Lena “Marie” Priest, was called home to our Lord on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at Woodlawn Heights in Batesville, AR.
Marie was born on the 13th of June in 1933 at her parent’s home in Lost Cane, Mississippi County, Arkansas to Thomas (Tobe) Bourland and Lottie Mae Bourland who preceded her in death.
She graduated from Manila High School in 1951 and attended college at Arkansas State College in Jonesboro (now Arkansas State University), where she met and married Forrest Priest on June 17, 1953 in Little River Baptist Church. She also attended State Teacher’s College in Conway (now University of Central Arkansas).
Marie was a faithful pastor’s wife throughout her husband’s career. Marie learned to play piano as a girl and played piano in church all her life until Alzheimer’s Disease finally took that skill away. Marie taught Sunday School all her adult life, usually the Jr. class. For several years she wrote Sunday School literature to be used by most Baptist Missionary Association churches.
Marie first started working as a teacher in Dyess with a 60-hour certificate. She eventually studied during summers to obtain her Master’s degree from Arkansas State University. Her Masters had an emphasis in reading and she loved teaching children to read. She retired from teaching, after 38 years, 13 of those in Batesville. She continued to be involved with the school after retirement, volunteering to come to the school and read to students. Marie joined her husband in Kiwanis and headed a program to buy books and give them to children.
Marie enjoyed making quilts and giving them to those she loved. These cherished works remain a treasure to any privileged to have them. She also enjoyed doing hand embroidery and cross-stitch. Marie liked flowers at her home and maintained flower beds and a flower garden. She disliked cooking but managed to do a decent job at it anyway.
She is survived by her husband of 69 years Forrest Priest. She is also survived by her son, Kenneth (Marieda) Priest, her daughter, Connie (David “Doc”) Spurlin, her sister, Janice (Pete) Clark; Grandchildren, Daniel (Emily) Priest, Jon (Lena) Priest, Michael (Madelaine) Priest, Jessica Priest, DJ Spurlin, Josh Spurlin, 8 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and a host of people she has touched over the years.
Besides her parents, Marie is also preceded in death by two brothers, Thomas and Donald Bourland, a sister, Wanda Hurst, and granddaughter, Kristi Spurlin.
Funeral services for Marie will be conducted at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at the Doty Southside Funeral Service Chapel in Southside with burial to follow in Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville. Visitation will be prior to the service beginning at 10:00 AM.
Pallbearers include: grandsons, Daniel Priest, Jon Priest, Michael Priest and Joshua Spurlin and nephews, Gregory Clark and Keith Clark