Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Mary Ann Denniston, age 91

On April 24, 2023 Mary Ann Denniston went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Mary is now rejoicing in Heaven with Christ and her loved ones who had passed before her.   Mary was born on October 20, 1931 to George and Helen Biggs near McGehee, Arkansas.

Mary grew up surrounded by her ten sisters and brother on her parent’s farm near Halley, Arkansas. She and her siblings worked in the fields chopping and picking cotton, helping in the garden and tending to the farm.  Mary was in charge of milking the cow and taking care of the chickens. She fondly remembered her mother reading the Bible to her and her sisters and attending church at the First Nazarene Church in McGehee.  Mary was a 1949 graduate of McGehee High School where she was remembered to be an excellent student with an outgoing personality.  Mary was selected to attend Girl’s State and took her first train ride to attend.  She was briefly married to J.B. Quinn and had a daughter, Janet Marie, from that marriage.  In 1950, she moved back to her parent’s home and worked at Wolf Brother’s Dry Good Store in McGehee.  She met Joe Tom Denniston while he was working in McGehee and shortly fell in love and married Joe on February 14, 1956.  Mary was a homemaker and while living in Forest City, Arkansas gave birth to Tom and Helen Denniston. She subsequently lived in North Little Rock and Harrison, Arkansas with her family.  Mary was retired from the Pulaski County Special School System and was a media center clerk at Harris Elementary and school secretary at Homer Atkins Elementary.  Through the years, Mary stayed close to her sisters and brother and enjoyed visiting with them and hosting family events.  She was an amazing cook and always had room for one more at her table.  Mary was a wonderful mother and grandmother, always loving and praying for their safety, health and wellbeing.

Throughout their lives, Mary and Joe were active in their church and set a loving Christian example for their family and friends.  They attended Friendship Baptist Church in Sherwood and enjoyed sermons by close friend, Pastor Roy Thompson.  Mary persevered after the deaths of her husband, Joe, in 2003, and her daughter, Janet, in 2007.   Her strong belief in God and the promises of Jesus saw her through these difficult times. Mary moved to the Parkstone Place Retirement Center in 2009 and was a favorite of staff and residents.  She developed many friendships living at Parkstone and enjoyed playing bingo and dominoes.  She developed a special friendship with Virgil McQueen and they enjoyed spending time together until his passing in 2018.  Patty Sheen and Karen Wilson were a great help to Mary during the pandemic and after.  They are wonderful ladies, and Mary appreciated their friendship and love.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, George and Helen Biggs, her husband, Joe Tom Denniston, Sr., her daughter, Janet Marie Denniston, step-son, Mark Denniston, and her sisters, Irene Pearson, Georgia Westmoreland, Eva Pressley, Martha Houston, Julia Bailey, and Joye Bolls.

Mary is survived by her son, Tom Denniston, and her daughter, Helen Denniston; Grandchildren, Jason Harwell, Jennifer Harwell, Taylor Denniston and Keelen Verser; Great-grandchildren, Jessi Harwell, Anna Verser, Violet Verser, John Luke Verser, Davis Denniston and Beau Denniston; Sisters, Ruth Boyd, Sarah Merritt, Carolyn Casteel, and Gloria Tyler, and brother, Nathan Biggs; A host of nieces and nephews along with many friends.

Funeral services will be officiated by Pastor Roy Thompson and held on Tuesday May 2, 2023 at Friendship Baptist Church located at 10150 Brockington Road in Sherwood.  Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. and service at 11:00 a.m.  Following the service, internment will be at Rest Hills Cemetery located at 7724 Landers Road in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Friendship Baptist Church or to the Gideon’s International.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


  • Terri Fisher Posted April 27, 2023 2:32 PM

    Helen and Tom I’m so sorry for your lost. I will keep y’all in my prayers.

  • Jason Harwell Posted April 27, 2023 2:36 PM

    My precious Mama the most beautiful and loving person I’ve ever known. She was the Matriarch of our family and will be loved forever.

  • Karen Brow Posted April 27, 2023 3:17 PM

    Tom and Helen so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Prayers for you both and your families.

  • Chris and PJ Bolls Posted April 27, 2023 6:32 PM

    Love and Admiration to a Most loving and caring person, Aunt, and Mother

  • Carla Stewart Posted April 28, 2023 4:03 PM

    Jennifer, so sorry for your loss, may all you hugs and love from your grandmother help bring peace. You are in my prayers.

  • Gin Taylor Posted April 28, 2023 4:14 PM

    Jennifer so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and family

  • Jennifer Harwell Posted April 29, 2023 8:02 PM

    I’ll miss you till the end of time!!! I’ll never be the same. You are the Best you and my paw paw!! I’ll see you both again someday!! Always in my heart!!!

  • Kristi Stewart Posted April 29, 2023 8:19 PM

    Wishing you and family strength that time will heal your heart. Jenn she was a wonderful lady and loved you unconditionally, she will be missed.

  • Cole & Sandy Morgan Posted April 30, 2023 9:49 PM

    Prayers Tom for you & family.

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