Earl Jackson Haycraft (nickname, Johnnie) died in Memphis, Tenn. at the Village of Primacy Place on May 11, 2018 at the age of 89

Earl Jackson Haycraft (nickname, Johnnie) died in Memphis, Tenn. at the Village of Primacy Place on May 11, 2018 at the age of 89. The cause of death was complications of diabetes, kidney and cardiovascular disease. He was born on April 17, 1929 in Tiptonville, Tenn. Earl also lived in Mississippi, Colorado, and Missouri but, always viewed his childhood home to be Hughes, Ark. and his lifelong home to be West Memphis Ark.

Earl was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd E. and Effie Lee (Stanfill) Haycraft. Rosy Haycraft was his favorite grandparent. Earl was preceded in death by his first wife, Delores Burnett Haycraft, his second wife, Mary Bentley Atkinson Haycraft, and this third wife, Jeannie Wear Green Haycraft. His children include Charlotte Haycraft Bates (deceased), Harold W. Haycraft (Hannibal), spouse Kathleen, Marilyn Haycraft Ritchie (Lawrence, Kan.), spouse Steve, and James Steven Haycraft (Lake Charles, La.), spouse Pam. Grandchildren include Becky Hirner ( Hannibal), Dan Bates (Kansas City), Tony Bates ( Kansas City), Christine Bates Greenwood (Center) spouse Joey, Shannon Haycraft (Belleview, Ill.), Stacey Haycraft Chuck ( Chandler, Ariz.) spouse Martin, Scott Haycraft (Hannibal) spouse Coley, Gary Wade (Columbia, Mo), Shari Wade Hamilton, spouse Dale (Hahira, Ga.), Michael Wade (Columbia) and Julie Haycraft (Lawrence, Kan.). He had a total of 24 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. His stepchildren included Johnnie Atkinson (spouse, Peggy) and Shirley Atkinson Fielston from his marriage to Mary Atkinson Haycraft. Peggy Lindsey, spouse George (Akron, Colo.), Judy Hart, spouse Frank (Acworth, Ga.), Randee Senseney, spouse Sam (Marietta, GA) and Tad Green, spouse Ed McBride (Palm Springs, Calif.) are his stepchildren from his marriage to Jean E. Haycraft (marriage Oct. 21, 2006), recently deceased on Dec. 2, 2017. He had a beloved nephew, Don Bentley spouse Gwen (Buchanan, Tenn.).

Earl was the second child of six children. His siblings included: Lucille Haycraft Sanders (deceased), Maggie Haycraft (deceased), Earnest Haycraft (deceased) Donald Haycraft (Little Rock, Ark.) and Willie Haycraft (deceased). The extended family is too large to detail by name.

His friends were his colleagues and numerous business partners across the United States and the far-east. Earl never met a stranger and could speak to anyone about anything. He believed in the power of humor, a driving force in his success in life and business. His favorite pet was his African Grey Parrot named Oscar (a verbose parrot).

Mr. Haycraft served as a corporal in the Army, United States Military. After his military service in Colorado, he resided in Huntington and ultimately in West Memphis, Ark., where he spent most of his life. He was a machinist by trade and an inventor at heart. His inventions included (not limited to) an electric trolling motor for boats in 1947 and the earliest four wheel articulating drive log skidder/tractor in 1958. These inventions were published in Popular Mechanics. Despite his multiple inventions, he only patented one. Earl was limited by an eighth grade education. This did not impede him from becoming a very successful businessman. He truly was one of America’s self-made men.

Earl enjoyed boating and he was an avid fisherman. He enjoyed gardening and his love of farming and cotton were the basis for his success in his businesses. His biggest hobby was his work. He was a Baptist by faith and attended the local Baptist Church in West Memphis, Ark. Earl enjoyed talking to anyone about the Lord and always gave credit to the Lord for his successes. This faith had been fueled by his mother, Effie, and his grandmother, Rosy.

Earl developed his first business “Tri-State Ag Products” in 1970 where he employed over 200 people; then came “Allied Parts” and “Farm Craft Agricultural Products,” followed by his last business project, Kabot America. He did not retire until age 85.

Services with full military honors will be held at Roller-Citizens Funeral Home at 201 Pine, West Memphis, Ark. At 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19. Visitation will be held at prior to the service at 11:30 a.m. The eulogy will be delivered by Don Bentley. Pallbearers will include Don Bentley, Scott Haycraft, Shannon Haycraft, Donald Haycraft Eugene Haycraft, Ernie Haycraft, Chris Haycraft and Brice Haycraft. Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. Interment will occur at Crittendon Memorial Park Cemetery, 2206 US Hwy 64, Marion, Ark. Thank you to the staff of Primacy Care in Memphis, Tenn.