We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Willis Funeral Service
Reta Arlene Hyslip Flinn passed away Saturday, September 17, 2022 in a local nursing home.
Born November 27, 1930 in Center, Arkansas, Reta was the daughter of Walter and Myrtle Barnes Hyslip. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Marcus Dale Flinn, and two brothers Lester Hyslip and Lewis Hyslip. She was employed by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and then worked for the First National Bank until her retirement.
Reta led an interesting and active life. When she was in her early 20s, she and several of her girlfriends moved to Washington DC. Reta worked for the FBI at the Pentagon and was given a “classified” security clearance pass. Her path crossed many admirals and generals in our history books. She rode the elevator frequently with J. Edgar Hoover and his entourage. Although she enjoyed her job at the Pentagon, she became homesick and decided to return to the Batesville area to be closer to her family.
In August, 1955 she and her friends went to the White River Water Carnival where they saw a new entertainer by the name of Elvis Presley. Reta and her friends met Elvis and three of his bandmates that evening. She was Elvis’s date and they all went to a soda shop on Main Street where he gave her piece of gum and his guitar pick. She saved these items in case Elvis ever became famous.
Reta met Marcus Dale Flinn and they were married on March 9, 1956.The couple enjoyed camping and fishing at the lake with close friends and traveling throughout the country. They also enjoyed working on home projects, garage sales, and antiquing.
Reta had many talents and excelled at everything she did including sewing, gardening, painting, canning, (she was an excellent cook), quilting over 50 quilts, and singing. She had a beautiful alto voice. Reta and her brothers sang together and even made a record called the “Arkansas Razorbacks”. An important part of her life was her love of animals – especially cats. She cared for many strays that came around their home and volunteered at the animal shelter. Her favorite food places were Taco Bell and the Dairy Queen.
Reta was baptized into the Church of Christ at age 13 in Big Creek located outside of Ash Flat. She and Marcus were both long time members of the Harrison Street Church of Christ in Batesville and they enjoyed spending time with their church family. She was a caring, proud, and loving aunt to her nephews and nieces and their families. She kept photos and newspaper clippings of all their activities and holidays throughout the years.
Reta is survived by two nephews: Ted Hyslip (wife: Kathy); Johnny Ray Hyslip (wife: Barbara). Two nieces: Reta Denice Ruggeri (husband, Steve) and Ella Van Thompson (husband: Mack) and several grand nephews and nieces.
A graveside burial will take place on Thursday, September 22, 2022, at Oaklawn Cemetery at 10 a.m.