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William M. ("Bill") Dorough

William M. ("Bill") Dorough

William M. (“Bill”) Dorough, 88, passed away Friday, March 24 of chronic leukemia. He was born January 5, 1929 in Little Rock, to the late W.T. and Jefferson Murphy Dorough. He was also preceded in death by his aunt Nancy Murphy, and sister Jeane Hundley. Growing up on a dairy farm during the Great Depression, he joined 4-H at age nine and won several prizes showing registered Jersey cattle at county, state and national livestock competitions.

He graduated from Fuller High School, attended Arkansas Tech in Russellville for two years, and transferred to the University of Arkansas. He joined the Arkansas National Guard and went on active duty in 1950 with the 936th Field Artillery Battalion and served with the unit in Korea. He returned to the University in 1952, graduating with a BS in Agriculture, focusing on animal science. In 2009, he was named a Graduate of Distinction of the University’s Department of Animal Science.
In 1953, Bill returned to the family farm and developed one of the top registered Jersey herds in the state. In 1968, he and his family were named Pulaski County Farm Family of the Year. In 1976, he sold his dairy herd and started a beef cattle operation, continuing to maintain the farm and herd himself and never retiring from farming.

In 1973, he volunteered as an assistant in the Arkansas State Fair Livestock Department. In 1976, he accepted a full-time position at the State Fair as Livestock Director and Superintendent of Grounds. With assistance from county agents and Vo-Ag teachers throughout the state, he developed a highly successful Junior Livestock program at the State Fair, finding his greatest enjoyment working with 4-H and FFA youth from across Arkansas and working with generations of families participating in livestock shows. He received an honorary membership from the Junior Cattlemen’s Association in 1987. He retired from the State Fair in 1994 but continued as part-time Livestock Director until retiring in 2004. Then in 2006, he returned part-time to assist the Livestock Department. In 2005 he received the Charles R. Smith Memorial Award by the Arkansas Fair Managers Association for outstanding service to the fair industry. In 2008 he was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame.

For decades, he served on several agriculture non-profit boards. He served as a Farmers’ Association Co-op board member for 39 years (with 25 years as President). He served on the Farm Credit Board, Pulaski County Farm Bureau, Farmers Home Administration, Pulaski Conservation District Board, Pulaski County 4-H Foundation Board, and the Pulaski County Extension Advisory Council. He was an officer in the Farm & Ranch Club of Arkansas, receiving their Man of the Year Award in 1980. At the time of his passing, he was Chairman of the Fourche Island Drainage District Board and a director of the Board of Governors of the Arkansas State Fair and the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Foundation Board.

Bill was a lifelong member of Primrose United Methodist Church, which was established in 1867 when his ancestors donated land for the church and cemetery. He has served in numerous official capacities, including Chairman of the Administrative Council, Board of Trustees, and Cemetery Committee. He continually advocated for the congregation and made himself available to serve its needs.

He had a lifelong love of animals, but none more than his horse Genius and his Australian shepherd Tasha, who were his friends and partners at the farm.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Frances Shimek Dorough; daughter Ann Dorough and son-in-law Gregory Uekman of Maryland; nieces Kay Fisher and Nancy McKenzie of Little Rock; cousins Evelyn Elgin of Little Rock, Mary Alice Lomason of Michigan and Becky Donohue of Texas; brother-in-law Paul Shimek II of Florida; nephews Arthur Shimek of Florida and Paul Shimek III of Georgia; great-niece Leslie Santillo of Florida; great-nephews Robert, William and Gregory Fisher of California; and numerous other great-nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be at Ruebel Funeral Home, 6313 W. Markham St., Little Rock on Tuesday, March 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. A funeral service will be at Primrose United Methodist Church on Wednesday, March 29 at 11 a.m., followed by burial in Primrose United Methodist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Primrose United Methodist Church, 3006 W. Dixon Rd., Little Rock, AR 72206.

Condolence Book

"I met Bill during my first year at the State Fair. It was Bill's second year. I've loved him ever since over the 40+ years. I will miss him so very much. But I do have the greatest memories -- some that bring tears to my eyes and some that make me laugh out loud. I have thought for such a long time that Bill and Frances have made the perfect couple. I am so honored and thankful to have had their friendship in my life. "
Karen Haralson | Atkins, AR

"It has been such a blessing knowing Bill for so many years. There is just no way that Bill can ever be replaced. Such a great man! David is truly going to miss Bill as they became such good friends over the last 30 years, at least. There just aren't words to express to you, Frances, how much we loved him and will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with and your family. God Bless."
David & Connie Files | Little Rock, AR

"Mrs. Francis and Ann
My heart was broken yesterday when I heard about Mr.Bill. I never thought when I left work Monday would be my last time to talk to him. I am so sorry."

Deb Crow | Little Rock, AR

"Two weeks ago tonight, we ate catfish with Bill, Frances, Doc, and Debbie at Primrose and Bill entertained us with his stories. Stories about Primrose Church and his family's history with the cemetery, memories of times at the State Fair, among others. How grateful we are for that evening with the Doroughs, and memories of that time. What a blessing to call you our friends. May Bill rest in peace, and may Frances find comfort in the peace which surpasses all understanding. Sending blessings to the family. We love you. "
Mike and Karen Lowery | Maumelle, AR

"Frances, I was so surprised and sad to read, this morning, about the passing of Bill. He was such a fine man and was so well thought of by all who knew him. I appreciated both you and Bill when Calvin died. As you know, I have moved to Hot Springs and no longer drive more than three miles from home. I will not be able to attend his services, but want you to know my thoughts and prayers will be with you. "
Bonnie Ervin | Hot Springs, AR

"Frances, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. All of my life Bill was one of those people who was always there and there was comfort in knowing that. He will be missed. God bless."
Dave & Deanna McDorman LaFevers | Bryant, AR

"Saturday I gave a rabbit seminar to to about 20 youth in Logan County. For my opening comments I most appropriately read Bills write up for the Arkansas Agricultural Hall Of Fame. Then followed up with the statement, I never worked for Bill. We always worked with each over." Whenever I visited with him at his office, he always treated me as if I was the reason he was there. A rare talent for a person that works with so many people.
My wife and I are donating memberships to the American Rabbit Breeders Asc in his honor for everyone that was there. "

Gene & Linda Williams | Paron, AR

"I've known Bill and Frances for many years as I was Ann's best friend at MSM. Through the years we have kept in touch and they have welcomed me in their home on many occasions and treated me as a member of the family. Summer before last, Bill treated my youngest son with a day at the farm. Just a few weeks ago, I stopped by their home for breakfast. Bill was a few minutes late because he was out delivering a calf. He was so hearty and active that I cannot believe that he is gone. He will be so missed. God Bless Frances, Ann and Greg and the rest of the Dorough family.

Tracy Barger DeJong | Rockville, MD

"Our sincere sympathy is extended to you and your family. Bill was a great person and we too shall miss him."
Harold and Charlene Lewis and Family | Carlisle, AR

"Dear Frances, We were stunned when Eddie called to tell us of Bill's passing. We were looking forward to seeing both of you at the reunion. Jim has a great deal of respect for Bill, not only as a fraternity brother but as a man. He represented all of the good values in the definition of a man's man, and Betty certainly concurs. We will miss him as we look for ways to comfort you.
In fondest memory "

Betty and Jim Foreman | Dallas , TX

"I was sorry to hear about Bill's passing. I remember doing weekly Primrose home Bible Studies with Bill and Frances way back when I was still single. I always enjoyed being around him, and especially his sense of humor. I know the folks at Primrose will also miss him greatly.

May God give you his special peace and comfort in the days ahead."

Judy Lockert Adcock | little rock, AR

"Mrs Francis and family. I have had the honor of working with Mr Bill for the past 3 plus years. He has taught me so much about the livestock show and how to run it. Bill loved what he did, he loved all the kids that have come through the fair. As a judge I talked to today who was a good friend of Bills said " Bill wanted it to be fair for everyone". Bill has been a great friend and mentor to me. Mine and Pattie's prayers are with you and Ann. Heaven gained a great one Friday. Sherman"
Sherman Lites | Grapevine, AR


You are in my thoughts and prayers as well as your family. Sending my sympathy and love your way.


Annette Rogers Gary '78 | Little Rock, AR

"When I joined Primrose UMC, Bill welcomed me and
immediately made me feel at home. I am honored to have known him and to be able to call him my friend.
Sandy Reynolds

Sandy Reynolds | Bauxite, AR

"I worked with Bill for many years at the fair and will miss him very much. my and my church family will have you and yours in our prayers. May God bless you."
Carroll Reed | sheridan, AR

"I was saddened to learn of Bill's demise. I haven't seen him in many years, but I remember him well as a hardworking man. Back in the 70's we bought milk from him at the dairy. It was always a pleasant experience. Later,when he ran the Fairgrounds I had some dealings with him in investigating claims. He was always cheerful and business like.

I worked with Frances in the insurance claims field. She was always the consummate professional. Where did all those years go?

Sincere condolences to Frances and the family.

Davy Cro0ckett"

J. Davy Crockett, III | Little Rock, AR

"God doesn't make them any better than Bill Dorough.Well done thou good faithful servant. What a privilege and blessing to have worked next door to him for 8 Years.

Harper Cooper"

Harper Cooper | Arlington , TX

"Ann, I'm so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. His obituary reflected such a strong and loving man. I pray you and your mom will find comfort and peace in the many memories you hold dear. Love you! "
Jan Stafford | North Little Rock, AR

"To Mrs. Dorough and the State Fair family:
We are so saddened at this time, but we feel very certain that Bill and my dad, David McMahon, are enjoying talking cows together and catching up with one another!

Our love to everyone,
Susan McMahon Taylor, Claire, Audrey, Christine & Madeline; Mary Ann McMahon"

Susan McMahon Taylor & daughters | Fort Smith, AR

" My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. He will be missed, but thankful for the 25 years of memories made while working together at the fair. GOD Bless"
Ruth Spiller | Conway, AR

"I knew Bill from Arkansas State Fair days; I did PR and he directed me around all the livestock barns, teaching me the language and showing me who to go to for judging results and who would make good media interviews. He was a prince of a man - kind, thoughtful, a man of integrity. He loved his work and it was obvious that he was respected by all the folks at the Fairgrounds.

I saw Bill a couple of times when he was at UAMS undergoing leukemia treatment (I work at UAMS). He fought this disease with courage. We have lost a good man -- a man of "true grit." My condolences to Bill's family. God bless them as they face the days ahead. "

Brenda Scisson | Little Rock , AR

"Mr. Bill was a wonderful hard working man that was truly one of a kind. His devotion for kids and helping people in need was a Blessing for all to see. He will be greatly missed, but NEVER replaced! May GOD Bless the Dorough's family "
Chuck Lewis | Carlisle, AR

"Super Great Guy! He will be Truly Missed! My heart & prayers go out to the family!"
Debra Dunham | Little Rock, AR

"My condolences to Francis and the family. I was saddened to hear of Bill's passing. I certainly enjoyed working with him at the Arkansas State Fair and appreciate all of his hard work over the years. "
Jodie Pennington | Conway, AR

"I knew Bill for about 40 years during the time he was at the Fair. I worked for him for 25-30 years as Sheep Superintend for the fair. He was one of the finest persons I have ever worked for and with.
My condolences to all his family. He will be missed by people across the state.
I started working for him while I was still employed by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. My daughters showed sheep at the State fair for 15 years and I know they will miss seeing him as much as I will. He was such a great person."

Pete Braker | West Fork , AR

"Bill was one of the finest men I have ever known and always provided me with a hearty laugh. He was a good friend and I will miss him. Blessings to Frances and his family."
Helen Denniston | Sherwood, AR

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