Derwood Brett

Derwood Brett, 76, of Mount Ida, AR, passed away on June 16, 2024, in Hot Springs, AR. He was born on August 3, 1947, in Camden, AR, to Eslie and Gladys (Dove) Brett. Derwood was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Marie (Brett) Adams, his brothers Bobby and Tommy; two aunts and uncles, a niece, a nephew, a great-nephew and several cousins.

Mr. Brett graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and later earned his Master of Arts in Journalism/Mass Communications from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He was proud to be the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

His career was marked by significant contributions in the fields of journalism and corporate communications. He published newspapers in Florida, Arkansas, and Louisiana. He served as the Manager of Corporate Communications for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and later as Manager of Clay County Electric Cooperative, serving Clay and Randolph counties in Arkansas and parts of two counties in Missouri.

Mr. Brett was an active member of various professional organizations. He served on the Arkansas Press Association Board of Directors from 1982 to 1990, including a term as Board President in 1989. He was involved with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association from 1992 to 2006 and served as President of the National Generation and Transmission Communicators in 1998.

Derwood was deeply involved in his community. A member of the United Methodist Church, he was active in his local church wherever he lived. He also participated in several Chambers of Commerce and various civic organizations. While living in Mena, he was a member of the steering committee that secured legislative approval for Rich Mountain Community College (now University of Arkansas Rich Mountain) and was appointed by Governor Bill Clinton to the original board, serving two terms as board


He was a graduate of Leadership Arkansas (LeadAR) Class 3 (1986-1989), a rural leadership development program administered by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. He served on the board of the Arkansas Association of Leadership Alumni (AALA) and was involved with the International Leadership Alumni Conference (ILAC).

After retiring in 2006, he moved to Mount Ida, where he dedicated himself to volunteerism. He served as President of the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the “Trail Dogs,” a group of retirees who built and maintain the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT) in Montgomery and Garland counties. He was also involved with the Single Parent Scholarship Fund, serving on both the Montgomery County board and the statewide board. Additionally, he served as President of the board

of Healthy Connections, Inc. from 2011 until April of this year.

He loved the outdoors, spending time on the lake or at the beach. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed hunting.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Frances Anne (West); his children Jason (wife Kelly) and grandson Nicholas; Elliott and granddaughter Thalia; and Ella Brackett (husband Brett), granddaughters Annalyse Miles, Ava Miles and Levi Brackett; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at Joplin United Methodist Church in Mount Ida on July 1, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. Memorials may be made to any of the following, in honor of Derwood’s commitment to

volunteerism and community service:

– Arkansas Newspaper Foundation 501c3, 411 South Victory St, Little Rock, AR


– University of Arkansas Rich Mountain Foundation Scholarship Fund, 1100

College Street, Mena, AR 71953

– Joplin United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 89, Mount Ida, AR


Arrangements are under the direction of Thornton Funeral Home in Mount Ida, AR. Guest register at

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