Naomi Jones

Naomi Jones, 95, of El Dorado passed away Thursday, January 18, 2024 at her residence.  Born January 23, 1928 in Wesson, AR, she was the daughter of Irving Franklin and Blanche Oleavia Ball.

Naomi was a longtime member of First Assembly of God Church of El Dorado.  She had been employed at ConAgra, was the owner of a flea market, and an Avon representative for over 70 years.

Preceding her in death along with her parents were her husbands, Harold Purtle, Harvey Higginbotham and Cecil Jones, brothers, Obers, Buphord, Samuel, Irving Francis, and Dwight Franklin Ball and a sister, Viola Odom.

Survivors include two daughters, Tereasa Purtle Olinde (Dr. Andrew) of Baton Rouge, LA and Park City, Utah, and Peggy Lee of El Dorado; a brother James Ball of Lacey Springs, AL and a sister, Margaret Owen of Hico, LA. Grandchildren are Michael Reitz, Katherine Lee, Andy Lee, Abigail Lee, Tykie Kiefe, Roslyn Gutierrez, Andrew Olinde and Aaron Lee. Her great grandchildren are Joey, Patrick, Tristan, Riley, Kieley, Piper, Brook, Drew and Rosie James.  Last but not least, she is survived Zanka, a rescue dog, who was her constant companion  

Naomi Ball was the 4th of nine children.  She was born at home. A child of the Great Depression, the family always had plenty to eat from the farm. While the girls were assigned cooking and housework, Naomi preferred the farm and was allowed to spend her time working the fields, a love that she still had today.  She worked her own garden and yard very diligently up until one month ago, doing the work that most men half her age would tire from doing.  She loved it, and loved to tell people who visit where each plant or tree came from—Aunt Hazel’s, Catherine’s, Tereasa’s or even on the side of the roads. She was a World Traveler, and especially enjoyed sitting at the Captain’s Table on Crystal Cruises.

Naomi first married Harold Purtle and had two daughters, Tereasa, who is married to Dr. Andrew Olinde and Peggy, who along with her grandson Andy, lived with her and cared for her at her home “Naomi’s World”.

Beyond her immediate family, Naomi has many, many friends and people that she took care of.  Even today!  In addition to looking after Benny and Catherine, Naomi has always had someone to care for.  Her brother Sam where she was the full-time caregiver, to her sister-in-law Hazel, who she loved like a sister.  She recently shared that of all the people in her life who had passed, she missed Hazel the most. They met at 15 and 16 years old and Naomi actually introduced her to her brother.  When Buphord passed away, Naomi stayed close to Hazel for many years and acted as her primary caregiver.  Naomi also cared for her 2nd husband Harvey Higginbotham, who was stricken with Alzheimer’s.  When she and Cecil married at 75, she brought his mom, at 96 to her home when she was unable to continue living on her own.  She cared for her like a daughter would. She was like a saint or Florence Nightingale, and would have become a nurse had scholarships not been suspended during WWII when she graduated from Parker’s Chapel as Valedictorian.

Naomi was blessed with a long retirement, though she never totally retired.  She sold Avon for over 70 years!  She worked hard to raise her girls on her own.  Her 1st husband, Harold, was a disabled veteran and unable to support her and the children.  She never quit.  She never said no—she said somehow, she would find a way.  She raised her girls at First Assembly and gave both a strong spiritual foundation.

Naomi was active in the community all her life.  Whether it was to lend an ear, provide a meal or give someone a much-needed ride.  She has never forgotten those who helped her. 

She and Cecil were able to help others and did.  In addition to the church, they have helped the Senior Center, including buying a new HVAC system when no funds were available.

She was a wonderful person who has been blessed with largely good health throughout her life.  She had a wonderful sense of humor, was a voracious reader and a classy lady with a sense of style and grace.  She read the complete Bible each and every year.

Naomi lived her life exactly as Jesus taught.  She loved all and gave to those in need.  Always, even when pennies counted.  She was blessed to lead a comfortable retirement but continued to support others in need—monetarily and personally.  She was the matriarch of the Ball Family and will be sorely missed and always remembered.

Her favorite slogan was “I did it my way”, and she truly did.

Visitation for friends and family will be Monday, January 22, 2024 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Young's Funeral Directors.  Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at First Assembly of God Church with Rev. Daniel Egger officiating.  Interment will follow in Old Parker's Chapel Cemetery under the direction of Young's Funeral Directors.

Honoring Naomi as pallbearers will be Michael Reitz, Andrew Lee, Andrew Olinde, Robert Kiefe, Joe Gutierrez, Jim Ball, Tom Ball, Ken Ball, Joey Brue, and Patrick Brue. Honorary pallbearers are Joe and Joyce Gallea.

Memorials may be made to First Assembly of God Church, 2225 W. Hillsboro St., El Dorado, AR 71730 or to the Old Parker's Chapel Cemetery.

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