Martha Kate Tarpley Griffin

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mrs. Martha Kate Tarpley Griffin, 54, of Jonesboro, died Monday, May 23, 2011, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro.

Born in Blytheville, Martha Kate has lived in Jonesboro since 1975. She was an elementary school teacher for 25 years with Brookland Public Schools and was a member of Walnut Street Baptist Church. She was a 1974 graduate of Blytheville High School and earned a BSE in Early Childhood from Arkansas State University.

Mrs. Girffin was preceded in death by her father, Bailey Tarpley; her mother-in-law, Billie Jo Griffin; and her father-in-law, Joe Griffin.

She leaves her husband of 33 years, Joe D. Griffin of the home;

Two daughters and a son-in-law, Katie Jo Griffin of Jonesboro and Kristie Ann and Bill Becker of Memphis;

Her mother, Martha Ann Tarpley of Blytheville;

A sister and brother-in-law, Shellie Ann and Mike Besharse of Blytheville;

A niece and her husband, Dixie and Paul McAnally of Bowman;

A nephew, John Besharse of Jonesboro; and

One grandson, Griffin Joseph Becker of Memphis.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday with Glenn Putman, Jerry Parker and Bill Becker officiating. Burial will follow in Oaklawn Cemetery with Emerson Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers include Bubba Deaton, Charles Akin, Gordon Akin, Paul McAnnally, Wayne Carlisle, John Besharse and Jeff Bookout.

Honorary pallbearers include members of Joe and Martha Kate's Sunday School Class.

Visitation will be held Wednesday from noon until service time at Emerson Chapel.

For lasting memorials, the family asks that consideration be given to Walnut Street Baptist Church, 1910 Scenic Dr., Jonesboro, AR 72401, or to the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House, 400 East St., Jonesboro, AR 72401.

An online registry is available at