Clay County Living


Esma Rita (Bearden) Karnes, born on November 27, 1953, passed away on July 17, 2014. Her parents were Esmer Bearden and Thelma Boyd Bearden of Boydsville, Arkansas. She was the second youngest of six children: Virginia Cate, Julia Johnson, Jimmy Bearden, George Bearden, and Paula Kay, her little sister who Rita never got to meet.  She is survived by her husband Gary Lee Karnes; daughters Shelly Karnes and Nikki Karnes who were blessed most of all  by her godly spirit and nevergive-up attitude. She took care of them and did everything she could to make them happy. God was Rita’s first love and guiding light in everything she did. She loved telling anyone about Christ and was instrumental in winning her husband and kids to Christ. In her early years she learned how to play the piano and she had another gift of singing. Since she was a true woman of God she used her gifts to serve God in the church and by teaching others. Rita loved children and realized how important it was to teach them about Christ in Sunday school and AWANAS. Following the path God laid out for  her blessed her and those who served with her and those were blessed because of her works. The more she served, the more she loved God for blessing her life. Rita never had an enemy. She loved everyone and was there for them every way she was able. Rita was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Corning, Arkansas before she moved to Texas to be with her husband. God placed her in Cindy Lane Baptist Church in Lewisville, Texas who  gave her the love and support she needed to cope with being away from her home and family. This church became the support Rita and her husband needed when they decided to have children. giving them a life-long family. God called Rita to serve at Fox Avenue Baptist Church in Lewisville, Texas to temporarily serve him somewhere else and she gladly accepted. After she fulfilled His job for her at Fox Avenue, He sent her back to Cindy Lane where she served until He called her home. Over the years Rita’s health started to fail but she never let it slow her down. After her strokes, she had to relearn how to walk, talk, and do things as simple as feeding herself. Her godly spirit and strength  helped her get back to work full time and back to her normal activities. Rita was an inspiration to all that knew her and she will truly be missed. Funeral services were held at Corning Cemetery Saturday July 26, 2014. 

Floye Verdier of Corning was born in Success, March 12, 1920 daughter of Adam and Ellen (Hart) Counts. She died Thursday, July 17, 2014. She was 94. A homemaker and member of Church of Christ, she married Roy Verdier on December 7, 1935. He preceded her in death. Survivors are two sons Dewayne Verdier, Dittmer, MO and Ronnie Verdier, Corning; one daughter Brenda Nenninger, St. Louis; 11 grandchildren; 8 greatgrandchildren; and 4 great-greatgrandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two brothers Elda and Haskle Counts; and sister Ruth Long. A memorial service was conducted Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Ermert Funeral Home with Johnnie Taylor officiating. Burial in Corning Cemetery at a later date. Sign online condolences at 

Violet Burns died Thursday, July 24th at the age of 89 years at her Corning home. A homemaker, she was born in Brookings, December 23, 1924. She enjoyed crafts, gardening, playing games with senior citizens, supporting Veterans Easter Seals and other causes. She attended Corning Church of Christ. She married her husband Frank Burns on Friday, January 2, 1948. He preceded her in death on January 5, 1968. She is survived by her children Linda (Stan) Vinson, Debbie Holmon, Henry (Leann) Burns, all of Corning; Donnie (Pat) Burns, Napa, Idaho; Ronnie (Cynthia) Burns, Rogers, and David (Tonya) Burns, Corning; 18 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. Violet was preceded in death by her sons Freddy and Jimmy Burns; parents Al and Rosie Estelle (Cozad) Southerly; brothers George and Williams Southerly; and sisters Minnie Wollen and Evelyn Cantrell. Funeral services were held Monday, July 28, 2014 at Ermert Funeral Home in Corning with Bruce McGrew officiating. She was buried in Corning Cemetery. Memorials may be given to Paragould Children’s Home. Sign online condolences at