Linda Ann Temple Acrey was reunited in spirit with her mother and father on Friday, September 16, 2022. Linda was surrounded by her husband, children, and brother when she passed away in Room 1111 of the CCU at Unity Health Medical Center in Searcy.
Known to her many students and the educational community as Ms. Acrey for 55 years, Linda was born November 6, 1946 in Stuttgart, AR to Mary Louise Harper Temple and William “Billy D.” Temple of Brummitt. Her parents had courted by letter during WWII and married in July 1943. In 1960, Linda transferred from the Humnoke School District to attend Stuttgart High School where she graduated in 1964. Linda went on to graduate from Ouachita Baptist University in May of 1968. During her senior year at OBU, she met her husband Glen Acrey, and the two were married in June of 1968. While Glen was away on naval aircraft carriers during the Vietnam War, Linda took her first teaching job at Clarendon, AR where she worked 2 years and finished her masters from OBU. The two moved to Lemoore, California to be closer to Glen’s naval station. Linda taught in California for 2 years before Glen was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, and the two drove back to Arkansas by finding change in their car to pay for gas to finish the trip. As fate would have it, Linda’s return to Lonoke County was greeted with a teaching job at the Lonoke Public School District. Her job was actually part of a truck deal her dad had made with Joe Melton who served on the school board at the time. Linda would go on to teach at Lonoke for 36 years for a combined total of 40 years of teaching. Linda won the Apple Award from THV 11 in her last year, and she would tell people for years after that she still liked the children when she retired. Ms. Acrey taught hundreds of children how to read and how to believe in themselves.
Linda was a member of the Lonoke Baptist Church, and a founding member of the Lonoke County Museum. Linda was a compassionate Christian, an educational advocate, an animal rescue advocate, an amateur writer, and a history and family genealogy enthusiast. Linda compiled over 100 stories of personal oral accounts from friends, families, and other various members of the Lonoke County community. She loved to take people’s pictures whether they were ready or not. Linda Acrey rarely met a stranger, she would often want to know who you were related to and where were they from. Linda was a breast cancer survivor, a provider for many, and had a huge personality.
Linda was dedicated to her family and was a wonderful and giving mother. She prayed for a child, and on July 29, 1980, she received a wellness check from the police to tell her to call her doctor where he asked her if she wanted a newborn baby. When she brought her son Dr. James Cash Acrey home for the first time, she was unsure how to change a diaper and placed Cash next to the stereo speakers and played Johnny Cash to soothe the baby to sleep. She would tell this story many times over the next 40 plus years, and every year on her son’s birthday. In May of 1987, Linda welcomed her daughter Carrie Louise Acrey. She would spend the next several decades going out of her way to provide a quality life for her children.
Linda greatly valued education and family, and would send her granddaughters several books per month. Her children have multiple advanced degrees, and Dr. James Cash Acrey is a professor and director of M.S. in Finance at the University of Arkansas at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Her daughter Carrie Acrey is currently working on her doctorate, and has a MAT and Ed.S. from the University of Central Arkansas and works as the English Learner Specialist for Central Arkansas at the Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. Her husband Glen Acrey worked at Pulaski Technical College for 36 years.
Linda Temple Acrey is survived by her husband Glen Acrey of Butlerville, her brother Jimmy Temple of Stuttgart, her daughter Carrie Acrey of Lonoke, her son Dr. Cash Acrey and his wife Robin of Fayetteville, her granddaughters Parker and Zoya of Fayetteville, and her Boston Terriers Roxy and Rascal of Butlerville. Linda was preceded in death by her father, her mother, four aunts, grandparents, great grands, and many cousins.
Linda Acrey’s visitation will be at Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke on Friday, September 23rd from 4 PM to 6 PM, and the service will be held at the Lonoke Baptist Church on Saturday, September 24th at 1 PM in Lonoke, followed by a brief graveside final send off at the pavilion at Mulberry Cemetery in England, AR.
In lieu of flowers, her daughter Carrie will be taking donations for the Lonoke County Museum and the Mulberry Cemetery upkeep fund. (Digital payments can be sent to Carrie via Cash App $CarrieAcrey, Venmo @Carrieacrey, PayPal. Checks can be made payable to Lonoke County Museum and sent to PO Box 873, Lonoke, AR 72086).