First Lady Thelma Jean Pickens was born to the parentage of Carrie Sue Smith and Selma Crain on October 18, 1947. She was reared by her loving parents, the late Silas and Carrie Sue Smith Williams where she was loved, taught godly principles and strong family values. She graduated from the A.A. Wilson High School in Malvern, AR with the Class of 1967. She furthered her education by attending and graduating from the Brian’s Business College. First Lady Pickens’ name will be long remembered for ‘Firsts’ in making history holding admirable jobs throughout her career. She retired from Heifer International where she loved speaking with donors from across the world – hoping to end world hunger.
She accepted Christ as her personal Savior and received the gift of the Holy Ghost early in life, at the West End Church of God in Christ in Malvern, AR. Her personality, sense of humor and beautiful smile always lit up the room. First Lady Pickens met the love of her life, Superintendent J. W. Pickens and from this union two beautiful daughters were born. She was a faithful member and First Lady of the Greater Trinity Temple Church of God in Christ family of Ashdown, AR. for over 50 years.
She was predeceased in transition by her parents and a brother, Paul D. Williams of Little Rock, AR. Left to cherish the memories of her life is her husband, Superintendent J. W. Pickens, two daughters, Tamara (Layton) Perry of Celina, Texas, Dietra Pickens of Little Rock, AR; four siblings, Patricia (John) Williams of Arkadelphia, AR, Mary (Supt. John) Oliver of Sparkman, AR, Teresa Lynn Williams and Silas Fitzgerald Williams both of Malvern, AR; a sister-in-law, Angela C. Williams of Little Rock, AR; grandchildren, Madison and Miles Perry, two special aunts, Easter Hill and Ceola (Doug) Casey of Malvern, AR, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, the Jurisdictional Ministers’ Wives Circle, and the Greater Trinity Temple Church of God in Christ family of Ashdown, AR.
Funeral Service Saturday, October 21, 2023 10:00 AM at Mt. Grove Baptist Church 2801 Arkansas Blvd Texarkana, Arkansas with Bishop Junius E. Williams, Prelate and Chief Celebrant. Burial in Chapelwood Memorial Gardens under the direction of Jones Stuart Mortuary.