Cover photo for Kathy Vining DeLone's Obituary
Kathy Vining DeLone Profile Photo

Kathy Vining DeLone

October 18, 1952 — June 4, 2024

Little Rock

Kathy Vining DeLone

Kathy Vining DeLone, 71, a beloved resident of Little Rock, passed away on June 4, 2024 after a nearly 10 year battle with Lewy Body Dementia, a condition related to Parkinson’s Disease. 

 

She was born on October 18, 1952 to Donald Vining Sr and Peggy Caudle Vining in Lake Village, AR. She was the second of five children and moved to Little Rock at age 5. She eventually attended Little Rock Central High School, class of 1970. She was an avid student, a varsity and junior varsity cheerleader, a Y-teen state office holder, and a Girls State Representative.

 

Kathy went on to study at Ouachita Baptist University with a presidential scholarship, and graduated cum laude in the class of 1974. Her time at Ouachita was filled with activities such as being a member of the inaugural pledge class of the Chi Delta women’s social club, captain of the cheerleaders, and a secretary of the Association of Women Students. She also was elected sweetheart of the Rho Sigma men’s social club and selected to be on the homecoming court. She graduated with a bachelors of science in education with emphasis in early childhood and physical education, which would set her up for her lifetime focus of benefitting and supporting children. 

 

During college, Kathy participated in pageants across the central Arkansas area. She was awarded the title of Miss Little Rock in 1971 and Miss Jacksonville in 1973, and competed in Miss Arkansas both years where she was a preliminary winner. She loved supporting women and being on stage, and this developed her longtime support of the Miss Arkansas Organization. To many young women, she was a coach and mentor, also judging and emceeing many local pageants. She would later win the title of Mrs. Arkansas in 1989, representing the state in Las Vegas in Mrs. America. In 2012, Kathy was honored to be inducted into the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation Hall of Fame. 

 

Kathy’s career started with teaching 4th grade in the Little Rock School District and physical education at Pulaski Academy. She then transitioned to nonprofit work, becoming the executive director of the American Cancer Society in Pulaski County. She was recruited to pioneer the statewide business development field as vice president of FirstSouth Saving and Loans. One of her most notable roles was directing public relations and marketing for Coleman Dairy for 15 years. Producing and appearing on their tv commercials with her daughter, Natalie, was her dream job. She is still affectionately known today as the “Coleman Dairy Lady”.

 

She went on to work in the Department of Higher Education as their communications manager and events coordinator. Following this, she worked with the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and Tourism promoting Little Rock as a destination. In 2008, she began developing the Arkansas branch as executive director for the nonprofit Reach Out and Read, which provided books to children at their well-child doctor visits. Throughout her time there, she increased the ROR presence in the state by 250%. Kathy ended her career working as the marketing director for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. She was an avid sports fan, cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks and OBU Tigers any chance she got.

 

Kathy met her husband Herb DeLone and married in 1994, gaining a daughter, Melody. The couple welcomed another daughter, Natalie, a year later. 

 

Kathy was very involved in the American Mothers Association throughout the years. She served as the Arkansas Young Mother of the Year in 1997, traveling the country to mentor, support, educate, and honor mothers.

 

Kathy made her commitment to Christ at an early age and lived her life as an example of the Christian faith, sharing her love for Jesus with everyone. She was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church for all her years in Little Rock. She was very active at Immanuel, teaching music and children’s missions. The ladies in her Sunday School Class held a special place in her heart and supported her throughout her illness.

 

Her love of people, networking skills, and a strong desire to help others was unmatched. This allowed her to never meet a stranger and stand out in any crowd. She was known and loved by many. She had a way with words and used this gift throughout her entire life to give back to her community. Her life motto was “Don’t be a go-getter, be a go-giver.”

 

Kathy loved poetry, puns, animals, ice cream, the beach, and most of all her family. She is survived by her father Don Vining, daughters Melody DeLone and Natalie DeLone Melvin (Brock), sisters Suzanne Kunkel, Vicky Crawley (Ronny), Cheri Hayes, brother Donny Vining, and many nieces and nephews whom she loved. 


A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, June 12, 2024 beginning at 1:00 PM at Immanuel Baptist Church, 501 N Shackleford Rd, Little Rock, AR 72211, with visitation to follow. 

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the UAMS Movement Disorders Clinic at  bit.ly/uamsMDC or Immanuel Baptist Church at https://www.ibclr.org/give

 

Arrangements entrusted to Smith Little Rock Funeral Home.

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