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CAMN - Mary Kathleen Miles DeRusse Obituary Print
Central Arkansas Master Naturalists
Written by Jane Schroeder   

CAMN is saddened to report the passing of one of our valuable and dedicated members Mary Kathleen Miles Derusse.

Mary Kathleen Miles (DeRusse)

Cabot, AR

1948 - 2014

Published: October 26, 2014

Mary Kathleen Miles (DeRusse), of Cabot, passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the age of 66. She remained always a devoted mother, sister, and friend. She will be greatly missed by the many who knew and loved her.
Mary was born in Seminole, Okla., on Feb. 9, 1948, the second of five children of William Harold and Leola Cummings Miles. She moved with her family away from Oklahoma in Jan. 1966, but she never lost her passion for her beloved Oklahoma Sooners. Her proudest accomplishments in life occurred during the next 14 years while she lived in Texas. Her sons, Darryl and Casey Vannoy, were both born in Texas. Darryl has gone on to make his home in Mary's home state of Oklahoma, and Casey proudly calls Arkansas his home. After moving to Arkansas in 1979, Mary was captivated by the natural beauty of her new home and adopted it as her own. She especially enjoyed showing off the state's wonders to family when they came to visit.
While Mary's heart was devoted to the raising of her sons, she also silently exhibited the incredible work ethic that was the other side of her being. She accepted a position with the VA hospital in Little Rock in Jan. 1980, as a teletype operator. She retired in April 2012, as Patient Accounts Manager, overseeing a multimillion dollar budget. Second to her sons, Mary was very devoted to the quality of care to our nation's veterans.
In the last several years of her life, Mary was learning how to enjoy retirement. She had developed an appreciation of photography along with her sister, Nancy. They enjoyed numerous photo safaris together across Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. She also enjoyed the many traveling adventures with her life partner, William Harvey. Prior to her illness, Mary became a Master Naturalist and volunteered as secretary to the Central Arkansas Master Naturalists organization where she also enjoyed teaching special classes for children.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; and brother, Michael Andrew. She is survived by her sons, Darryl and Casey; brother, William Miles Jr., his wife Jackie; and sisters, Nancy Miller and Elizabeth Miles; and two nephews.
The family will have a private service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Arkansas Cancer Society, 901 N. University, Little Rock, Ark. 72203, the Little Rock SPCA, Humane Society of Pulaski County, 14600 Col. Glenn Rd., Little Rock, Ark. 72211, or the Central Arkansas Master Naturalists, home.arkansasmasternaturalists.org.
Arrangements are by Roller-Owens Funeral Home, 5509 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, Ark. 72116 (501-791-7400).
CAMN - Great Arkansas River and Waterways Cleanup Print
Central Arkansas Master Naturalists
Written by Joe Tucker   

Saturday, September 6, 2014, dawned with cooler and drier air than what we have had the past two weeks. An absolutely wonderful day to be outside – and, to help clean up the Arkansas River, waterways, and wetlands.  CAMN choose to pitch in with the effort at the Clark Wetlands in downtown Little Rock between the Witt Stephens Nature Center and the Clinton Library.

Mark Elrod, State Commissioner with Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission, along with Liz Philpot, and Randy Naylor (Director of the Keep North Little Rock Beautiful Commission) with Angie Weaver stopped by to express their appreciation.  CAMN members present, Joe Tucker, photographer and canoe paddler, Susan Leslie, Cathy Porter, Nancy Eddy,  Eleanor Bragg , Margaret Malek, Nita Sheth, Jane Schroeder, Bee Meldahl, Nancy Deckard and Marilyn Vaughn. In all, we gathered seven bags of trash.

We were all pleasantly surprised at how good of shape the wetlands were in.  In the past, many more bags of trash were collected. Even the large trash trap at the influent pipe was not as full as seen in the past. None-the-less, there were many styrofoam cups, boxes, plastic bags, and sadly, hundreds of cigarette butts.   Being down in the wetlands at canoe level brought a new perspective, and smells!  Not as many turtles were spotted, nor were our friendly water snakes making an appearance. We were visited by a young Spotted Sandpiper.

Many thanks to all who participated.

Photographs and article by Joe Tucker


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 09:18

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