Obituary: John Best Fellows


John Best Fellows of Newport, AR, departed this life on May 20, 2020, at the age of 73.

John was born on Dec. 7, 1946 in Newport. He was the son of Arnold Bigelow (Buzz), and Polly Best Fellows.

John attended Newport School, grades one through six, then attended seventh through eleventh grade at Castle Heights Military Academy School in Lebanon, TN.

He graduated from Newport High School in 1965. John was raised in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newport, AR, but later joined the family of Surrounded Hill Missionary Baptist Church in the Macks, AR area of Jackson County. He was extremely committed and loyal to his church. John worked as a registered land surveyor and engineer for Miller-Newell Engineers for over 40 years.

John was an avid collector of ancient Indian artifacts and arrowheads. He loved arrowhead hunting and searching for artifacts. He also was the creator of TNEICNA (“ancient” in reverse) pottery, his personal creations of Indian pottery, which bore his distinctive trademark-a unique split thumbnail-pressed into each piece of clay. He would utilize the “Old method” of Native American manufacture. He went to great lengths to make his art look authentic.

He had a piece of pottery on display at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock, AR, Dillard’s Headquarters’ in Little Rock, AR, and many more.

John was a member of the National Association for Gun Rights and frequently donated to the Jackson County Humane Society, National Humane Society, St. Jude, and Arkansas Children’s’ Hospital.

John loved his work, helping others in need, animals, and even enjoyed raising Timberwolves at his earlier residence in Newport, AR. John was very giving, kind of shy; However, you could see in his eyes- the kindness in his heart. He always showed unconditional love for his family. He would do anything for anyone.

John was preceded in death by his grandparents, Eunice Fousal Best and Barry Joseph Best, who were very special to him; His parents, Arnold Bigelow Fellows (“Buzz”), and Polly Best Fellows; one sister, Elizabeth Brooks Fellows Lewis; and his special friend, Julia Shoffner Phelps.

He was survived by one daughter, Holly Best Fellows-Wilmans and her husband Rex Wilmans, Jr. of Newport; Shairon Haigwood Fellows, the mother of his only child, Holly; One sister, Leslie Reed Fellows of Aylett, VA; and one nephew, Fletcher Edmonds Lewis II (Buzz) of Houston, TX.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Jackson County Humane Society at P.O. Box 154, Newport, AR 72112.

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