Michael “Speedy” Gonzales, 76, of Batesville died on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at home surrounded by his loving family. Michael was born January 3, 1945 in Brisbane, Australia to the late Louis Gonzales and Audrey (Grice) Gonzales. Michael enjoyed hunting and fishing in his spare time. Michael retired from UPS after 30 years of dedicated service. He was of Christian faith and his faith was apparent by the life he lived. Michael was a loving father and husband who put the needs of others before his own. To that regard, Michael served his country honorably as a Sargent in the United States Army. He is veteran of the Vietnam War and served as a Chemical Equipment Repairman and a Supply Sargent. Sargent Gonzales was awarded the National Defense Service Metal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Metal, a Good Conduct Medal, and most notably is a Bronze Star recipient. But his service did not stop there. He continued to care and serve his fellow veterans as a Chaplain at the VA and was a member of the VFW.
Michael is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his loving wife, Betty Gonzales; his daughters, Marietta Candler (Sanford), Debi Aultman (Zack), Sherry Vannattan (Tony), and Michele Daugherty; his sisters, Anita Milligan (John) and Yvonne Hall (Charles); his 8 grandchildren: Kendra Harrell (Randy); Eric Moore, Makayla Candler, Katlyn Talley (Micah), Ashlyn Canard (Blake), Alexa Stoll (Cody), Madison Vannattan, and Justin Vannattan; and his 3 great grandchildren.
Services are entrusted to Willis Funeral Service of Batesville, AR. Allen Chapel Free Will Baptist Church will host a visitation from 1-2 PM on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 immediately followed by a funeral service at 2PM. All CDC guidelines for COVID-19 will be In place and masks must be worn. Interment will take place at Egner Cemetery in Salado following the funeral service.
Honored to serve as Pallbearers will be Curtis Matheny, Joe Scarborough, Larry Whipple, Fred Beard, Jeff Byrd, Wayne Duncan, Neal Bishop, and Ken Adams.
The family would like to recognize the following persons as honorary pallbearers: Sanford Candler, Tony Vannattan, Zack Aultman, Jim Patrick, Angela Buchanan, and Ashley Bishop.
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