Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Benny Ray “Ben” Dougan, 80, of Hope

By Shannon Smith, 05/8/23 4:41 PM

Our Dear Dad, Benny Ray “Ben” Dougan A Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, A Son and Brother and friend of many – Left this earthly realm surrounded by his Loving Family in his home in Hope, Arkansas after a hard fought and lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s to go to his Eternal Heavenly home on December 5th, 2022, at the age of 80.

Dad was born just up the road in a little Farmhouse in Emmet, Arkansas to Sid and Margaret Dougan on 2, October 1942. He was the youngest of 8 children in the Dougan home growing up typical of Farm Families of the time, picking cotton and raising produce as a young man and even plowing with a mule team at age six. He graduated from Garland High School in Garland, Texas before attending Abilene Christian College, which is now Abilene Christian University, where he was the Freshman class President in 1962, and even roomed with the 1960 Rome Olympics Track and Field Gold Medalist Earl Young. Abilene is where he met the Love of his life, Kathleen Marie Estes whom he would marry and spend the next 61 years of adventure together having 3 Children. Sydney, born 1963, Matt (Matthew), born 1965 and Shannon, born 1968.

Dad had many professions during his life with his main calling as a pulpit minister in the Church of Christ which he did for various congregations as needed up until 1996. He preached all over the country and around the world in places far and wide such as Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, Canada, Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand spreading the word of God. No Matter what your beliefs are, one thing Dad felt the word of God should be preached is the love for your fellow man and to be as kind to others as you would want them to be kind to you. Kindness and Love, nothing is bigger….One thing that seemed inherit with the Dougan’s is the ability to sing Acapella Music and Dad had one of the best voices ever, he could sing Tenor, Alto or Bass and it was always a joy to hear when all the Dougan’s got together for a singing back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when all of the family members were still part of this earthly realm.

That affinity for music would eventually lead Dad to got to Nashville to produce a country music album of his own in 1981, which was his pride and joy and of which he performed many of his songs on the famous Johnny High Country Review in Ft. Worth, Texas. Dad grew up right down the road from the famous Country music star, Glen Campbell and his hometown of Delight, Arkansas and he competed against Glen in a high School Talent Contest back in the 1950’s. Dad Loved the music of Glen Campbell with one of his favorite songs being “Wichita Lineman” as well “Galveston”. Another Favorite of Dad’s was John Denver and his Song “Country roads” how apropos for Dad with the Lyrics “Country Roads, Take me home, to the place, I belong”

Dad was a man of many talents and could do anything and would do many things besides preaching to support his family over the years, everything from being an Auctioneer and having an Antique Auction house in Alvin, Texas near Houston, to building homes, woodworking and furniture making to being a great Artist who painted landscapes and Wildlife like ducks and Pheasants on Barn Board. Dad was even in the cattle business with Matt, raising and showing Chianina and Chiangus cattle out of Joshua and Burleson, Texas in the early to mid-1980’s, a time that held many memories, adventures and escapades for he and Matt with our dear Family Friend David Wilson of Ft. Worth, Texas.

Dad was an adventurous man and there were many moves of the family over the years to various places such as Cotton Valley, Louisiana, Garland, Texas, Kansas City, Kansas, Houston, Texas to Alvin, Texas then to Prescott, Arkansas and back to Kansas City and Independence, Missouri, then Trenton, Missouri, Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii back to Arlington, Texas, Joshua and Burleson, Texas, a few years in Prescott and Sedona, Arizona areas and finally back to where it all began in Hope, Arkansas just down the road a few miles from his birthplace. It’s Hilarious! You can say it was a lot like being in the Military with so many moves, but Mom and us kids looked at it as an adventure and we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

More than anything Dad, along with our mom Kathleen, loved his family and all 9 of the Grandkids and their children, 15 Great Grandkids! What A Tribe! Dad was so happy to get back to Arkansas these last 16 years where he could work in his wood shop and be close to Shannon and her husband Walter who Dad thought so highly and who would often get firewood and help out with odds and ends around the home when able.

Dad loved and cherished Shannon’s daughters Hanna, Lauren and Hunter and all of their beautiful babies. Those girls were there for Dad in his time of need to help Mom, Shannon and Sydney with his care. Sydney’s husband Mark and her kids Holden, Ashton and Taylor were there many times as well to help out aound the home for Mom and Dad and where needed.

Dad always said he wished they were close enough to see Matt and his boys more often, but that never diminished his Love for Nic, Nigel and Nils and he was even looking at photos of Nic and his wife Qian’s boys Nico and new baby Miles right up until the end. When he could still communicate, he always asked Matt about his boys.

Dad had the best Sense of humor and even as his mind was ravaged by the terrible disease that Alzheimer’s is, his humor and comedy sense could still come through, he was hilarious and could really make you laugh.

Through the years, Dad enjoyed road trips with our mother Kathleen, flea markets, searching for antique or unique treasures, hunting and fishing and woodworking or a cup of coffee with his best friends Pat Henney of Alvin, Texas, David Wilson, Jim Dubose, Jimmy Jones of Texas and Fred Martin of Jamesport, Mo.

He enjoyed much of the same with his son Matt as well as his Son-in-laws Walter Smith and Mark Beck.

Dad loved hunting and fishing or a Cup of Coffee with his Brothers Raymond, Carl and J.R or his brother-in-law Wallace, all of whom he missed dearly after their passing and whom we are certain he is now having the time of his life. Dad cherished time with his nephews Johnny and Jackie Manzella, who always made it a point to stop by and see our dear father as he was ailing and for which we are forever grateful. Dad loved you.

Our Mom and Dad’s dear neighbor Gloria Hudson (who is Family to us) has helped our family in our direst time of need with the care of our dear Dad and running errands for our Mom. We Love her and are forever grateful to her for that.

Dad was a stranger to no one and found great happiness and purpose in sharing in the success and joys as well as the hard times of those he knew. If dad had any way to help one in need, you could be sure he would give him the shirt off of his back. He was not perfect as none of us are, but he was “close enough to perfect for us”

Although we are so sad at the parting of our Dear Dad and we will miss him terribly, we are blessed with the peace of knowing he no longer suffers the ravages of disease, nor the hardships of life on this earth. We are sure Dad is up in Heaven singing with all of his family and they will someday welcome us all with smiles and open arms and that will be grand!

Dad was preceded in death by his parents Sid and Margaret, as well as his brothers Carl, Raymond and J.R and Sister’s Lily, Helen, Martha and Ora. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen, their children, Sydney and her ex-husband Mark Beck of Springtown, Texas, Shannon Smith and her husband Walter of Hope, Arkansas, Matthew Dougan and his wife Jennifer of Tucson, Arizona, 9 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

The Family plans on having a memorial for Dad next Spring in the season of new life and new birth!. A date and time is to be determined in the near future.

In Dad’s memory, we ask that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association to help fight and find a cure for this terrible disease.