Business and Community Leader Vance Dies

SEPTEMBER 6, 2005 - Posted at 11:07 a.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - The Jonesboro community has lost one of its leading citizens.

Businessman and community leader Howard Vance died yesterday at St. Bernard's Medical Center of Jonesboro, at the age of 89.

Vance was a co-founder of the Jonesboro Unlimited industrial recruiting group, and was very involved with the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce for several years, as well as many other community groups and organizations in Craighead, as well as his native Lawrence County.

He was born in Sedgwick, and lived in Jonesboro for the past twenty years.  He was the co-founder of the B.B. Vance & Sons, Inc. general contracters, but is perhaps best known by many for his courageous work as president of the Hoxie School Board when the school district integrated in 1955.  He and others involved in that scenario were the subjects of a recent PBS television documentary about the crisis.

Survivors include his wife, Wanda Vance, of the home; Two sons, one daughter, and a sister.

Visitation for Vance is set for 5 to 8 p.m. this evening at the Gregg Funeral Home of Jonesboro, while graveside services are set for 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Jonesboro Memorial Park.  A separate memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro.