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WCEL Obituaries for May 31, 2023

May 31, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Photo: Hudson, Kittrell, Seward

flag: Kittrell

Rebecca 'Becky' Faye Hudson

Rebecca "Becky" Faye Hudson, age 70, a resident of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, passed away Monday, May 22, 2023, surrounded by her family in Springdale, Arkansas. She was born February 20, 1953, in Rogers, Arkansas, the daughter of Willie Gene and Erma Gay (Webb) Robinette.

Becky worked at Sears for 18 years before retiring to spend more time with her son. She later went to work for the Prairie Grove Schools for 27 years, retiring in 2016 to be able to watch her grandson, Reed. As evident by all that knew Becky, family was the most important part of her life.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include her husband of 51 years, Sonny Hudson; one son, Derek Hudson and his wife Teresa of Springdale, Arkansas; one grandson, Reed Hudson; two sisters, Renee Etchison and Rhonda Selby, both of Springdale; four nieces and nephews, Danielle McFatridge, Jacob Etchison, Monica Smith, and Jeremy Selby.

Funeral service was held Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the Prairie Grove First United Methodist Church in Prairie Grove. Burial was in the Prairie Grove Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Jeremy Selby, Jacob Etchison, David Etchison, Heston McFatridge, Bob Downum, Chad Smith, and Randy Downum.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Prairie Grove First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1401 E Parks St. Prairie Grove, Arkansas 72753.

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Charles M. Kittrell

Charles M. Kittrell, a former top executive of Phillips Petroleum Company and a leading spokesman for the oil industry during the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, died May 23, 2023, at the age of 96.

Kittrell had retired from Phillips in1987 after a 36-year career with the company minus 15 of them as a member of its board of directors. At retirement, he was the executive vice president responsible for most of the company's staff organizations, including research & development, engineering, human resources, environmental protection and public and government affairs.

It was during the 1970s, however, that Kittrell moved into the national spotlight. Oil prices had soared following an embargo by the Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and gasoline was more expensive and in short supply. As lines formed at service stations, angry motorists demanded explanations from the oil industry.

Kittrell, the head of Phillips' worldwide petroleum refining, distribution and marketing operations, was one of the few industry executives who responded, giving speeches around the country and appearing on radio and television programs to answer questions and improve public understanding of the situation. With his wide-range interests, he did not fit the stereotype many had of an executive from "Big Oil." A Marine with strong ties to the military, he also had a personal friendship with philosopher Eric Hoffer and membership on the board of Ballet Aspen. He was able to simplify complex issues, and his direct manner and clear explanations drew praise even from industry opponents.

Oil supply and distribution was Kittrell's first responsibility when he joined Phillips in 1950 with an industrial engineering degree from the University of Arkansas. A native of Gregory, Arkansas, Kittrell joined the Marine Corps after graduation from high school in 1943. He served in both the Pacific and China theaters during World War II before returning to Arkansas for college.

Five years later, at age 45, Kittrell was picked to head Phillips' growing chemicals operations, named a senior vice president and elected to the company's board of directors. He became executive vice president of petroleum products in 1974 and held this position for six years before taking responsibility for staff organizations.

Kittrell maintained strong ties with the University of Arkansas, which named him to its Engineering Hall of Fame in 1967, awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1981 and presented him a Distinguished Alumni Citation in1985. Kittrell was a member and chaiarman of the University's Development Council and Chairman of the school's successful fund-raising campaign to save "Old Main."

In retirement, Kittrell divided his time among homes in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Prairie Grove, Arkansas and Snowmass Village, Colorado.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Faye. Survivors include his children, Carmen Weaver, Niki Vos, and Chuck Kittrell; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral service was held May 27, 2023, at Prairie Grove Cemetery in Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Butterfield Trail Village Memory Unit, 1923 E Joyce Blvd, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Online guest book:

Zachry Thomas Seward

Zachry Thomas Seward, age 31, a resident of Dutch Mills, Arkansas, passed away Friday, May 19, 2023. He was born August 6, 1991, in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Henry Wayne and Patricia Arnell (Thomas) Seward.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Marvin Thomas Jr., W.W. Seward, and Louise Seward.

Survivors include his parents, Patricia and Henry Seward; one brother, Chris Seward; one sister, Suzanne Seward; grandmother, Dorothy Thomas; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Memorial service was held May 25, 2023 at Morrow United Methodist Church in Morrow, Arkansas.

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photo Seward
photo Kittrell

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