Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Scyrell “Shorty” New, age 81

Scyrell “Shorty” New set his sights on new goals on April 18, 2023.

Also known to grandkids as “Papa ‘Rell,” he was born on January 16, 1942 in the Ozark hills near Dover, Arkansas. He was the youngest and last of ten kids, born to Allen and Ginnie New. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings.

Dad could not nail two boards together, but if you gave him a pile of metal and a decent welder, in a few hours he could give you a pretty good facsimile of the Eiffel Tower or some such thing. He was also an artist with a set of wrenches and just about any broken mechanical contraption, especially air compressors, tractors, automobiles and old leaky flat-bottom boats. He traveled the world repairing air compressors for Sullair Corp in the 1970s and 80s, where he was once hailed as “the best d****d air compressor mechanic in the world.” However, he often felt his pinnacle project was the restoration of the original steam engine for Conway Corporation, which had provided electricity for Conway Arkansas for several decades.

He was married to Linda (McGee) for 59 years following a whirlwind romance of two whole months. In addition to mom, he is survived by his kids Terry (Marleen), Kim Griffith and Jenny Thornton, Grandkids – Ian Griffith, Jillian New, David Thornton, Josh Thornton, Layla Thornton, bonus grandkids Jackson Lovett and Moriah McCrae (John-Michael) and a bonus great-grandson Conrad McCrae. Additional survivors include sisters-in-law Jessie New and Larece Allen, and a host of nephews and nieces from far and wide.

He was somewhat a prankster and may have sent his loving bride to the local service station to have them put water in her new air-cooled Chevrolet Corvair or convinced her that instead of buying new guitar strings he simply polished his with a bit of Pledge – information she eagerly shared with the whole band, many of whom fell off their chairs in laughter. Scyrell, along with his brother Oscar, were even known to mess with a child’s toy bulldozer making it leave black skid marks across Linda’s white tile floor.

A bit hard-headed and wreckless, he lived on for almost 40 years following a massive heart attack in 1986. He was known to eat his fried fish very quickly even if they had bones, and probably ran with scissors although there is no actual evidence. He was an affable horse trader, known far and wide to take the worst end of any deal in which he chose to embark into an agreement.

He had a heart of gold and couldn’t stand the thought of anyone going without. He collected people like most collect stray cats and the Bank of Scyrell was always open if he felt the cause was worthy. He was the best reader of Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb (Dr. Seuss) and often did so without even looking at the page. He didn’t mind telling “little white lies” if he felt the need to protect someone, usually his wife and daughters regarding some critter or slithering thing they were afraid of. He sometimes had a penchant for grumpiness requiring Linda to reign him in, and usually included one or both of them saying “I’ll tell you one thing!”

He spent his last few years as patriarch of his rather large extended family, and spoke of everyone often, remembering and retelling every funny story he could muster. He loved and lived big and he will be missed just the same.

We will be celebrating his life on Friday, April 28, 2023 at 2pm at A Natural State Funeral Service. Visitation will be April 27, 2023 at 6pm.

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


  • Kevin Holliman Posted April 24, 2023 10:28 PM

    Mr New kept me in business many years fixing my Compressors always fair an honest I learned A lot from him about them an he would always be happy to answer things I truly enjoyed talking to him at his shop I miss that he will be missed prayers for you Mrs New Terry Kim Jenny

  • Jerry Hughes Posted April 25, 2023 4:38 AM

    May a loving God grant strength and comfort to all!

  • Hanna Wiley Posted April 25, 2023 1:55 PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Linda and your family during this sad time. I never had the pleasure to meet Syrell in person but heard a lot of stories from Linda. I whish that time will heal the pain of loss to give away to wonderful memories.

  • Andrea Holliman-Lafon Posted April 25, 2023 7:36 PM

    My heart and prayers go out to all of you, Mrs. New, Kim, Terry, and Jenny. I know Mr. New will be dearly missed. I remember Mr New being a kind, quiet and funny man growing up in church and when Kim and I would have sleepovers. I love you all like family then and I love you all now. May God comfort you in these days and times ahead and His love surround you giving you peace like only God can.

  • Janie Steele Posted April 26, 2023 9:22 AM

    A very special father and family. So glad to have known him. The story here is the wonderful memories that will get you through this.

  • Valarie Norfleet Posted April 26, 2023 10:09 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Praying for you all, Mrs. New, Terry, Kim, Jenny, and the rest of your family. I know he will be deeply missed. 😭. Thankful for the memories I have of him, and all of you. Sending love and hugs to you all.

  • Bobby Thien Posted April 30, 2023 12:41 PM

    He told story’s like they just happened.You will be missed

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