Obituaries for the July 20, 2022, edition of The Pea Ridge TIMES


Gary Lee Fair

Gary Lee Fair, 73, died Thursday, July 14, 2022. He was bornGary was born, July 13, 1949, in Nebraska City, Neb., to Joe and Betty (Fair).

He was a loving father of three children and grandfather of seven.

Much of Gary Lee's young life was spent moving about the Midwest, spending much of his adolescence in Catoosa and Oklahoma City, Okla. Gary Lee graduated from Oklahoma University, with a masters degree in Library Science.

After graduation, he joined the Peace Corps and spent three years in Afghanistan. His time in Afghanistan gave Gary spiritual direction and in turn, he became a devout Baha'i. While in Afghanistan, Gary had the honor of being embraced by the Wahidi Family, who adopted him as their own. Over the years, their bond remained strong.

Upon returning from the Peace Corps, Gary took a job with ELS Language Centers as center director in Chicago where he worked for 45 years. During his long tenure, he developed lifelong friendships and mentored thousands of international students through English teachings. It was at ELS that he met Ana Dolores Batallas and together they had three children.

He spent much of his life traveling the world. He enjoyed his retirement traveling with "The Crew," brother Mike, sister-in-law Kim and bunk mate, Kathy. Favorite trips included: Alaskan cruise, winters in Texas, annual trips through Mexico, and visiting his children in Maui and Chicago.

He loved life, but more importantly, he lived to impact the lives of others. He had a genuine passion for his children, faith and teaching through adventure. Everything was a lesson, everything and this shaped many people's lives. He was reliable, generous and loved with his whole heart, unconditionally. He was loved by everyone who ever met him and brought a tremendous amount of light and education to others.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Betty Fair.

Survived are his children Joseph Marcelo, Michael Anthony (Jeanette), and Ileta Maria Elizabeth (Adam) Offermann; grandchildren, Dylan and Lauren Fair, Emmett, Eilis and Charlee Fair, Porter and Indy Offermann; the mother of his children, Ana Fair; and brother, Michael (Kimberly) Fair.

A celebration Of Life will be held in Chicago at a later date.

Burial will be in Union Chapel Cemetery in Garfield, Ark.

Arrangements are by Sisco Funeral Home in Pea Ridge, Ark.

Online condolences may be made at

Mary Susan 'Susie Merritt O'Dell

Mary Susan "Susie" Merritt O'Dell, 69, died July 16, 2022. She was born to local farmers Fredrick A Merritt and Mary Helen McPherson Merritt on March 6, 1953, in Rogers, Ark.

A loving mother of three children, she left this world suddenly while doing what she loved, helping her brothers on the farm. She suffered a stroke. With her faith in God, she passed away surrounded by her loving family.

She graduated from Rogers High School in 1972, and received her bachelors of sociology from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1977. She worked for Union Carbide "Glad" for more than 25 years. She became a military wife to her former spouse and good friend, William David O'Dell, on July 28, 1979. While living in Germany and the U.S., they raised three daughters: Jill, Jacque and Joi.

A woman of faith, Susie possessed a true servant's heart. She faithfully served her neighbors, family and friends by teaching Sunday school and busing neighborhood children to church. She loved singing hymns in the choir and the car, mission trips to Haiti, and volunteering for Tres Dias ministries.

Being an "O'ma" was one of the greatest joys of Susie's life. She spent countless hours reading stories, swimming, riding four-wheelers around the farm with the older grandkids. She was blessed to have the privilege of being in Florida for the birth of the youngest grandchild and was able to spend months at a time getting to know him over the last two and a half years. She was extraordinary.

If you have a pet, keep them away from Susie because they will fall in love with her and leave you all alone. Susie always added the most beautiful harmony to the choir. She loved playing trombone in her high school band and made it to All State Band. She continued to play her trombone in Christian ministry groups.

She didn't run from work. She ran to it. She loved riding tractors, bailing hay, brush hogging, being out on her four-wheeler, caring for the cattle, feeding the horses, and adopting all the stray barn cats in the neighborhood. She had a real neat sense of humor and a unique laugh that we will forever miss.

She was preceded in death by her father, Fredrick A Merritt; mother, Mary Helen McPherson Merritt; daughter, Joi O'Dell; son, Joshua O'Dell; and brother, Steve Merritt.

Survivors are two children, Jill Ford (Benjamin), and Jacque Brown (Kevin); former spouse, David O'Dell; four grandchildren, Allie, Johnny, Liz and Harrison; three brothers, Allen Merritt (Barbara), Philip Merritt and Joe Merritt (Jeri); and many more family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 23, 2022, in Pleasant Hill Baptist Church on North Old Wire Road and Walnut Valley Road, Rogers, Ark.

Flowers may be sent to Sisco Funeral Home in Pea Ridge, Ark.

Donations may be made to Circle of Life Hospice in Bentonville, Ark.

Online condolences may be made to:

Emma Lou Pamplin

Emma Lou Pamplin, 100, of Pea Ridge died July 18, 2022, in Mercy Hospital in Rogers.

Graveside service is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Pea Ridge Cemetery.

There is no visitation scheduled.

A full obit will be in next week's paper and on the Sisco Funeal Home website.

Online condolences may be made at

Donald Bondo Pedersen

Donald Bondo Pedersen, 84, of Pea Ridge, Ark., died on July 17, 2022. He was born on March 5, 1938, in Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn., and was adopted at age 9 months by the Rev. Laurits H. Pedersen and Ellen (Bondo) Pedersen, then of Harlan, Iowa.

The Rev. Pederson served overseas in World War II and Ellen and Don lived in various places during his absence -- including Farmington, Duluth and Northfield, Minn. After the war, the family moved to Fort Meade, S.D., near Sturgis and in 1951 to Waukesha, Wisc. Don was educated in the public schools of Duluth, Northfield, Sturgis and Waukesha where he graduated from high school in 1956.

He received a bachelors of arts degree from St. Olaf College in 1960 and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1963. On May 4, 1963, he married Audrey Ramona Johnson originally of Watertown, S.D. Don worked eight summers for the U.S. Forest Service on the Kaniksu National Forest in Idaho fighting fires and dealing with blister rust control. Audrey joined him for the last two summers.

After a year at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where oldest son, Ted, was born, Don and Audrey moved to Wheaton, Minn., where Don practiced law in the firm of Winter, Lundquist, Sherwood and Pedersen. In 1969, he joined the faculty of William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul and the family lived in Apple Valley. In 1973, he was appointed to the faculty of Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, teaching one summer at the University of Detroit.

In June, 1983, the family, including six children and three dogs, moved to Fayetteville, Ark., where Don became professor of Law and director of the Graduate Agricultural Law Program at the University of Arkansas. He served as president of the American Agricultural Law Association and was the coauthor of several books and published many articles -- with an emphasis on agricultural law issues. In 1989, he received from the Arkansas Alumni Association Distinguished Award for Teaching, Research and Service.

In 1998, Don took an early retirement and Audrey and Don moved to Pea Ridge where they became active in church music, family history projects and care of their property. Don was an avid amateur pianist. Don had a great interest in classical music and studied piano extensively with several highly professional teachers. He performed and accompanied throughout his life including piano concertos by Greig, Liszt and Mozart.

He was an active member of Brightwater Memorial United Methodist Church for many years.

He was preceded in death by Audrey; daughter, Holly; and grandson, Dillon Jones.

Survivors are his son, Ted Pedersen (Ayda) of Duluth, Minn.; daughters, Barbara Harmon of Fayetteville, Paula Pedersen (Greg Miller) of Diamond, Mo., and Donna Davis (Jason) of Fayetteville; son, Roger Pedersen of Lowell; nine grandchildren, Gillian, Oden, Alyssa, Spenser, Jessica, Erin, Austin, McCall and Nina; and seven great- grandchildren, Hailey, Noah, Mason, Emily, Audrey Wren, Jett and Audrey Rose.

A memorial service is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Brightwater Memorial United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brightwater UMC, the Donald B. Pedersen Scholarship at the University of Arkansas Law School, or Oaks Indian Mission P.O. Box 130, Oaks, Okla. 73359.

Online condolences may be made at

photo O'Dell
photo Pederson
photo Pamplin