Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Buel Ray Wortham, age 81

Buel Ray Wortham, 81, passed away February 22, 2022. Buel was born in Little Rock, AR on February 12, 1941, to Buel C. Wortham and Odie Jernigan Wortham. He attended North Little Rock High School, class of 1959, and graduated from Henderson State University and the ROTC program in 1963. After graduation, he entered the U.S. Army. He left the military as a First Lieutenant, a decorated skydiver, and a pilot.

Buel was an adventurer, and he always lived his life to the fullest. He traveled the world flying hot air balloons, piloting airplanes, riding motorcycles, bicycling, scuba diving, fishing, hunting, and taking in anything and everything the outdoors had to offer. His dream trip was the two-week motorcycle expedition to Alaska with his son, Clay, in 2017; on which many friends joined their travels, and they never met a stranger! He was always up for the next big adventure.

He was an entrepreneur, owning many different businesses- from real estate ventures, amusement machines, and hot air balloon piloting, to nightclubs and pawn shops. He loved being his own boss and the freedom is allowed.

Survivors include wife Linda Wortham, daughter Cheryl (Jim) McClain, son Clay (Jenara) Wortham, grandchildren Miranda Wortham, Zachary McClain, Zoe McClain, and Jaxson Wortham. He is also survived by stepdaughters Deana (Todd) Jones, Dana (Scott) Scallion; grandchildren Courtney Guice, Riley Jones, Presley Holmes, and Mia Jones; as well as a host of friends, riding buddies, hunting partners, and balloon crew members.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 2:00pm at A Natural State Funeral Service.

The family asks in lieu of flowers- go wet a hook, hike a trail, take a ride on a motorcycle, climb a mountain, or have a drink and think of Buel.

Arrangements entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service. 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400.

To view a tribute slideshow of Buel, please follow the link below.


  • Carolyn Scruggs Posted February 28, 2022 12:04 PM

    So sorry to hear about the death of Buel, a dear friend and buddy throughout 3 years at NLR high school. We always managed to spend some “catch-up on news” time at every 1959 senior class reunion. Have seen some history of Buel’s life at times on Facebook. An interesting, amazing guy!
    I send sympathy to his family—may they find peace in their wonderful memories.

  • Judy Whorley Winkle Posted February 28, 2022 2:03 PM

    So sorry to hear about Buel’s passing. We were friends at Henderson, graduated together. I enjoyed keeping up with his many travels via FaceBook. He certainly loved life.

  • Jodoin Jonathon Posted February 28, 2022 9:27 PM

    A Teacher to a young man learned a lot from this man hunting tricks fishing tricks couldn’t ask for a better person to know

  • Bill Denio Posted February 28, 2022 9:46 PM

    Buel was a great guy, a good friend, a real man’s man and adventurer. Not many could measure up to him.

  • Victoria Cavalier Posted February 28, 2022 10:42 PM

    Mr.Buel was always so out going. The world has lost a good man. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Charlie Donaldson Posted March 1, 2022 9:49 AM

    A REDDIE teammate and classmate of Buel . “You blazed the trails of life, so others who follow could burn them up . RIP teammate❤️🙏 May GOD bless his extended family.

  • Ruth Tyson Posted March 2, 2022 9:43 PM

    So, so sorry for your loss. He will be missed so much. He left some great footprints on everyone.

  • Mike Whiting Posted March 2, 2022 10:40 PM

    Rest In Peace ole friend hunted with him for many years.

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Natural State Funeral Service & Crematory