Thomas Jerald “Jerry” Dingler
August 23, 1948 – October 31, 2023
Thomas Jerald “Jerry” Dingler, 75, entered into his heavenly home on October 31, 2023, following a brief battle with cancer.
Jerry was born August 23, 1948, to William Bernise Dingler and Janis Thomas Dingler. He was a 1966 graduate of Quitman High School where he played on the basketball team.
Following high school graduation, Jerry moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where he worked at General Dynamics on the F16 Project. While in Fort Worth, he also took classes at Texas Christian University.
After two years in Texas, Jerry returned to Louisiana and enrolled at Louisiana Tech University. He graduated in August, 1972, with a degree in Business Administration.
During this time, he also served six years in the Louisiana National Guard in the Jonesboro unit.
While at Louisiana Tech, he met the love of his life, Gwendolyn Kelly. They were married November 25, 1972.
Jerry spent his professional years in sales and marketing.
In January, 1975, he and Gwen purchased and published The Bienville Democrat, a small weekly publication in Arcadia for several years.
In the early 80’s they sold the paper, and Gwen came home to be with their three children: Kelly, Julie, and Jonathan. Jerry continued working in sales in various forms through the years, including time spent at The Piney Woods Journal working with his father-in-law, Tom Kelly.
An avid hunter in his younger years, he enjoyed being in the outdoors and introducing his children to outdoor activities.
A follower of Christ from an early age, Jerry served as a deacon at First Baptist Church Arcadia. After moving his family back to Ruston, he was active in Christ Community Church and later The Bridge Community Church where he faithfully supported his wife as she served as the Children’s Ministry Director.
Jerry’s deep and quiet faith gave him much strength and peace during his final battle with metastatic melanoma.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Bernise and Janis Dingler; his sister, Kathryn Ella Dingler; and father-in-law, Tom Kelly.
He is survived by his wife of almost 51 years, Gwendolyn Kelly Dingler; three children Kelly Diana Arabie (Tre) of Lewisville, Texas; Julie Kristina Ramsey (Jered) of Ruston, Louisiana; Jonathan Thomas Dingler (Cally) of Lufkin, Texas. Six grandchildren – Kathryn Elise Arabie, John Martin Arabie of Lewisville, Texas; Jillian Clare Ramsey, Jaxson Gladyn Ramsey of Ruston, Louisiana; and Lillie Grace Dingler, Molly Mae Dingler of Lufkin, Texas. One sister Jacqueline Sue Freeman (Donny) of Jonesboro. Sisters-in-law Gaynell Kelly of Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina;Cammie Kelly Pyles (Johnny) of Crystal Springs, Mississippi;mother-in-law Nellene Smith Fisher of Ruston. Nieces and nephews Daniel Freeman, Laura Roberts, Jessica Bowden, Whitney Kelly, Phillip Palmer, Holly Bridges, and Danny Pyles. Along with his faithful furry companion, Zoie.
A celebration of life was held Saturday, November 4, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at The Bridge Community Church in Ruston, Louisiana with pastor Chris Hanchey of The Bridge officiating and music provided by Dee and Tami Alexander.
Pallbearers will be A.J. Burns, Daniel Freeman, Bill Hogg, Danny Pyles, Scooter Roberts, and Johnny Templeton.
Interment was at Quitman Baptist Church in Quitman, Louisiana, under the direction of Edmonds Funeral Home of Jonesboro. Memorials in Jerry’s memory may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Ruston; Med Camps of Louisiana; DART of Ruston; or The Well in Ruston.
The family is thankful for the loving care of Premier Hospice over these past two weeks.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Katherine Annette Green Collinsworth
Feb 20, 1947 – Oct 30, 2023
Katherine Annette Green Collinsworth, known to her loved ones as Annette, passed away on October 30, 2023, in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, at the age of 76. Annette was born on February 20, 1947, in Jonesboro, Louisiana, and was the beloved daughter of James Aubry Green and Bessie Evelyn (Jones) Green.
Annette was a kind and caring person, deeply rooted in her faith, who loved her family fiercely. She was the anchor for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and those whom she loved as family. Annette was a gifted teacher and considered it her God-given calling to be an educator. Her family and students were her greatest accomplishments.
Annette graduated from Jonesboro-Hodge High School in 1965. She furthered her education at Louisiana Tech University, where she obtained bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish. She continued her studies and earned her Master’s Degree +30 graduate hours in Counseling. Annette was the first in her family to graduate from college, a testament to her determination and dedication to learning.
Annette dedicated her career to teaching and counseling. She taught in Jackson and Bienville Parishes, as well as Big Sandy, Texas. Annette’s passion for literature was evident in her classroom, where she brought Shakespearean plays to life and even dressed as famous authors, such as Edgar Allen Poe. Later in her career, Annette served as a compassionate High School Guidance Counselor, providing support and guidance to countless students.
Outside of her professional life, Annette was actively involved in her church and community. She was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church of Bienville, where she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. Annette also served her community as an Alderwoman for the Village of Bienville, demonstrating her commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those around her.
Annette is survived by her loving children, Holly Cope-Lynn (Jerry Lynn), of Grand Coteau, and her son, JD Collinsworth (Debra), of Choudrant. She will be dearly missed by her grandchildren, Dylan Cope, Ava Collinsworth, Daylynn Collinsworth, and Daryl Collinsworth, as well as her beloved nieces and nephews.
Annette was preceded in death by her parents, James Aubrey Green and Bessie Evelyn (Jones) Green, and her siblings, Evelyn Montez Green, Elsie Fay (Green) Fergerson, Don Aubry Green, and William Richard Green.
Family, friends, and former students attend a celebration of her life, which was held at Paradise Funeral Home in Jonesboro on Thursday, November 2nd. There was no graveside service as it was Annette’s wish to be cremated.
In honor of Annette’s memory, contributions can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization that she supported throughout her life. A memorial fund has been established in her honor at http://fundraising.stjude.org….
Annette will be remembered for her compassion, her determination, her passion for education, and her unwavering faith. She leaves behind a legacy of love and devotion to her family, students, friends and students. May her soul rest in eternal peace in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Shelby Jean Daffron
December 11, 1961 – November 2, 2023
Shelby Jean Daffron, age 61 of Winnfield, was called home on Thursday, November 2, 2023. Shelby was born in Jackson Parish on Tuesday, December 11, 1961 to the union of Clifford and Betty Russell. She loved her family and her fur-babies J.J. and Moo-Moo.
Shelby is survived by her siblings, Billy Russell, Jesse Russell and Chelsea, Deborah Johnson and Stacy, Mary McManus and Tim, Sandra Russell; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. She was preceded by her parents, Clifford Dewin and Betty Jean (Pool) Russell; brother, David Ray Russell; fur-baby, J.J.
As per Shelby’s wishes she is to be cremated. Her family plans to have a private celebration at a later date