Billy Joe Gookin
Billy Joe Gookinís life on this earth ended at 3:09 p.m. on November 25, 2020, at NEA hospital in Jonesboro, Ark., as he went to his heavenly home. He was met on the other side by 13 brothers and sisters, his mother and father and many friends who went before him. He was a life long member of First Baptist Church in Piggott, Ark.
Billy was born December 9, 1935, in Rosa, Ark., in Mississippi County, between the levee and the Mississippi River, to Virgle Eugene Gookin and Ethel Pauline (Anglin) Gookin.
He was raised on a farm with his siblings. After completing the sixth grade, family hardships necessitated that he quit school and work. For some this would be a setback, but it instilled in him a strong work ethic that eventually lead to his success as a businessman. After several years of working for others he became self-employed.
His experiences started as he worked on many farms along with his family--as a bulldozer operator for Elmer Morgan, at Litz Brothers Hatchery and Rogerís Produce. As a self-employed businessman, he started Piggott Produce, his own chicken and produce route. He also added to this chicken houses. His next venture was purchasing a farm and raising cattle. Later, with the purchase of the old Rogerís Produce building he started a flea market. All along the way he was building and buying rental property. He was always looking out for the future of his family, which was very important to him.
His lack of a formal education did not keep him from learning. He studied about everything he set out to do, made good decisions, and most importantly he was honest and kept his word. He always acknowledged the people who helped him along the way when times were hard.
Bill Gookin is survived by his wife, Lottie (Wright) Gookin, of the home; four children, Linda Dixon of Piggott, Debbie Dunlap and husband Harold of Piggott, Jeffrey Gookin and wife Kristy of Jonesboro and Michael Gookin of Piggott. He also leaves behind 11 grandchildren, Andy, Amy, Megan, Melloney, Samantha, Jenna, Jillian, Gage, Nathan, Kase and Reagan. And 13 great-grandchildren, Logan, Tanner, Mason, Brandon, Kate, Emily, Charley, Murphee, Isabella, Grayson, Xaden, Gabriella and Isabella. One brother, Robert Wayne Gookin of Ripon, Calif., and a host of other relatives and friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, John Gookin, Douglas Gookin, Clyde Gookin, Howard Gookin, Edward Gookin, Wallace Gookin and James Gookin; his sisters, Eugene Lee, Orean Self, Hazel Long, Virginia Lowerines, Audrey Gookin and Martha Geneva Gookin and a son-in-law, Ronny Dixon.
We would like to say thanks to NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, and his team of doctors and nurses, for providing excellent and compassionate care for our husband and father as his health demised on his final journey home.
His wishes were to be cremated and the family will have a private service on Sunday Nov. 29 at First Baptist Church, in Piggott, with Rondal Richardson officiating. Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home, of Piggott, is in charge of the arrangements.
The family request in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the First Baptist Church Camp Fund or Coat Fund.