We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Kelly Smith Funeral & Cremation Services LLC.
(WATCH THE 12 MINUTE VIDEO BELOW, OF MR. TWILLIE)
Manuel Arnil Twillie, Sr., age 86, passed on Monday May 23, 2022 at his home in Little
Rock, AR. He was the fourth child (only a few minutes behind his twin brother Mansell) of the
late Allen and Hula Gilliam Twillie.
He was born on Dec. 24, 1935 in Colt, AR. Manuel Twillie was born into a family of farmers. He, along with his nine brothers and sisters, worked the family farm. He would often say that he was plowing the field and picking cotton by the time he was six years old. This was hard work that he and his family took pride in despite the difficulty of the era for African-Americans.
He and his brothers were natural athletes and Manuel played many sports, but he excelled at football. His natural leadership and athletic abilities led him to a stellar coaching and administrative career.
He confessed his commitment to Christ at an early age and for 58 years he was a member of Bullock Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church where he served as a member of the Steward Board, Superintendent of Sunday School, the Board of Trustees, and taught Bible Study and Sunday School for 50 years. He was active in the CME church at the local, district and national level.
He lived his Biblical principles as a tither, and a religious giver to a variety of organizations, including World Vision, Covenant House, Saint Jude, and March of Dimes. He distinguished himself as a volunteer in all aspects of church life.
After graduating from Lincoln High School, Forrest City, AR in 1955, he went on to attend
Philander Smith College, Little Rock, AR on a football scholarship where he received his
Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education.
His first job was as a coach and teacher at Tollette High School in Tollette, AR. During that time, he was drafted and stationed in Germany and served in the army for 2 years. Upon his return from service he renewed his career as a coach and teacher at Foster High School, Louisville, AR. And then went on to teach and coach in Pulaski County Public Schools.
He continued his education by matriculating at University of Central Arkansas where he received his Masters of Science in Education and School Administration and pursued additional coursework, completing his Ed.S from University of AR at Fayetteville. He ultimately started his administrative career a Fuller Middle School as an assistant principal but quickly became principal at Pulaski East in Sweet Home, AR. He then served as principal for 16 years at North Pulaski High School in Jacksonville, AR where he was by all accounts a fair, thoughtful, strategic, creative, and extraordinary administrator who was beloved by students and teachers alike.
He impacted thousands of students throughout his 40-year career as a coach and administrator. He was known to say often that we all owe each other our best efforts encapsulated in one of his favorite sayings, “plow to the end of your row.” And he always admonished his children to be “worth more than they were paid.”
Upon his retirement in 1992 he was able to travel the world with his wife. They had a goal of traveling to every continent and they achieved that goal, even making it to Antarctica.
He was proceeded in death by 5 siblings.
He leaves to mourn his passing: his wife of 62
years, Gwendolyn Brown Twillie, Ph.D., 3 children: David Twillie (Joy), M.D., of
Goodlettsville, TN, Carmen Twillie Ambar of Oberlin, OH, J.D., and Manuel Twillie (Christie),
Jr., M.S. of Chicago, IL. 6 grandchildren: Marisha Twillie, Joshua Twillie, Alassane Twillie, and
triplet grandchildren Gabrielle, Luke, and Daniel Ambar. 4 siblings: Delores Twillie Woods,
Colt AR; Rev. Lafayette Twillie (Serilla), Caldwell, AR; Lawyer Twillie, Sr. San Diego, CA;
Barbaranette Twillie Bolden (Rodney), Brandywine, MD.; and a host of nieces, nephews,
cousins and friends.
The memorial service will be held in Little Rock, AR from 3:00-4:15 on Saturday June 11 at Bullock Temple CME Church 1518 South Park Street Little Rock (across from Little Rock Central High School), with the repass being held from 4:30-6:00 at a nearby venue.
In lieu of flowers the family request that you donate to World Vision, Covenant House, Saint Jude, or March of Dimes in honor of Manuel Twillie’s life.
KELLY SMITH FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES 8424 KANIS ROAD * 501-612-5607, will be serving the Twillie families. For more information, sign online guest register, send cards/condolences/photos and light an "In loving Memory of" candle www.kellysmithfunerals.com
Hello Friends and Family:
As many of you now know, on Monday 23 May 2022 our father, Manuel A. Twillie Sr. went to be with
the Lord. Our family wanted to have a moment to celebrate his life with all of you. We are planning a
memorial service and repast on 11 June 2022 at 3:00 PM Central Time at Bullock Temple CME Church
in Little Rock, AR. If you would like to participate, you are invited to select any or all of the following
1) Leave a message on the online memorial wall at
2) Attend the memorial service or stream it virtually ( https://www.btclr.org/watchonline )
3) Create and upload a short video memory of Mr. Twillie to the cloud. (We may play some of
videos during the day).
Video Message Tips if you select option #3:
Subject: “What I remember about Mr. Manuel Twillie...”
Length: A short video of just 1-2 minutes
How: Record the video on your cellphone
Delivery method: Upload: (Link below) or email: email@example.com
Deadline: June 5, 2022 by midnight
Just some advice to boost the video quality of the message you are about to record:
1. We recommend you use the REAR camera on your phone if possible. (Someone else may need
to film you. Avoid using a laptop camera)
2. Set your phone to record on the highest possible resolution or quality. (720p will work but
1080p or 4K is better but don’t stress over it)
3. Shoot your video in LANDSCAPE mode (holding the camera HORIZONTALLY, not vertically)
4. Give your file a unique name or title. Include your name with the correct spelling. [For
example: Michael Jones_message.mp4]
5. Once complete, please upload your file here:
6. You can also email your video to firstname.lastname@example.org
7. We may use a few of these at some point during the day, but the family will see them all.
We so appreciate everyone’s prayers and condolences. We are honored to share this memorial time with
all of you.
*** HEALTH NOTICE ***
COVID19 SAFE PROTOCOL WILL BE OBSERVED. MASK MUST BE WORN AT ALL EVENTS, AND TO BE WORN COVERING NOSE AND MOUTH, HANDS TO BE SANITIZED UPON ENTRY!!
*** SPECIAL NOTES ***
Click on the "SERVICE DETAILS" button to get updated time and location information. (The Wake, family hour and gathering of family and friends CAN mean all the same in some circumstances, PLEASE read "SERVICE DETAILS" to be correctly informed)
Click on the "TRIBUTE WALL or GUEST BOOK" button to LIGHT A CANDLE and to see all photos, click on a photo to enlarge them. Then click the L or R to see all photos.
Click on "FLOWERS & GIFTS" button SO THAT YOU CAN SEND FLOWERS/CARDS/BLANKETS/GIFTS.
WE WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO CONTINUE TO LIGHT A CANDLE ON THIS MEMORIAL PAGE THROUGHOUT THE DAYS, MONTHS AND YEARS TO COME. ESPECIALLY, DURING DAYS OF SPECIAL EVENTS, i.e. BIRTHDAYS, HOLIDAYS, ANNIVERSARY AND THEN ON DAYS WHEN YOU JUST WANT TO SAY SOMETHING TO OR ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES FOR NO SPECIAL REASON.
YOU CAN ALSO SEND PERSONAL MESSAGES, AND UPLOAD PHOTOS ANYTIME. YOU CAN ALSO UPLOAD PHOTOS/VIDEOS OR LIGHT AN "IN LOVING MEMORY OF" CANDLE (DESIGN AND COLORS CAN BE CHANGED) FROM THIS, MEMORIAL PAGE.
THIS MEMORIAL PAGE WILL REMAIN ON OUR WEBSITE INDEFINITELY. DO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND PHOTOS WITH THE FAMILY, THEY WILL APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH.
(We would also appreciate it if you will RATE us, on GOOGLE)