BV, GF residents pitch in for funeral

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Patty Fletcher was buried Saturday in Berryville. (Photo courtesy Rob Kerby)

Patty Fletcher wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but she certainly was memorable. After Fletcher died Nov. 29, people in both Berryville and Green Forest pitched in to give Fletcher a funeral just a memorable as she was.

Bobby Thurman, who works with Nelson's Funeral Home, explained that Fletcher, 69, died without any family and would have had a bare-bones funeral had local citizens not stepped in. One of those citizens, Danny Inman, described how the funeral came together.

"It was a community effort. There were lots of people who stepped up to help. I'm just one of a big group," Inman said.

At Fletcher's funeral on Saturday, Inman said, more than 60 people paid their respects to her. Thurman said that five to six churches in the area donated services or money, with many others in the community donating their time to honor Fletcher.

Inman acknowledged that Fletcher wasn't loved by all but said he liked her. Standing just four feet tall, with long blonde hair, Fletcher was well-known in Berryville and Green Forest.

"If you didn't know her, you wouldn't understand her. She was unique in her own way," Inman said.

Inman, owner of Danny's Tire & Full Service in Berryville, recalled helping Fletcher repair her cars over the years, saying she went through cars quickly. In the last three years, Inman said, she had two or three cars.

"We had a run-in when I first bought the station. We had a screaming match, but after that she was a good customer," Inman said.

Green Forest resident Rob Kerby agreed that Fletcher wasn't always easy to get along with.

"She was temperamental. Everybody that knew her will tell you stories," Kerby said.

Kerby recalled how Fletcher would visit his wife's restaurant, saying she would rarely buy anything and asked to be waited on by specific people.

"She was a regular. Even though she could be difficult, she was needy and you just felt like you needed to help her a little bit," Kerby said. "Most of the time she'd come in with her own cup and we'd give her some ice."

The turnout at Fletcher's funeral, Kerby continued, shows how many people she touched during her life.

"I keep running into people who have stories, people you could never imagine. Everybody had a Patty story," Kerby said.

The way the community came together for Fletcher's funeral, Thurman noted, is indicative of small-town living.

"I think it was great to see the community do that, and that's why I like living in a small town where people help each other. You get that here. I think that's great," Thurman said.

Inman agreed, saying the attendance was impressive for a graveside funeral.

"It's amazing what rewards you get living in a small community. I was shocked. It was wonderful to see," Inman said.

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