Paragould businessman William Block has died

Paragould businessman William Block has died

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Funeral services have been announced for longtime Paragould businessman William "Bill" Jefferson Block.

Block, who was born June 28, 1925, died Sunday in Paragould at the age of 89.

According to the M.F. Block Insurance Company's Facebook pate, visitation will be held Thursday, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Heath Funeral Home, 321 West Garland.

Funeral services will be Friday at 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Paragould.

William Jefferson "Bill" Block, 89, of Paragould, died March 22 at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center. He was born June 28, 1925, to the late Maurice and Constance Scudder Block. He attended Paragould schools until his mother's death in 1939. Then his sophomore, junior and senior years were spent at Western Military Academy, Alton, Illinois. Upon graduation, he volunteered for the army and entered service in World War II in January 1944. He was discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in September 1946. After graduation from the University of Arkansas in 1950, he was called back into service during the Korean conflict. Upon his discharge in April 1952, he returned home and joined his father at M. F. Block Insurance, founded in 1914.

Bill was very active in the community, with that activity being mostly "hands on". He served as Co-Chair for the drive to raise money to bring Emerson Electric Company to Paragould and also as a committee member that worked with the University of Arkansas in drawing up Paragould's first zoning ordinance. He later served as member and then chairman of the Paragould Planning Commission. He was pack master of Boy Scout Pack 70 and served as camping and activities director of the Eastern Arkansas Boy Scout Council. He was one of the founders and chairman of the City Beautiful Commission, President of the Paragould Rotary Club 1956-57, Board member for Greene County Community Fund, and a member of the Paragould Country Club's building committee.

A long-time affiliation with First Federal Savings and Loan began in 1954 when he was elected director. In 1965, he became president and managing officer, a position he held until 1977 when he was named chairman of the board. He also served on the board of directors of the Arkansas Savings and Loan League from 1971-74. In 1957, he was elected to the board of directors of the National Bank of Commerce, which later merged with First National Bank, and continued on the FNB board until 1981.

He was a member of the Arkansas Methodist Hospital Board of Trustees from 1977 until 2001 and served as its chairman in 1980-81 and 1982-83. He also served for two years as a board member and trustee of the Methodist Hospital Systems of Memphis, TN. In 1982, Bill served as secretary of the Arkansas Hospital Equipment Finance Authority. His most recent badge of honor came as chairman of the committee to build the Chateau on the Ridge, one of Paragould's greatest accomplishments.

Bill was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church where he also served on numerous committees and could be found ushering on any given Sunday at the 11 a.m. service.

His enjoyment came with many hours spent on the Spring River in Hardy, AR, with friends and later kids and grandkids, where everyone remembers "Only the Happy Hours". Gulf Shores was also a great diversion for him. He also enjoyed playing golf and meeting for coffee with his many friends.

Bill is predeceased by his sister, Ann Block Powell, Houston; grandson, Toby Jefferson Block, Paragould; and nephews, Dennis and Drew Powell, Houston.

He is survived by the love of his life for 64 years, Katherine Harrel Block, of the home; sons and daughters-in-law, Jeff and Carolyn Block, Paragould, and Steve and Patrice Block, Dallas; grandchildren, Chaney (Maggie) Block, Miami, Elizabeth (fiancé Nate) Block and Brian Block both of New York, Trey (Jeanette) Currey, San Antonio, TX, Jennifer (Joey) Barr, Paragould and Tobi Hurley, Columbia, MO; and great-grandchildren, Eva and Emily Block, Miami, Riley Block, Paragould, Gabriela and Sophia Currey, San Antonio, and Justin and Jordan Barr, Paragould. Grand-dogs include CoCo, Hershey, Dylan, Sydney, Roscoe and Elliot.

Honorary Pallbearers are Tony Neel, Jim Sullivan, Greg Marlar, Chuck Dudley, Tracy Barnett, Bill Fisher, Fred Swindle, Maud Gazaway, Bill Brewer, Jay Dollins, Mike Rowe, Stan Wright, Dan McBride, Kaut White, Kenneth Hamilton, Nan Dickey, and Carolyn Samuel.

Visitation will be Thursday, March 26 at Heath Funeral Home from 5:30 – 8 p.m. Services will be conducted on Friday March 27, by Brother John Fleming at 1 p.m. in the sanctuary at First United Methodist Church, 404 West Main Street, Paragould, AR. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to First United Methodist Church and Chateau on the Ridge in Paragould, AR.

Obituary provided by Heath Funeral Home.

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