Carl Brook McSpadden passed away May 9, 2018

Carl Brook McSpadden, 77, of Heber Springs died May 9, 2018. He was born December 3, 1940, in Cotter, Ark., to Oran Brook and Bernice Bridges McSpadden. He grew up in Batesville playing baseball and hunting ducks, graduating high school with the Class of 1958. He attended Arkansas College and Hendrix College and went on to graduate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1964. He served three years active duty in the U.S. Air Force as legal officer, and it was at Wheelus Air Force Base in Tripoli, Libya, where he met Liesel Ohlendorf. April 15, 1967, was the start of their 43-year marriage. 

Carl served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Cleburne and Van Buren counties before being elected Chancery Judge for the 18th District of Arkansas. He served three terms in the 18th and 16th districts from 1975 to 1992.

The Methodist church was central to Carl’s life. His Sunday School class’s Christmas parties for needy kids were a riot, and he enjoyed hamming it up onstage at events honoring the church’s senior members. When not there, he could be found on the golf course with a group known affectionately as the Thundering Herd, or fishing and playing cards with his daughters. In later years, he was Liesel’s tireless caregiver and delighted in taking grandson Luke out to drive the golf cart.

Carl was predeceased by his parents, his wife, and a sister, Doris Thornton. He is survived by daughter Karen McSpadden and grandson Luke Faupel of Fayetteville; daughter Julie McSpadden and son-in-law Patrick Stair of North Little Rock; and sister Kay Wilson and brother-in-law Dr. Jack Wilson of Mountain Home.


Carl mused recently that he’d had a good life, there was nothing left on his bucket list, and when his “number was called” he was ready to go. The family thanks everyone at CHI St. Vincent Infirmary for their compassionate care in his final hours.

Visitation is 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 17 at Olmstead Funeral Home in Heber Springs. The funeral is 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 18 at First United Methodist Church in Heber Springs. Memorials may be made to the Cleburne County Aging Program, P.O. Box 831, Heber Springs, AR 72543 or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by Olmstead Funeral Home.