businessman, civic leader and Stuttgart icon J. W. McCollum
passed away Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at his home.
J.W. was born January 23, 1924, in Arkansas to Otis R.
and Wilma “Billie” Thomas McCollum. He was a 1941 graduate of
West End High School in Nashville, Tenn., and was a World War II
Navy veteran and pilot. He married Dixie Jones in 1948 and they
later moved to Alabama where he began employment with Winchester
Western Arms and Ammunition. He was a charter member of St. Mark
United Methodist Church in Northport, Ala., where he taught the
McCollum Sunday School class.
J.W. and Dixie moved to Stuttgart in 1970 after
purchasing Belcher Hardware which later became McCollum
Hardware. They retired from the store in 1986.
J.W. was active in the community serving as president of
Stuttgart Industrial Development Corporation in 1974-76 and
played a key role in bringing Lennox Industries to Stuttgart. He
was Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce president in 1978 and was
president of the Downtown Merchants Association 1982-1983 where
he secured a federal grant for the downtown revitalization
program. He was instrumental in pursuing a mosquito abatement
program from 1978-1985 and obtained city financing for a
two-year mosquito abatement program which began in 1985. He was
selected as Stuttgart’s Citizen of the Year in 1985 and was
named Arkansas’ Who’s Who in 1986.
J.W. developed his passion and skill for duck hunting as
a young man hunting with his father and could often be found
working the duck-calling counter at Mack’s Sport Shop. J.W. was
a duck guide for Slick McCollum Hunting Club from 1970-2003
retiring at 80 years of age.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church, Ulm Civic
Club, Rotary Club and American Legion.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife,
Dixie; and daughter, Kerry Lea McCollum.
Survivors are two daughters, Rhonda Randall and husband Dennis
of Billings, Mont., and Jamie Wewetzer and husband Jeff of
Franklin, Tenn.; and two grandsons, Damon Ratcliff and Austin
Randall of Billings.
Funeral services, officiated by Dr. David Bush, are at 3:00 p.m.
Sunday at First United Methodist Church with burial following in
Lone Tree Cemetery.
Visitation is 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Saturday at Turpin Funeral Home.
His family requests memorials be made to First United Methodist
Church, 307 East Fourth Street, Stuttgart, Ark. 72160, and in
the memo line please put memorial for J.W. McCollum.