Freda Lightle

  • Born: September 29, 1922
  • Died: April 5, 2016
  • Location: Searcy, Arkansas

Powell Funeral Home

2602 W. Beebe Capps Expy
Searcy, AR 72143
Tel. (501) 268-7220

Tribute & Message From The Family

Freda Hardy Lightle, 93 years old, passed away peacefully at Unity Health in Searcy on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. She was born in the family home in Conway, Arkansas on September 29, 1922 to Heber Baxton Hardy and Addie Taylor Hardy. She goes to heaven to join her beloved husband, Julian Lightle, Jr., who predeceased her in 1974.

The family moved from Conway to Heber Springs in 1930 where she graduated from Heber Springs High School with the Class of 1941. The same year, her education continued at Arkansas State Teachers College where she joined the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. Because of the war, she left college after two years and worked as an administrative assistant to Vance Clayton, the Arkansas Secretary of Treasury. About three-years later, her good friend Marge Walker set her up on a blind date with a "nice guy from Searcy". After the date, she invited him in for "apple pie with cheese on top" and in 1946, that "guy" became her one true love and husband. They were married in the First United Methodist Church of Heber Springs and established their home in Searcy, where she lived for the rest of her life.

When she moved to Searcy, Freda became immersed in community activities and was an active member of civic and volunteer groups; these included the First United Methodist Church, the local Junior Auxiliary, Beethoven Club, Garden Club, Beta Sigma Phi and the Albright Sunday School class as well as being a strong supporter of her husband's business success. She tirelessly "flipped" hamburgers at the Berryhill Park concession stand while her sons and other boys played summer baseball. To our knowledge, she never missed an event Burney and Steve participated in. She was very independent and lived alone until she moved to River Oaks Village in 2009; up to her passing, she handled all of her affairs with a little advice from her sons. She loved gardening and growing rose bushes with Julian.

While reading through her papers, family documents and college annuals, we noticed one overriding comment; nearly everyone who wrote something in her college annual started their comment with "Freda, you are such a sweet girl…" This was a common character trait throughout her life; she was always there for us, but as sweet as she was, she always made us "toe the line". Freda was an excellent seamstress, making French hand sewn dresses for her grandchildren and heirloom quality quilts and throws. Everyone loved her cooking and she is remembered for her holiday boiled custard and angel biscuits. She will be missed.

Freda's parents and husband predeceased her; she is survived by one brother, Dr. H.B Hardy, Jr. of Conway, two sons, Burney Lightle (Kristin) and Steve Lightle (Kathy), five grandchildren, Jordan Lightle Bittle (Dale) of Conway, J. B. Lightle IV (Deidre) of Memphis, Blakely Howell (Chris) of Searcy, Taylor Wolfe (David) of Searcy and Randall Lefler (J.K.) of Fayetteville. Freda has six great grandchildren that she loved very much; Rhea Ann, Grier and Gemma Bittle, Maitland Gann and Brayden Wolfe, and Baxton and Payne Howell.

Visitation will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church in Searcy; a funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. with burial at White County Memorial Gardens in Searcy. Memorials can be made to the First United Methodist Church of Searcy. Arrangements by Powell Funeral Home of Searcy,