Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Edward “Ed” Charles Appler, III, age 70

Edward “Ed” Charles Appler, III, 70, of Conway, Arkansas passed from this life on May 10, 2020. He was born in Hot Springs, AR on November 3, 1949 to Edward Charles Appler Jr. and Juanita Charlotte Richardson.

Ed served honorably in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1971.  After his discharge from the Navy he returned to Hot Springs, AR.  Shortly after his discharge from the Navy, his brother Joseph Appler introduced him to Jesus and he gave his life to Christ in 1973.  Ed moved to Hawaii to serve as a missionary with Youth With a Mission (YWAM).  In Hawaii he met Sharon Gaye Willard who was also a missionary with YWAM and they were married on June 5, 1976.  Ed and Sharon moved back to his hometown of Hot Springs, AR and on May 16, 1977 he became the proud father of Aaron Charles Appler.  On April 1, 1980 they were blessed with the birth of their second son, Andrew Joseph Appler.  Ed found his passion for helping others becoming a Social Worker.  He found great reward in serving those in need at homeless shelters, battered women’s homes, and helping teenage moms.  Eventually, he and Sharon found their calling in helping build families through adoption work.  They still get Christmas cards and pictures from the hundreds of families they’ve helped.  Ed loved helping others and gave much of his time to working with and supporting fellow Veterans through the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). 

He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Sharon Appler; sons Aaron Appler (Kristin) and Andrew Appler (Whitney); grandchildren Scarlet, Gentry, Lachlan; brother Joseph Appler (Tricia) and a host of other loving family and friends.

A Family celebration of life will be held at a later date and time. Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas.


  • Susy Bennett Lehr Posted May 12, 2020 9:35 PM

    Sharon, Aaron, and Andrew, sending you my love and prayers. I am so sorry to hear the loss of Ed. Many awesome memories in the beginning of Trinity Church. What a wonderful growing time in the Lord.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:58 PM

      Oh my dear Susy! I went to text you & didn’t have any contact info…so sorry. I wanted to personally reach out to you. We have had some wonderful memories of those early days of small groups & growing up together…XOXO

  • Sue & Tom Rupp Posted May 13, 2020 5:51 AM

    Remembering our early Trinity days puts a smile on my face & a tear in my eye! Sharon, you & your chimney-sweep husband, along with your two rambunctious boys, are front & center when I think about that time in our lives. Praying for you all now and asking the Holy Spirit to comfort you & walk with you in the days & weeks ahead.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:55 PM

      Sue & Tom…we have reflected many times especially watching Aaron with his son. It makes us laugh. We have been so blessed beyond measure & always wonder(ed) how life could get any better. Thanks you…XOXO

  • Andy Altom Posted May 13, 2020 8:44 AM

    Dear Sharon and Family,

    I am so sorry to hear you and all of us lost Ed. He was such a very nice man and his willingness to help others extended well beyond any words describing such. I especially enjoyed getting to see him at Child Welfare Agency Board meetings and his VFW tailgates at UCA football games. I know your faith and commitment to family and helping others will be comfort for you all as you move forward through life. Please know you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:52 PM

      Andy, I tried to call a couple of times to tell you about Ed’s passing. All I got was voice memos & I wasn’t going to leave one. Ed really enjoyed you. Thanks for your friendship…XO

  • Elizabeth Fowler Posted May 13, 2020 8:49 AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Ed was one of the good ones and will be missed every day.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:50 PM

      Elizabeth he really enjoyed what he did. Thank you…XO

  • Henry L Tuck Posted May 13, 2020 8:58 AM

    What a great guy. So real and honest, friendly and outgoing. Very talented and compassionate with a heart of gold. I worked with him in starting Catherine’s House a project to help low income mothers and their babies What a great job he did for us. He left his mark.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:48 PM

      Dearest Henry, it was such a pleasure for Ed to work with you…XO

  • Elizabeth Welter Posted May 13, 2020 10:20 AM

    Our thaughts and prayers are with the Family Ed Appler it was great to know you R.I.P Sir

  • Judy Sinele Posted May 13, 2020 10:28 AM

    Andrew and family; My thoughts and prayers have been for your comfort in this difficult time. What a blessing it is to know that your father was a born-again Christian and that he is face-to-face with his Savior. Rejoice in that and let it comfort you in your sorrow.

  • Chris and Kim Ray Posted May 13, 2020 10:28 AM

    Sharon, Andrew and Aaron, our deepest condolences to the family. Ed was a special guy and a true friend. We always shared good laughs together. Love to you all.

    • Brad Hartwick Posted May 13, 2020 8:50 PM

      Rest well friend. Your tour is over. Enjoy the fruits of your labor in the great presence of our Lord. We’ll meet again.

      • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:43 PM

        Brad, we love you & Audra…thank you for your friendship, care & concern. XOXO

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:45 PM

      Chris & Kim…love you both! We have had some darn good times together…XOXO

  • Eric and Ashley Massey Posted May 13, 2020 10:34 AM

    We are so very sorry for your loss. Ed will be greatly missed. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:41 PM

      Ed really enjoyed visiting with you both. He made it his goal to always learned something new. XOXO

  • Steven Hotho Posted May 13, 2020 10:57 AM

    Sharon, so sorry to read about Ed in the Sentinel-Record this morning. Ed was such a fine person. I was privileged to know him, both of you. A real gentleman who did so much for adoptive families. I haven’t seen you for ages, but will always remember you both fondly.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:38 PM

      Ed & I would think of you & Emma fondly..Thank you Steve!

  • Mary Ferguson Posted May 13, 2020 12:02 PM

    I know Ed through serving at the VFW Post 2259. He will be truly missed. My heart goes out to his family.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:35 PM

      Thank you Mary! XO

  • Jina Lewallen Posted May 13, 2020 12:41 PM

    Many good memories of you Ed. Thank you for making a better social worker of me. I will miss your humor and your work. Love to Sharon and family. God Bless, Bitsy

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:34 PM

      Thank you Jina! XO

  • Brenda Barker Hagerich Posted May 13, 2020 1:27 PM

    Ed and I graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1968. I remember visiting with him at our 40 year class reunion. He was always a great person. How wonderful that he devoted his life to his family and helping others
    So sorry about his passing. It saddens me and I pray for his family.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:33 PM

      Brenda, we had the best time at the reunion. I’m glad we made it. Thanks…XO

  • Denise C Willis, LTC(R) Posted May 13, 2020 2:20 PM

    My heart goes out to the family of Ed Appler. A kind and wonderful man in that once you met him-you were just so thankful to have know such a great guy! I served alongside his son, Aaron and it was indeed an honor to do so. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree! A true patriot with a wonderful family. He will never be forgotten!

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:32 PM

      Denise, thank you for such kind words. XO

  • Sis & Barry Posted May 13, 2020 3:49 PM

    Ed will be missed by all he touched and most of all you. We are so happy we got to know him. Sending all our love. Sis & Barry

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:31 PM

      Thank you my dear cousin…Ed couldn’t wait to come visit again. We have had the best times with you both…XOXO

  • Lisa Hickey Posted May 13, 2020 3:52 PM

    Sharon, Ed was one of the greats. I know how to be a social worker because of him. He will be missed. The world of social work will never be the same.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:29 PM

      Lisa, Lisa, Lisa…we love you & it’s such a pleasure whenever we’d run into you & see how you have blossomed & grown into an extraordinary woman & social worker…XOXO

  • Emilia Rak Posted May 13, 2020 4:28 PM

    Ed was my field supervisor at Exodus. He was extremely kind and patient. He was a wonderful mentor. Though I only knew him for a short time his impact on my life was tremendous. I am so sorry for your family’s loss.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:22 PM

      Thank you Emilia…Ed spoke of you often & loved his interns. It gave him purpose. XO

  • Doris Hutchins Posted May 13, 2020 8:13 PM

    Sharon, I was so surprised and sorry to read of Ed’s death in the newspaper. I received the Forever Fit memo that described his last day of fun with his family. What a great memory to have! In my occasional dealings with Ed in social work circles, I was struck by what a kind and respectful manner he had. All my best wishes, Doris

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:21 PM

      Thank you Doris! XO

  • Dottie Cooper Posted May 13, 2020 9:28 PM

    Sharon I am so shocked and saddened that you lost your dear sweet Ed. I know the pain and loss you are feeling Prayers for you and your family during this difficult time. Love and Hugs 🙏🙏

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:20 PM

      Oh precious Dot…I have missed stopping by just to visit you & Coach…I miss him. You encourage me greatly…XO

  • George/Judy Flowers Posted May 13, 2020 9:43 PM

    Sharon and family. We are so sorry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. He will be truly missed

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:18 PM

      My dear precious neighbors…thank you! How we have missed hosting our quarterly, neighborhood get-togethers. Quit falling & take care of each other…XOXO

  • Sandra Bradshaw Posted May 14, 2020 2:10 PM

    What a great man. So sorry to hear.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:13 PM

      Thank you Sandra! It’s been a long time & so glad our paths crossed. XO

  • Toni Rowell Posted May 14, 2020 6:05 PM

    Sharon so sorry about Ed. He was a great person and I really enjoyed his stories he would tell! He had a big heart and cared for people and did alot for people and the public!! Rest in peace my friend & thanks for being there for me!! Prayers for the family!!

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:11 PM

      Hey sweetie…thank you! XO

  • Dawn Crawford Posted May 14, 2020 6:24 PM

    Sharon and Family: I just learned of Ed’s passing. I am so sorry for your loss. I know those words are not adequate for the grief and sorrow you must feel. I enjoyed getting to know both of you while working for the Child Welfare Agency Review Board. He was a good man with a cute sense of humor and a sweet heart for others. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you and give you strength as only He can and may his presence give you peace.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:09 PM

      I’ve missed seeing you Dawn…Thank you for the kind thoughts. XO

  • sydney rephan Posted May 14, 2020 6:51 PM

    I am so sorry to hear of Ed’s passing!

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:07 PM

      I’m so glad we got together at the Hot Springs reunion. It was so good to reconnect. XO

  • Nancy Pennington Posted May 14, 2020 7:15 PM

    Remembering Ed’s big heart and big smile. Remembering authentic small groups and lots of beautiful children. Sharon, Aaron and Andrew, may blessed memories of Ed comfort and sustain you in the days ahead. May you know the Holy Spirit’s comfort.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:05 PM

      Thank you Nancy! Periodically I open up & re-read the card you gave me in 1992 when we moved to Conway. Kind words & love are felt deeply & long remembered. XO

  • Tyler Roach Posted May 14, 2020 7:17 PM

    Love the Applers so much! The world is a lesser place without a great guy like Ed here, but his memory will never fade and will live on through his wife and boys that he leaves behind. Rest in love Ed Appler.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 12:03 PM

      Oh dear Tyler, thank you!

  • Rex and Clarice Kling Posted May 14, 2020 8:49 PM

    Sharon, Aaron and Andrew, So sorry to hear of your loss. Praying for your comfort and peace. We always appreciated Ed’s commitment to the Lord, family and friends.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 1:02 PM

      Rex & Clarice, Thank you for your tender hearts toward this young family. XOXO

  • Michele Ivers Posted May 15, 2020 11:50 AM

    Sharon and sons, I am so sorry to hear about Ed’s passing. I have loving memories of you all from Trinity and when I worked at The WoodStove Co. for a short time. I loved his stories and hearing about his Dad during the “mob times” in Hot Springs. You were both so kind and understanding as I was going through rough times. I saw him many years ago at workshop in Little Rock and was so happy to get to spend a few short minutes visiting with him and hearing about your lives. Love to you all always, Mickey (was Marriott) now Ivers.

    • Sharon Appler Posted May 17, 2020 1:00 PM

      Mickey, thank you…XO

  • The VanLandingham’s Posted May 16, 2020 10:44 PM

    May his memory be eternal! Give rest to the soul of your servant, o’Saviour!

    St Justinian, pray to God for us.

  • Rick Wyatt Posted May 17, 2020 8:54 AM

    Sharon, Aaron, Kristin & all the Appler clan, I’m very sorry to hear of Ed’s passing! I have fond memories of him being on the board of the Hot Springs Crisis Pregnancy and helping some of my patients adopt a baby! He was a kind, funny man with a quirkiness that was unique, God bless your whole family in mourning his passing!

  • David Appler Posted May 19, 2020 7:24 PM

    To Sharon and family. I just found out today that Ed has passed away. I hadn’t seen my 1st cousin Ed and Sharon since before my Mother died. On one of our trips from Michigan we had visited them for dinner. I’m happy that I will see him again when we meet again in heaven. Sharon; God bless you.

  • Jennifer and Cole Cody ( Baby Owen ) Posted May 20, 2020 9:12 PM

    How are hearts are broken. My husband Cole and I extend our prayers. We adopted a little boy 4 months ago with the help of Ed. We will be forever thankful for his love and compassion. We have no doubt his spirit will continue through all those who he helped and played such an important role in the life of.

    To Sharon and family may the lord bless you and keep you, may he make his light to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

  • Jerry & Pam Casey Posted May 27, 2020 11:27 AM

    Dear Sharon we share your grief. Ed was such a terrific personality. Also know that this is a temporary separation as we will all get to see him again. Being a Christian is such a comfort in times like this. You are definitely in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Kym Palmer Posted June 4, 2020 8:06 AM

    Prayers and positive energy to the Appler family. Ed will be greatly missed. I’m so thankful for having his help with our adoption, AND his feedback as my colleague.

  • Katherine Daves Posted June 5, 2020 3:49 PM

    I had the honor of having Mr. Appler as my clinical supervisor at Exodus. Out of the many supervisors I have had over the years, I learned the most and enjoyed working with Mr. Appler the most. He was an absolutely wonderful person who would do whatever he could to help and support others and provide guidance when needed. When my father passed away while I was interning, Mr. Appler would call and check on me and ask how I was handling everything and that meant the absolute world to me and helped me through a difficult time in my life. He had such a rare and special spirit and he is greatly missed.

  • Jonathan Wiese Posted June 5, 2020 5:41 PM

    You will be greatly missed MR ED APPLER my prayers go to your wife SHARON and good sons Aaron and Andrew give them strength to deall with your passing we will miss you n see you again Brother

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