Alderman Paul Muse’s nameplate was in front of his empty chair at last week’s city council meeting, but many of his friends were in the audience. Mark Baugh and Sheldon Woodson played cards with him each week. They also served as pallbearers at his funeral. Muse passed away May 11.
“He loved representing this city, and it was a large part of his life,” Baugh said.
Muse would emcee events in the area, everything from beauty pageants, to haunted houses to the Cardboard Boat Races.
“He was a great civic person, who gave service, service, service, always with a smile and upbeat,” said Sharon Williams, alderman.
He also served on the Heber Springs Fire Department and the Search and Rescue Team.
“I leaned on Paul a lot because he was a prior mayor and city council person. We didn’t always agree on everything, but we were friends,” said Mayor Jimmy Clark of Heber Springs.
Muse had also served as Cleburne County Clerk, as well as many other capacities in and around the area. He was noted for studying the items on the agenda ahead of time and standing up for public transparency.
“Mr. Muse was always well informed and he did his homework and we looked up to him for that,” said Kacey Griffin, alderman.
When he travelled, Muse would see someone with a military patch or hat on and strike up a conversation. Within minutes he’d know where they served, what branch, and how long. He always ended these conversations by thanking his fellow veterans. Muse enlisted in the Marines after high school and earned the rank of staff sergeant.
“Paul was a longtime part of this community, not just working and living here, but actually a fabric part of this community. He will be missed,” said Louis Short, alderman.
Muse managed Mullens Hardware in Heber Springs for 22 years. Wherever there was a need in the community, Muse was known for volunteering and helping out.
“I believe Heber Springs is a better place because of him,” said Ali Sugg, alderman.
“He was passionate about Heber Springs and had a servants’ heart,” said Melissa Choate, alderman.
Born on March 28, 1953 in Fisher, Arkansas, he was the son of Mildred Cook Muse and the late Cecil Muse. Paul was a loving son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather. He had a special love for his family and his grandsons. He had a love for animals and would frequently help to take care of stray animals in need. He enjoyed playing Poker and Bowling where he had recently bowled a 300 game.
He was preceded in death by his father, and his mother-in-law Wanda Finney.
He is survived by his wife Becky Muse, his mother Mildred Muse of Heber Springs, his daughter Tabbitha Boyd and her husband Curtis of Quitman, his grandchildren Colby Boyd and Corey Boyd of Quitman, his sisters Marilyn Belthuis of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Annette Oberhuei and her husband Bryan of Waterloo, Iowa, and Justine Jones of Waterloo, Iowa, his brother Scott Muse and his wife Elizabeth of Heber Springs, his sister-in-law Angel Gauvey of Heber Springs. He is also survived by his many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.
Visitation was held on Saturday, May 15, prior to the service at Olmstead Funeral Home with Simon Everett officiating. Interment with military honors will follow in Martin Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Mark Baugh, Sheldon Woodson, Stacy Dolan, Robert Dunaway, Curtis Boyd, Ben Muse, Colby Boyd, Corey Boyd, Michael Magnuson, Les Smith, Chad Evans, Matt Cameron and Jaro Finney.
Memorial donations may be made in Paul Muse’s name to Eagle Bank and Trust in Heber Springs.