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Preston Harlston, Jr. was born on July 20, 1944, to the late Preston Harlston, Sr., and
Pearl Lee Mansker, in Cotton Plant, AR where he spent his early childhood on his grandparents’ farm.
He gained his wings and transitioned to his heavenly home on July 5, 2023.
The family relocated to Little Rock, AR where Preston attended St. Bartholomew High School and
later attended Shorter College, where he studied Biology.
He enlisted in the United State Army in 1961. His military career began at Fort Chaffee, AR and
spanned the globe from Vietnam, Korea, Paris France, Vicenza, Italy, Germany, and other countries
around the world. Staff Sgt. Harlston received numerous awards for outstanding service, exceptional
duty and honor to this great Nation as a United States Army Solider during his enlistment. Having
served faithfully and honorably for 22 years, retiring on April 27, 1983.
He continued his civil service career and retired from the John H. McClellan Veterans Hospital, where
he was employed as Medical Records Supervisor. He was also a Funeral Director for Ruffin & Jarrett
Funeral Home and Funeral Director Assistant for Kelly Smith Funeral Home in Little Rock, AR.
Preston was strong-willed, but he also had an enormous heart and a wonderful sense of humor. He was
clever and full of knowledge gained through all his life experiences. He will be remembered for all the
love he shared with family and friends. He genuinely loved each of them – and if you knew him, you
knew it. He made an impact on many lives, and he will be forever missed.
He was a principled man of integrity always in search of the teachings of Christ. In his final years, he
deeply contemplated his faith, and he came full circle to his beliefs and recommitted himself to Christ.
Preston united in holy matrimony with Betty Jean Johns on January 1, 1966, and to this union they had
five children: Sterling, Paula, Gregory, Janice, and Anthony. He later united in holy matrimony with
Sherry L. Hilton on May 3, 1998, and was blessed to be a father to Antoni, Lawanna, and Jonathan.
“Ole Folk,” as he was sometimes called by his mom and siblings, was preceded in death by his parents,
grandparents, siblings David Currin, Gladys Pardue and Donald Akins; nephews Eddie Larkin and
Edward Nelson, and his favorite uncles, James Mansker and Redic Harlston, as well as aunts, uncles,
other endeared family members and his chocolate Lab Jonah.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 25 years, Sherry Harlston; his children, Sterling
(Hellen) Harlston, Paula (Darell) Jones, Gregory Harlston, Janice Harlston, Anthony Harlston,
Kimberly Harlston, Bernard (Gail) Jackson, Antoni Smith, Lawanna (Roshawn) Harris and Jonathan
Phillips. Twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren. The oldest of nine, he is also survived by
his siblings, Emmitt Currin, Sr., Minister Douglas (Pauline) Akins, Isaac (Beverly) Akins, Sr., Barbara
Brown-Smith, and Pamela (Michael) Stewart. He is also leaves to cherish his memory, a host of nieces,
For more information, sign online guest register, send flowers/cards/condolences/photos and light an "In Loving Memory" candle WWWKELLYSMITHFUNERALS.COM
Services are scheduled as follows:
Visitation: 10:00 am Saturday * Family Hour: 11:00am Saturday * Funeral 12:00noon Saturday. All services will be on July 15th, at the Bountiful Blessings World Fellowship Church * 4424 West 30th in Little Rock.
*****INTERMENT: 11:00 AM TUESDAY JULY 17TH*****
MASKS ARE NOT REQUIRED, BUT ARE SUGGESTED.
*** SPECIAL NOTES ***
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