Naomi Spillyards

BARLING, ARK. — Mrs. Naomi Austin Spillyards, 93, of Barling, Ark., died Wednesday, January 9, 2013. Born June 6, 1919, she was the daughter of William Lee and Florence Edna Austin of Woodlawn, Ark.

Naomi graduated from Woodlawn High School where, with great humor, she used her height to her advantage in becoming a stand-out basketball player. Later, like many young women during World War II, she contributed to the war effort by working at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. She was always proud to recall that she helped by making bandages for wounded soldiers.

After her marriage to Thomas B. Spillyards, they lived several years in Camden, Ark., and then made their permanent home in Little Rock.

She was a long-time member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, where she taught children’s Sunday School classes and was active in the Women’s Missionary Union.

Naomi enjoyed entertaining in her home and assisting others with bridal teas and showers. She was a true Southern lady who loved the traditions of honoring others during special occasions in their lives.

Needlework was her special talent. Whether in cross-stitched wall-hangings, needlepointed pillows, heirloom quilts, unique fashions for her relatives, or precious smocked baby dresses, she was known for her tiny, perfect stitches and beautiful results. Her family members’ homes are adorned with treasures she created just for them.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her former husband, Thomas B. Spillyards; and her brothers, Ray Austin, Narle Austin, and Voy Austin.

She is survived by her son Tom (Rita) Spillyards of Rogers, Ark.; her daughter, Mary (Mark) Karnes of Fort Smith, Ark.; four grandchildren, Jeffrey (Emily) Spillyards, Krista (Chris) Morland, Suzanne (Tony) Juneau, Spencer Karnes; and three great-grandchildren, Grayson Morland, Jackson Morland, and Claire Elizabeth Spillyards.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, January 12, at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Woodlawn, Arkansas by Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors of Pine Bluff (online register:

Memorials may be made to the donor’s favorite charity.