Martha Louise Higginbotham Pelton, 84, of Hamburg was born January 22, 1936, and appropriately passed on to Heaven at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, November 8, 2020.
Known to all as “Louise,” she attended Hamburg High School and, after graduating, attended Cosmetology school in Little Rock. She worked as a Cosmetologist in Little Rock for 18 years. In that time, she married Tommy Peebles and had a daughter, Kimberly “Kim,” on November 25, 1957. Tommy and Louise were estranged in 1970.
She met Larry Pelton in 1974, and they were married on May 9, 1976 after Kim’s graduation. Louise and Kim then moved to Memphis. She opened a Beauty shop, House of Venus, in Memphis, which she operated for three years. She then began building electronic equipment on the kitchen table at night that was designed by her husband, Larry. Being a People Person, her only complaint was that “those things won’t talk to me.” As the business progressed, she started hiring and training assembly people. She designed the assembly systems and procedures as necessary and after she had more than a hundred people trained, she wanted “to be fired so I can do other things” that interested her. She was so obliged.
Louise was born and raised in a family of devout Christians and was Born Again at an early age. She was one of nine siblings. She boldly and eagerly told all that she met about Jesus and the Love of God throughout her life. She led many, including her husband, Larry, to Jesus. The Lord blessed her and Larry in many absolutely miraculous ways throughout her life and allowed them to be helpful to, and sometimes instrumental in, establishing Church and Ministries in the United States and Mexico.
Her favorite memory is when the Lord actually spoke to her. She had designed a home on Walnut Grove Lake in Cordova, Tennessee. The home was started in a time when interest rates were reasonable with a provision that the construction loan would become the final mortgage in one year. When the year was almost up, the interest rate had soared to 19%, making the house seemingly totally unaffordable. Louise was washing the windows on the house in order to reduce expenses as much as possible. She was tearfully praying and washing when the Lord spoke to her directly for the only time in her life. He said, “This is My house for My ministry and I will make it so. Be not troubled child”. She was so excited, she called Larry home to share the experience. Exactly as promised, the funds became available to completely pay for the house within a week – the time the house would have been taken by the bank. The house became the gathering place for the youth ministry of the Church and other Church functions. There were many times the Lord used the home for His purposes, including Bible studies followed by pool parties in the dead of winter under a plastic air dome. She would tell of this and other miracles when giving her testimony to others.
The thing that Louise most enjoyed was gardening. She created beautiful gardens wherever she lived, including Pelton Place B&B and Restaurant, lush, tropical gardens in Mexico and a domed greenhouse in Eudora that produced bananas, tropical fruit and vegetables year-round. She would say that her ambition was “to be a #1 Master Gardener in service to the Lord in Heaven”.
Louise was a prolific artist as she had the genius of thinking in three-dimensional pictures. She always prided herself as having “Good Common Sense.” She created paintings, murals, artistic exterior features such as Grecian columns, stone walls with waterfalls, stone and concrete garden enhancements and concrete statuary. She enhanced interiors with huge murals, paintings and unique furnishings. She designed and created her multiple homes and gardens in Memphis, Panama City Beach, the Florida Keys, the “Pelton Place” bed and breakfast mansion in Cherokee Village, Arkansas, the mountains near Guadalajara, Mexico, on the ocean in Banderas Bay near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Eudora and Hamburg.
She will always be Loved and remembered as a loving Mother, Wife, Soul Mate, and child of God.
She had a very young grandson, Zach Wilkerson of Waterford, Mississippi; her parents, Gaston & Janie Venters Higginbotham; three brothers, Lavon “Slick” Higginbotham, Ralph “Pete” Higginbotham and Frank “Bunk” Higginbotham all of Hamburg, who preceded her to their “Father’s house of Many Mansions.”
She is survived by her beloved husband of 44 years, Larry Pelton of Hamburg; her daughter, Kim Wilkerson and husband, Shorty, of Waterford, Mississippi; her step-daughter, Lauri Phillips and husband, Brad, of Phoenix, Arizona; her step-son, Larry Pelton, Jr., of Germantown, Tennessee; three grandchildren, Rachel Billingsby of Waterford, Mississippi, Brittany Phillips and Bonnie Phillips, both of Phoenix, Arizona; three great-grandchildren, Kilee, Stevie and Booker all of Waterford, Mississippi; two brothers, James Higginbotham and wife, Bobbie, and Norman Higginbotham and wife, Merlyn, all of Hamburg; three sisters, Annie Jo Smith of Crossett, Betty Eubanks and Margaret Riley both of Hamburg.
Funeral services are 2 p.m., Friday, November 13, 2020 at the Promise Land Cemetery Pavilion with Rev. Steve Haney, Rev. Steve Jacks and Rev. Bob Hendrick officiating. Burial will be in the Promise Land Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers are Keith Gifford, Frank Higginbotham, Harold Glenn Smith, Brad Phillips, Ervin White, Jr., and David Streeter. Memorials may be made to the Promise Land Cemetery Association, c/o Lindsey Brooks, 427 Ashley Road 70, Hamburg, AR 71646.
Mr. Larry has requested that everyone that attends the funeral must wear a mask or face covering. .
Visitation will be 1:45 – 2 p.m., Friday at the cemetery.
Please visit the Tribute Wall to leave a message, share a memory or send your condolences to the family.
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