Obituary: Durwood Lee Elms


Durwood Lee Elms passed away on May 5, 2020, at his home in Batesville at the age of 81. He was born in Moorefield to Oriville and Mary Manning Elms.

He was a retired salesman and current owner of Elms Rentals. He was a 32 year veteran of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, retiring as a Master Sargent. While he was a member of the Guard, he was deployed to Little Rock during the Central High School desegregation crisis in 1957. His guard unit protected President Kennedy at the dedication of the Greers Ferry Dam in 1963. He was a member of the Kelly-Wyatt Round Table. He was a 32nd degree Mason of Gainesboro #253 Lodge. He was a justice of the peace for Independence County for 10 years. He was a member of the White River Regional Housing Development. He was a member of West Baptist Church and also attended Locust Grove Missionary Baptist Church. He enjoyed camping, fishing, deer hunting and spending time with his family.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Edith Broadwater Elms; a son, Ronnie Elms (Tresa); a daughter, Lesa Watson (Robert); three grandchildren, Allisun Dulli (Shane), John Michael Elms (Rebecca), and Rob Vaughn (fiance, Katie); six great-grandchildren, Hudson Dulli, Lyla Dulli, Ayda Elms, John Avery Elms, Sadie Elms and Sawyer Elms; and one sister, Jo Ann Craig (Eddie).

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Jerry Elms and Tommy Elms.

Graveside services will be held at noon on Friday, May 8, 2020, at Oaklawn Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Boris Dover, Tommy Wommack, James Roach, Eddie Craig, Donald Boles, and Dennis Broadwater.

Honorary pallbearers are Robert Watson, Dr. Jim Lytle, James Henry Melton, Clifford Reynolds, Denver Huskey, Bernard Sexton, Gerald Fullbright, James Leonard, and past members of Piney Creek Hunt Club, and his nephews and nieces.

Due to the CDC guidelines for Covid-19, we ask that you wear a face covering and social distancing will be observed at the graveside service.

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