Fort Smith High School
Jere Ann "Byars" Ocker

Whew, where did time go? After reading most of the biographies, which I must say I truly enjoyed, it made me stop and think how short time is. I guess when you are having fun you just don't realize that time is slipping away.

I left Ft. Smith Senior High at the end of my eleventh grade, married the most wonderful man, Ronny Ocker, we were both to young but we grew up together and it must have worked because we have been married for 47 years and still going.

Ronny went to school in Dallas and we moved there in 1958 until he got out of school and then moved back to Ft. Smith, where at that time we lived in an apartment in the old Putman Funeral Home which is now the Thomas Quinn house, while Ronny served his internship. Then we moved to Van Buren, which I thought moving to Dog town was going to kill me, but wouldn't think about living anywhere else now.

We now own 3 funeral homes and a monument company, one in Alma, Fort Smith and Van Buren. We have two sons Michael who is the oldest. Michael runs the Ocker Monument Company in Van Buren. Ronny II runs the Ocker Funeral Home in Alma and Putman Funeral Home in Fort Smith. Ronny II by the way is the (for the local golfers) good golfer in the family. Ronny II was the number one golfer for the University of Arkansas, while pursuing his law degree. He also has qualified for several USA Amateur Golfing tournaments and had the privilege of playing in a tournament that Tiger Woods won and then Tiger turned professional the next day and the rest is history about Tiger.

We have been blessed with three wonderful grandsons, and one gorgeous granddaughter. Erica, will be entering her first year at the University of Arkansas this fall. Grandsons are still in grade school and middle school.

I was mostly a "stay at home" wife and mother. I did finish school and attended Westark for two years. After the boys were older, I did work for an advertising agency for about three years. Tried my hand at real estate when the interest rates were 15% and 16% found that way to slow. Worked for Ronny for a while and found that to be not as interesting as playing bridge and gardening and cooking. So I just stay home and entertain grandchildren and love every minute of it.

Retirement is probably never in our horizon, my husband is a workaholic and loves his work and people, and so I can't ever see him fully retired. But we do take off whenever we feel like it and travel whenever we want.

As the old Alma Mater says: Good will with us night and day through years of loyalty in our hearts you will never die.

Jere Ann "Byars" Ocker - 2004