Transition: Mary Elizabeth Short (May 8, 1921-July 11, 2017)
Mary Elizabeth “Beth” (Caldwell) Manire Short, aged 96, died peacefully on July 11, 2017 at Brighton Ridge Nursing Home in Eureka Springs, Ark.. Beth was born May 8, 1921 in Henrietta, Texas, the daughter of Frank E. and Zelda Faye (Jones) Caldwell.
Beth had a musical upbringing playing piano, French horn, trumpet, cello, piccolo and Scotch baritone. One of the highlights in her teen years was traveling and playing in the Kelties all girl marching band. She was also active in theater playing the lead in many plays in high school. While attending Oklahoma City University she met the love of her life, Hubert B. Manire whom she married in 1940. They had four children together, Larry, Bryan, Jane and Steve. They settled in Oklahoma City while Hubert had a career in the YMCA but moved to Corpus Christi, Texas in 1957 to continue Y work.
In Corpus Christi Beth developed a life-long interest in performing as a clown named Snookey. She has brought much joy and laughter to many people at parades, hospitals, nursing homes, parties, festivals and the like.
After another move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Y work, Beth and Hubert changed careers and moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas to build KOA campgrounds in Hot Springs and Little Rock. Retiring from successful camping careers, they moved to Rogers, Arkansas where she founded the Arkee Malarkee Clown Alley and was active in the First Methodist Church. After Hubert’s death in 1986, Beth married retired Colonel Harold Short the father of a fellow clown. After Harold’s death in 1996 Beth moved to Eureka Springs to be near her children.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Eureka Springs, Chairman of the Board for several years, an active volunteer for the Eureka Springs Hospital Guild, People Helping People and Help Hospitalized Veterans.
Beth is survived by her four children, her sister Rose Ann (Caldwell) Davis of Hot Springs, AR, nine grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, and Harold’s children Joe, Jewel, Ron and Judy.
A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church of Eureka Springs on July 30, at 2 pm, with reception to follow. Beth’s ashes will be interred aside Hubert’s at Crestview Cemetery, Hot Springs, AR. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent in her name to the church at 195 Huntsville Road, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, 479 253-8987.
Beth requests that, in memory of her, you “laugh long and heartily. Remember that laughter is healing."