Willa Dean Gunnell

Willa Dean Gunnell, 90, formerly of Hazen, Arkansas, passed away May 2, 2023 in Springdale, Arkansas. She was born in Des Arc, Arkansas on August 7, 1932 to Guy and Ella (Webb) Ward.

Dean was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church in Hazen. She was preceded in death by her parents, Guy and Ella Ward; three children, Evelyn VanHouten and Lynn and Timmy Reid, and all her siblings, Bedford Ward, Guy Ward, Jr., Tommy Ward, Ricky Ward, Lavada Wilson, Virginia Watkins, Frances Edge, and Elouise Ellis.

She is survived by her son, Rudy “Darrell” VanHouten and Tammy of Bethel Heights, Arkansas and daughter, Karen Cochran of Maumelle, Arkansas; grandchildren, Tim VanHouten, Christian VanHouten and wife, Stephanie, Joshua VanHouten and wife, Amy all of Hazen, Paige (VanHouten) Hawkins and husband, Heath of Carlisle, Matthew Cochran and wife, Maegan of Bryant, and Kimberly and Miles Chism of Fayetteville; great grandchildren, Brook Chandler of Hazen, Peyton VanHouten and Dustin Darter of Carlisle, Luke VanHouten of Hazen, Zack VanHouten of Carlisle, MacKinleeVanHouten of Hazen, Holt and Holden Hawkins of Carlisle, and Abby and Jackson Cochran of Bryant, Arkansas; great-great grandchildren, Brynlee Young and Kason Darter and many loved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saint”. Psalms 115:15


When we lose loved ones, it hurts. We are saddened because we miss them and will no longer have the opportunity to hear their voices or enjoy their company. But in Jesus, we have the great comfort of knowing that our sadness is only temporary, for he has promised victory and eternal life to all who know him, and in His hope we find peace, even in the midst of our sorrow.


Lord, thank You for giving me hope for eternity. It comforts me to k now that the faithful who have gone before me are now at rest with You. Please comfort me in my sorrow and fill me with Your peace, so that I too may faithfully live out my days until You call me to rest.

In Jesus name, Amen.

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