Jewell Don Kuykendall was born July 20, 1926, in Alma and spent most of his life living on the same street he was born on, but that didn’t mean he didn’t live largely or see plenty. He felt the impact of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, survived the Great Depression, which he referred to as "the cornbread and beans days," narrowly escaped being ran over by the Barrow Gang, watched Gene Kelly dance live during World War II, witnessed the advent of television and the internet and FaceTimed on iPhones with his family often.

At the age of 92, he left his earthly home on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 9, 2018, living, laughing and loving until his last breath despite a cancer diagnosis over four years prior. He was loved and known as a son, brother, husband, daddy, father-in-law, pop, great-grandpoppie and friend.

Jewell was born at his childhood home in Alma on July 20, 1926, to James "Buddy" Richard and Sallie Francis Kuykendall. He went to Alma High School, was a member of First Baptist Church, served in the U.S. Navy and worked until his retirement with the Arkansas Highway Department, supervising the construction of most of the bridges we use every day in Crawford and Sebastian Counties. He was a 32nd-degree Mason and member of the Alma Lodge. He would agree that his greatest accomplishment was marrying the love of his life, Lorena Mae Spillman. Together, they had 55 happy years of marriage, two sons, filled their home with smiles and laughter, took care of family horses and dogs, watched television side-by-side and adventured to Hawaii and Canada. In his free time, he enjoyed traveling, watching horse races, hunting (quail in particular) and fishing, however, nothing brought a spark to his eye quite like watching his grandchildren or great-grandchildren run through sprinklers, play outside or do tricks.

Waiting for his heavenly arrival will be his mother and father, Sallie Francis and James "Buddy" Richard; his brother and sister-in-law, Sylvester and Alice Kuykendall; his wife, Lorena Mae Spillman; brother-in-law, Don Spillman; and longtime neighbor and friend, Floyd Tipton.

On earth, he will be remembered by his sons, Gary Kuykendall and his wife Claudia of McAllen, Texas, and Robin Kuykendall and his wife Sherrie of Alma. His legacy will be continued by six grandchildren, Ashleigh Gillespie and husband Ryan and Blake Kuykendall of Alma, Lindsey Keys of Oklahoma, Michael "Shawn" Kuykendall of California, Crystal Kuykendall of Tennessee and Phaedra and Taj Kuykendall of McAllen; and his long life touched three great-grandchildren, Rhett Gillespie of Alma, Joshua Kuykendall of Tennessee and Adrie Dobbs of Oklahoma. Memories were fondly made with sisters-in-law, Laura Watson and husband Don of Dora and Shirley Spillman of Van Buren; as well as a brother-in-law, Clifton Spillman of Washington state, along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was incredibly thankful for several close friends who visited him weekly during his illness, Yvonne Blaylock of Mountainburg, Jim Collins of Alma and Bonnie Tipton and Phyllis Miller of Fort Smith.

His family is honored to have Ron Brown, Rex Woods, David Ferguson, Dennis Shores, Rob Houck and David Couch serve as pallbearers; and Ronnie Hanna, Dewayne Hanna, Jerry Osborne, Don Wilkinson and retired members of Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department to act as honorary pallbearers.

We invite you to join us for a visitation from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home and for the celebration of life service officiated by the Rev. Scott Reed at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home Chapel, followed by his interment at Alma Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please remember and honor the legacy of Jewell Don Kuykendall by making a donation to Alma Cemetery Fund or Stand Up To Cancer.

To place an online tribute, go to www.edwardsvan-alma.com.