Emma Lea Blackwood was born Aug. 28, 1921, to Will and Pearl Cook Slaten at Crosby, Ark. She passed away Dec. 14, at her home in Tuckerman. She attended grade school at Crosby, Mount Pisgah, and Sweet Springs. After attending Harding College (now Harding University), she received an emergency certificate to teach and began her teaching career at Joy, Ark., teaching first through fourth grades in a two-room schoolhouse. She then attended Arkansas College (now Lyon College). On April 18, 1943, during WWII, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and attended basic training at Camp Monticello, Ark. After basic training, she was sent to Camp (now Fort) Campbell, Ky., and served until Aug. 31, 1943. She then enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps and served until her discharge on Jan. 16, 1946. She completed her college degree at Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University).
Emma Lea married Samuel Hale Blackwood, Jr, on Aug. 6, 1948, and they made their homes in Newport and Tuckerman, Ark. where they raised their three daughters.
Emma Lea taught in the elementary grades for part of a year in Swifton and the rest of her teaching career was at Tuckerman. After retiring, she enjoyed traveling with close friends and volunteering in her community. Emma Lea was a volunteer at Newport Hospital, the Jackson and Lawrence counties’ jail ministries, and at the women’s prison unit at Newport.
Emma Lea was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Tuckerman since 1955, teaching Sunday School, Training Union, Vacation Bible School, and Girls’ Auxiliary.
Emma Lea was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Estell Slaten and Katherine Murphy; her brother, Bill Slaten; and by the father of her daughters.
Survivors include her daughters, Elizabeth Turner of Batesville; Linda Ford of Tuckerman; Nancy and husband David Coleman of Batesville; grandchildren, Sam and wife Jamie McMinn of Batesville; Candy and husband Matt Thompson of McMinnville, Ore.; great-grandchildren, Madeline McMinn and Slaten Thompson; granddaughter of her heart, Amber and husband Chad Schuchmann of Charlotte, N.C.; and great-grandchildren of her heart, Lindsay Cox, Dawson Schuchmann, Savannah Schuchmann, and Jessica Schuchmann. She is also survived by many nephews and nieces and a host of friends.
Visitation services are Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, at Dillinger Funeral Home from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Services will be Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church in Tuckerman at 1 p.m. with interment at New Hope Cemetery in Searcy.