Robert Leon Beaton, Sr., 89, of Paragould died Thursday, Oct. 15, at Greene Acres Nursing Home.  

He was born on Panther Island in the Bard community, Nov. 14, 1919.

Raised at Paragould, he was a 1938 graduate of Paragould High School and completed one year at Notre Dame University.  

He began his working career at Beaton Mercantile, his parents’ store, in Marmaduke.  

He then worked for Mr. Sam Lipscomb at Lipscomb’s Mercantile.  

In December of 1939, he quit Mr. Lipscomb to go to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, eventually serving as a secretary for J. Edgar Hoover.  

He worked for the FBI for eight years except for a thirty-three-month stint with the Marine Corps. 

Returning to Northeast Arkansas, he purchased the Schugtown Gin, traded businesses with his father and operated Beaton’s IGA at Rector, ran for and won the election for Clay County Sheriff, operated gins in Greene and Clay counties, farmed, and retired from the University of Central Arkansas as manager of the student center.

Survivors include two sons, Paul and wife, Kay, of Higden, Dr. Robert Leon, Jr. and wife, Debbie, of Summerfield, N.C.; three daughters, Ann Stallcup and husband, Wes, of Rector,; Kay McCord and husband, Jack, of Pocahontas, Tammy Thompson and husband, Richard, of Little Rock; a brother, Dr. Kenneth and wife, Martha, of Wynne; 16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Maxine Whitsitt Beaton and his second wife, Claudia Justus Beaton; his parents, Earl and Jessie; a son, Major Kenneth Earl, and a brother, Zane.

Active pallbearers will be grandsons Todd Beaton, Michael Beaton, Nathan Stallcup, Blake McCord, Sawyer Beaton, Dax Beaton, Rett Thompson and Jason Thompson.

Honorary pallbearers acknowledged for their friendships and as sources of inspiration and high standards, include Bill Carter, Alfred Herget, Dr. Donald Purcell, Judge Gerald Brown, Glen Pillow, Bob Branch, Herb Bland, Dr. Robert Fahr, Pat Quinn, Bill Block, Dr. Asa Crow, Bill Fisher, Dr. M.P. Hazzard, Joe Williams, and David Goodson.

Visitation will be at Mitchell Funeral Home of Paragould at 2 p.m. Sunday, followed by funeral services at 3 p.m. there.  

The Reverend Tom Letchworth will officiate. Burial will follow at Linwood Cemetery of Paragould.

Memorials may be made to Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation, 610 South Main, Rector, Ark. 72461 or The First United Methodist Church of Paragould.

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