Cover photo for Mildred Irene Temple's Obituary
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Mildred Irene Temple

September 5, 1925 — April 16, 2023

Little Rock

Mildred Irene Temple

The sweet life of Milly Temple, 97 years old, ended peacefully in her home on April 15, 2023. Born on September 5, 1925, to John and Lee Ross Cotten, she was the youngest of four children.

Her parents and her siblings, Lavada Smith, Opal Murphy, and Bill Cotten, all preceded her in death, as did her beloved husband of 64 years, John Temple, and her adored grandson, Matt Cornett. She is survived by her children, Becky Cornett (Jack), Greg Temple (Deborah), and Mark Temple (Dorene). Seven grandchildren survive their Granny. They are Laura Ashley Day, Brian Cornett, Sarah Beth Smart, Danielle Barker, Mary Kathryn Nelson, Elise Temple, and Victoria Broll.

She is also survived by ten precious great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Milly loved to tell stories about her childhood adventures and recorded these in her memoir. The daughter of a farmer during the depression years, she and her family often moved between Arkansas, Oklahoma, and west Texas, following the crops and fruit harvests. Her memoir is full of stories about country life during the depression.

One spellbinding story was of the day that she and her brother were crossing a dry creek on their way home from school near Quitaque, in the Cap Rock Canyon area of west Texas. A sudden thunderstorm up on the Cap sent torrents of water rushing down the creek bed, as Billy and Milly scrambled up the side of the bank to cling to rocks.

Their future brother in law, Glen Smith, rode by on his horse and threw down ropes to pull them to safety. In 1938 the family moved to Wickes, AR. The Cotten farmhouse is still in the family. Milly loved to visit there all her life.

Following high school graduation in Wickes, Milly moved to Gainesville, Texas to work at the National Bank. During a bus trip back home, she sat next to Johnny, who was stationed in Wichita Falls, Texas, and was going home to visit his family. By the time that Greyhound reached Texarkana and they went their separate ways, love had bloomed. They married a few months later. After several years living in his hometown of England, AR. they purchased the Camden Laundermatic in Camden, AR, which Milly ran while Johnny worked at the Naval Ammunition Depot.

In 1961, the family moved to Little Rock, when Johnny took a job with the Corp of Engineers, during the construction of the lock and dam system. They bought a house on Lee Ave. and Milly worked in the dietary department at UAMS. Later she worked at the V.A. and then for Social Security, making many dear friends during these years. She said she found her “true calling” after her 70th birthday, when she worked with Toddlers at Pulaski Heights Baptist Dayschool, and later at First Christian Preschool.

Milly’s hands were never idle. Her grandchildren received handmade quilts, tooth pillows, and clothes, all stitched with love. She enjoyed traveling with family and friends. Milly and her daughter had the trip of a lifetime in 1996, when they went to Cornwall to hike the coastal path and visit sites from Daphne du Maurier novels. She loved her church, Pulaski Heights Baptist, and was known for her letters to friends and secret pals, decorated with pretty pictures cut from magazines.

Later in life, Milly had Ataxia and was confined to a wheelchair for over fifteen years. She suffered this affliction with great dignity and remained upbeat, smiling, and as independent as possible for her remaining years. Truly an inspiration!

There will be a visitation for family and friends in the parlor of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church on Thursday, April 20th from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Private burial will be at Mulberry Cemetery in England, AR. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, Ar. 72205 or the National Ataxia Foundation at

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Past Services


Thursday, April 20, 2023

5:00 - 6:30pm (Central time)

Pulaski Heights Baptist Church

2200 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock, AR 72205

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