Internationally recognized Hereford cattle breeder, Joe Bill Dearing, age 88, of Bellefonte, passed away Monday, January 30, 2017. He was born December 19, 1928, in Harrison, the son of Noah Lonzo and Myrtle (Eoff) Dearing. He was preceded in death in 2006 by his beloved wife of 58 years, Dennie (Clark) Dearing; a sister, Jane Bryan, in 2001; and J.W. Bryan, III and Joey Bryan.
Joe grew up in the Union community, south of Harrison. He was salutatorian (Dennie was valedictorian) of the 1946 graduating class of Valley Springs High School. He married his classmate sweetheart Dennie December 21, 1947, and for many years developed a nationally recognized herd of Polled Hereford cattle at their Red Robin Farm. Their hard work on the farm garnered them the honor as the 1973 Boone County ”Farm Family of the Year”.
In 1978, Joe and Dennie made a move to Columbus, Montana where Joe worked at Beartooth Ranch as the assistant manager using the latest techniques to develop the very best beef cattle in the U.S. After they returned to Boone County Joe continued to be a fixture on the national circuit of cattle shows and had the National Champion bull in Denver in 1994 and 1995.
Though Joe was always at the top of every category of the cattle business, he always took time to support his church, Union Baptist Church, where he was a member for nearly 70 years, and served as a deacon, church secretary, and treasurer for many years, all the time enjoying Dennie’s wonderful piano talent at the church.
Joe Bill is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and many dear friends throughout the community. It seems everybody in Boone County knew Joe and the wonderful influence he had on people’s lives.
Visitation will be 6-8 PM, Thursday, February 2, 2016, at Roller-Christeson Funeral Home. Funeral service will be 11:00 AM, Friday, February 3, 2017, at Union Baptist Church, with Pastor Bill Melton officiating. Interment will follow in Elmwood Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Dr. John Bryan, Spencer Bryan, Stuart Bryan, Dr. J.W. Bryan, IV, Chris Bryan and Russ Curtner.
Honorary pallbearers are Senator John Bozeman, Dr. William McKnight. Joe Whisenhunt, E.C. Rowlett, Wingfield Martin, Hugh McClain, Ben Eddings, Tom Ruff, Monty Soules, Bill Lovell, Wes Hudson, Dwight Martin, Joe Honeycutt, Mike Fountain, Jim Brisco, Union Baptist Church’s Adult Men’s Sunday School Class, special friend Norma Chance and special caregivers Rod and Debbie Branch.
Memorials may be made to Gideons International, PO Box 997, Harrison, AR 72602 or Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, c/o Union Baptist Church, 3021 Hwy. 206 E, Harrison, AR 72601.