Dec. 30, 1927 Nashville Davidson County Tennessee, USA
Jul. 3, 2012 Conway Faulkner County Arkansas, USA
Czarina Blanche Howard Acuff, a longtime Conway resident, passed away at her home on July 3, 2012. Mrs. Acuff leaves behind an adoring family, many friends, and 30 years worth of students. She was 84.
Born on December 30, 1927 in Nashville, Tennessee to the late James Walker Howard and Nima Pandora Robertson Howard, Mrs. Acuff was interested in athletics and education from childhood. Early photos of Mrs. Acuff sitting astride one of her prized Tennessee Walkers foreshadow the strong and active woman she would become. She attended Ward-Belmont Ladies Finishing School, and George Peabody College, in Nashville, TN, where she received her Bachelor's Degree. Mrs. Acuff developed a life-long love for Basketball, and played semi-professionally throughout college. She became an avid Razorback fan, and would don the red and white every game day in support of her team. Mrs. Acuff went on to gain a Masters in Special Education from Arkansas State Teacher's College.
Mrs. Acuff married the love of her life and husband for 54 years, the late Charles Acuff, on June 11, 1950 in Springhill, TN. Their treasures were the daughters who came to fill their lives with happiness and joy—Belinda, Cherri, Cindy, Carol and Chrissy. Affectionately known as "Memaw" to her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mrs. Acuff's home was the hub of a large and loving family. "Memaw" was a perennial fixture at the courts, fields, and ballparks of Conway, always cheering a precious grandchild to victory.
Mrs. Acuff devoted her life to the service and education of others. For over 25 years as a teacher in the Conway Public Schools, Mrs. Acuff poured her passion for Algebra into her classroom, instilling a love of learning, hard work, and math into a generation of students. Many students still remember evenings at Mrs. Acuff's kitchen table, scouring over textbooks until Mrs. Acuff's constant encouragement and gentle correction finally made complex concepts seem simple. An active member of First Baptist Church in Conway, Mrs. Acuff lived her faith through her famous generosity, unquestioning dedication, and unwavering fidelity to friends and family. Mrs. Acuff's supportive and nurturing nature endeared her to all—at home, in school, in church, and in the community at large.
Mrs. Acuff is predeceased by her parents and husband, along with a sister, Nima Jo Howard Wheeler. She is survived by daughters Belinda McKee and husband Bill of Benton; Cherri Wilson and husband Chad of Conway; Cindy Gates and husband Mike of Fort Walton Beach, FL; Carol Armijo of Conway; and Chrissy Denton and husband Craig of Conway; grandchildren, Ryan McKee and wife Jessica of Tulsa, OK; Lauren Barr and husband John of Boston, MA; Brittany Burns of North Little Rock; Bruce Burns of Conway; Corey Ledbetter and wife Erin of Destin, FL; Callie Mayville and husband Jeremiah of Niceville, FL; Lynnlee Stanford and husband Matthew of Fort Walton Beach, FL; Charity Hawkins and husband Bradshaw of University Park, TX; Hart, Paten, Haze and Gray Denton, all of Conway; great-grandchildren Audrey Punches, Macy Jones, Leila Kim, Allie Wilson, Conner Wilson, Warner Ledbetter, Bode Mayville, Taylor Burns, Preslee Ann Hawkins, Graham Hawkins and a host of nieces, nephews, former students, and friends.
The family would like to thank Arkansas Hospice for their care and compassion for the past several months in caring for Memaw.
A visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 6, 2012, at Roller McNutt Funeral Home (501) 327-7727. Her life will be celebrated by a service at First Baptist Church in Conway on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 11 a.m., followed immediately by entombment at Crestlawn Memorial Mausoleum.
Memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Arkansas Association, Independent Living Services, or Arkansas Hospice.