbearers will be grandsons, Kevin Bell, Dr. Chris Bell, Eric Hobbs, Nathan Hobbs, Christopher Bell and Blaine Bell.
His life was well lived, loving and taking great care of his family, engaged in his community and serving the Lord he loved.
Memorials may be given to the First Baptist Church Building Fund, 1121 E. Main St., Van Buren, AR 72956 or to the Cody Bell Scholarship Fund, Citizens Bank & Trust Co., attention Cindy Winborn, P.O. Box 469, Van Buren, AR 72957. This college scholarship fund provides scholarships for Van Buren High School seniors who have a desire to return to make their life here and to serve the community.
Online tributes: www.ockerfuneralhome.com.