A Small Town With a Big Heart

JUNE 22, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:45 P.M. CDT

BEECH GROVE, AR -- Connie "Boo" Breckenridge lived in Beech Grove all his life. He required special needs and therefore struggled most of his life to keep a steady job. But he lived in a community, a special place that although small in size, always was there to lend a helping hand.

"Rural communities are tight knit and we're just like a lot of other rural communities in that we take care of our own," says Norris Norman, a retired pastor and life resident of Beech Grove.

Connie passed away Tuesday of throat cancer and the community already knew what it needed to do to give him the right kind of funeral.

"The day he died some man walked up to the lady he'd been staying with and gave her $200. Some gentleman walked up to me Thursday at noon and gave me $100 and the churches took up offerings," says Norman.

Norman also mentioned that all of this couldn't be possible without the help of Heath Funeral Home in Paragould. The Paragould Daily Press also did its part, donating the obituary and running a story on the front page of the paper. With all these people pulling together, it must say something about what kind of person Connie was during his time here on earth.

"He was the type of person that could frustrate you to distraction. He could make you mad, he could make you frustrated, you could lose your patience with him, but there was something about him, a kindness, a jovialness, a sweetness to him that made you always take him back and help him the next time," says Norman.

You can make your donation just about anywhere in Beech Grove, including The Generation Gap Restaurant. When we asked why they chose to help out, there answer was simple.

"We loved him," says Opal Moore, the owner of the Generation Gap Restaurant in Beech Grove.

His friends said it all goes back to a simple life lesson.

"It doesn't matter where you work or how much money you get paid, it's the relationships you have with the people where you do work and where you do live and where you're family," says Norman.

The Generation Gap Restaurant in Beech Grove will serve lunch all dayFriday, June23and will donate all the proceeds to the Connie Breckenridge Funeral Fund.