Obituary: Marlene (McElrath) Chronister


Marlene (McElrath) Chronister of Newport departed this life on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at the age of 82. She was born June 4, 1938, in Lawrence County, the daughter of Ray and Hazel (Burns) McElrath.

She was Salutatorian of the 1957 graduating class at Egypt High School. On February 8, 1958,  Marlene McElrath was wed to John Chronister, and together they spent 62 years, building a life together.

She retired from Shield of Shelter Insurance after 28 years, where she had worked as a secretary. She enjoyed reading, fishing, gardening, antiquing, and traveling. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family.

She was an active member of the Holden Avenue Church of Christ. During her time there she served meals on Thursdays, worked VBS, and was a member of the Caring Sister’s Ladies Group. She was a volunteer at the Paragould Children’s Home, as well.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and four brothers, Wayne, Bill, Lonnie, and Jerry McElrath.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, John Chronister of the home; one son, David Chronister and wife, Leigh Ann of Magness; one daughter, Lisa Poppleton and husband, Mike, of Jonesboro; three grandchildren, Erin Poppleton of Jonesboro, Katie Chronister of Magness, and Alyson Ward and husband, Chad of Texarkana, Texas; one great-grandchild, Emily Ward; several nieces, nephews, and a lifetime of friends.

Visitation is Sunday, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Holden Avenue Church of Christ. Funeral services will follow at the church at 3:00 p.m., with interment in Walnut Grove Cemetery.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Chad Ward, Gunner Faulkner, Jeff Rutledge, Andy May, Jason Tubbs, Todd Norris, Bryce Shelton, and Bo Brownd. Honorary pallbearers are J.R. Arnold and Alfred Couch.

Memorials may be made to the Paragould Children’s Home, 5515 Walcott Road, Paragould, AR 72450, or the Alzheimer’s Association, 10201 West Markham, Suite 100, Little Rock, AR 72205.

Please abide by COVID-19 mandates, which require a mask and social distancing during services.

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