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Vicki Jo Babbit

Dec. 27, 1942

April 9, 2018

Vicki Jo Babbitt, 75, of Pineville, Mo., died April 9, 2018, in the comfort of her home after months of declining health.

She was born Dec. 27, 1942, in St. Louis, Mo., to Victor Lee and Billi Jo (Houser) Rhine. She was raised in Pineville and was a 1960 graduate of Anderson High School. She taught school in Kansas City. She married Ross Babbit on Dec. 25, 1975, and eventually, they moved back to Pineville to assume roles in the family business, McDonald County Telephone. She was a member of Pineville Christian Church and enjoyed traveling, fishing, deer hunting and scuba diving.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include her husband of 42 years, Ross Babbitt of the home; two children, Aaron Gent (Liz) and Ruth Roessler (Chris), all of Pineville; and nine grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, April 13, 2018, at the Pineville Christian Church with Pastor Gary Graham officiating. Burial will follow in the Pineville Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Thursday evening from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Anderson Chapel of the Ozark Funeral Homes.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are being directed to the Vicki Jo Babbitt Charitable Contribution Fund c/o the funeral home.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Ozark Funeral Home of Anderson, Mo., is in charge of arrangements.

Norma Jane Blecha

Nov. 21, 1927

April 8, 2018

Norma Jane "Nan" Blecha, 90, of Southwest City, Mo., died Sunday, April 8, 2018, at Integris Grove Hospital in Grove, Okla., after a recent decline in health.

She was born Nov. 21, 1927, in rural Delaware County Oklahoma to Eual Clay and Susan Marie (Perry) Smith. She was a 1945 graduate of Southwest City High School. On July 29, 1948, she married Carson Cody Bleca in Joplin, Mo. She helped in the operation of the family farm and was a member of the Southwest City United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 57 years, Carson Blecha; and a brother, Bud Smith.

Survivors include two sons, Mike Blecha (Pam) of Grove and Kevin Blecha (Vicki) of Anderson, Mo.; two grandchildren; a brother, James Smith (Molly) of Joplin, Mo.; a sister, Joan Harnar of Seneca, Mo.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the United Methodist Church in Southwest City, with Pastors Mark Kailbourn and Pam Jackson officiating. Burial will follow in the Southwest City Cemetery.

Memorials are being directed to the Southwest City Cemetery Fund c/o the funeral home.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Ozark Funeral Home in Southwest City is in charge of arrangements.

Ollidean Edwards

Feb. 15, 1925

April 7, 2018

Ollidean Edwards, 93, of Pineville, Mo., died Saturday, April 7, 2018, at the McDonald County Nursing Center in Anderson, Mo.

She was born Feb. 15, 1925, in the Erie Community near Goodman, Mo., to Hice and Nora (Ford) Coffee. She married Reece Edwards on April 27, 1946. She attended the Valley View Church in Pineville. She enjoyed quilt making and pie baking and generously donated pies to several fundraisers and was proud at how much money was bid on them.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Reece Edwards; a daughter, Carolyss Alton; a grandson, Ernie Fuqua; siblings, Earl, Harvey, Price, Truman, Ralph, Lloyd, Fred, Maude, Vaude, Lillian and Velma.

Survivors include two daughters, Carolyn Sadberry of Oklahoma, Gayla Baker of Jane, Mo.; and 11 grandchildren.

Graveside funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the Dug Hill Cemetery in Bella Vista, Ark. The Reverend Scott Leonard will officiate.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Ozark Funeral Home of Anderson is in charge of arrangements.

Ray Lindsey Epps

Dec. 16, 1938

April 8, 2018

Ray Lindsey Epps, 79, of Rogers, Ark. died April 8, 2018, at Circle of Life Hospice in Bentonville, Ark.

He was born Dec. 16,1938, in Rogers to Lenza Orbin Epps and Elvenia V. Weiser Epps. He was a Navy veteran serving in Norfolk, Va. He worked as a machinist for CTS in Rogers and married Glenna Faye Patterson July 3, 1981. He enjoyed work on the farm, deer hunting and fishing.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his wife, Glenna Epps of the home; two sons, Mike Epps (Marylou) of Jacksonville, Fla., Stan Epps of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; two daughters, Nancy Rouse (Andy) of Milledgeville, Ga., Carol Stkles (Steve) of Odom, Ga.; a brother, Clyde Epps of Rogers; and 15 grandchildren.

Graveside service is set for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at Roller Cemetery in Missouri.

Online condolences may be made at

Sisco Funeral Home of Pea Ridge, Ark., is in charge of arrangements.

Richard Dale Humphrey

Sept. 20, 1935

April 7, 2018

Richard Dale Humphrey passed away April 7, 2018, at the age of 82.

Richard, or Dick as he was known to family and friends, was born September 20, 1935, in Joplin, Missouri.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, E.O. and Virginia Humphrey; granddaughter, Erin Leslie Hook; and five siblings, Bill, Bob, Don, Jeanne and Mary Lynn.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joan; and three children, Robin Hook (Ron), Bruce Humphrey (Karen) of St. Joseph and Doug Humphrey of Joplin; six grandchildren, Ryan (Sydni) Hook, Jacob Humphrey of St. Joseph, Steph Humphrey of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Brittany Haning of Nashville, Tennessee, Dalton Humphrey and Richard "Drake" Humphrey of Pittsburg, Kansas; four great-grandchildren, Erin Quinn and Sam Hook soon to be joined by sister Claire, Julian Haning, and one sibling, a brother, Ross Humphrey, of Joplin.

Dick was a member of the King Hill Christian Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. Previously, he had been a member of the Carterville Christian Church in Carterville, Missouri, and the Bella Vista Community Church in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Dick had also been a member of the Rotary Club and Elks Lodge in Joplin.

Dick graduated from Joplin High School in 1953 where he was a three-sport athlete lettering in football, basketball, and tennis. He was the student council Vice President, attended Boy's State and was voted "Most Pleasing Personality." He attended Joplin Junior College where he continued to excel with his exceptional athletic ability as quarterback of the football team and played guard for the basketball team in which he was selected to the All-Star Team. Next, he served two years with the 86th Infantry in Germany. During his enlistment, he also played quarterback for the undefeated Army football team. After completing his service to his country, Dick attended the University of Missouri as a punter for the Tigers. He obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Kansas State College (Pittsburg State University) in the areas of Secondary Education and Administration. His post graduate work, PhD, was initiated at the University of Illinois in the area of Recreation Administration.

Dick married Joan Wingate July 31, 1959, at Forest Park Baptist Church in Joplin, Missouri. He was employed as the Joplin Eagles Nest Youth Central Director before accepting a position at Rocky Comfort School District as the Head Basketball Coach and World History Teacher for one year. He returned to Joplin to fill the position of Executive Director of the Joplin Department of Parks and Recreation for the next six and a half years. After his stint as a graduate assistant and Director of the Champaign County Rehabilitation Center in Champaign, Illinois, he brought his family of five home to Joplin to Missouri Southern State College. He spent one year as a basketball assistant coach and Director of Student Financial Aid before assuming the position of Director of Admissions where he spent the remainder of his professional career before retiring and moving to Bella Vista, Arkansas, with Joan. Dick was very proud of his children but his pride and joy were his grandchildren. He was known to drive many miles to attend countless sporting events as well as watch practice for whatever sport they were participating in. Grandpa was always their biggest fan and loved them completely. He enjoyed fishing, collecting coins, date nails, and antique model cars.

Services for Richard Dale Humphrey will be Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at Rupp Funeral Home in St. Joseph, Missouri. Visitation is scheduled at noon with the funeral service following at 1 p.m.. A reception will follow at King Hill Christian Church. The Reverend Gene Weece of Trenton, Missouri, formerly of Carterville Christian Church, will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, Dick requested donations be made to The Purpose Garden in honor of his granddaughter, Erin Hook.

Online condolences at A celebration of life memorial service in the Joplin, Missouri, area will be announced at a later date by family. The Humphrey and Hook family want to remind everyone to always, "LIVE WITH A PURPOSE."


Kyle Anthony McDowell Rutherford

June 29, 2004

April 7, 2018

Kyle Anthony McDowell Rutherford, 13, died April 7, 2018.

He was born June 29, 2004, in Rincon, Ga. He attended school at Southwest City, Jay Schools and The Academy in Grove this year. He was a member of the Grove Fishing Team, FLW, and Bass Nation. He enjoyed the family farm and freedom of the outdoors in fishing, hunting and camping.

Survivors include his parents, Tony Rutherford and Misty McDowell; his sister, Blaike Rutherford; brother, Bryce Rutherford; grandma, Diane Rutherford; grandparents, Cindy and Roy Lovitt; and grandpa, Stephen McDowell.

Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2018, at Lawson's Funeral Home in Jay, Okla., 311 W. Gray St. Graveside services will be Saturday, April 14, 2018, at 1 p.m. at the Rutherford Family Cemetery located at 18794 E. 420 Rd. Jay, OK 74346.

Lawson's Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Jay is in charge of arrangements.

Junior Clifford Stephens

Feb. 8, 1924

April 5, 2018

Junior Clifford Stephens, 94, of Anderson, Mo., died Thursday, April 5, 2018, at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Mo., after a recent decline in health.

He was born Feb. 8, 1924, in Washburn, Mo., to Moses Clifford and Emmaline (Cargile) Stephens. He was raised in Anderson and attended Pineville Schools. He served in the United States Army during WW-II. On Dec. 8, 1945, he married Wanda Mae Kenney. After Wanda's passing, he married Sarepta Abercrombie on Jan. 12, 2008. He attended the Greenwood Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Wanda Stephens; daughter, Patricia Stephens; two grandsons; and two brothers, Paul and Bob Stephens.

Survivors include his wife, Sarepta Stephens of the home; two daughers, Doris York (Curtis) of Stockton, Calif., and Sherry Kindred of Glendale, Ariz.; a son, David Stephens (Pat) of Greenwood, Ark.; five grandchildren; three stepchildren, Perry Abercrombie of Anderson, Tommy Abercrombie of Noel, Mo., and Vickie Armstrong of Anderson; two stepgrandchildren; four brothers, Leroy Stephens of Decatur, Ark., Robert Stephens of Pineville, Mo., Larry Stephens of Madison, Joe (Georgia) Stephens of Seneca, Mo.; three sisters, Maxine Leuellen of St. Louis, Mo., Irene Williams of Grove, Okla., and Mary Ann Finney of Goodman, Mo.

Funeral services with full military honors were held graveside on Monday, April 9, 2018, at the Peace Valley Cemetery in Anderson, with Brother Hank Gorman officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are being directed to the Wounded Warrior Project c/o the funeral home.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Ozark Funeral Home of Anderson was in charge of arrangements.

John Wilbure Yarbrough

Oct. 11, 1931

April 5, 2018

John Wilbur Yarbrough, 86, of Neosho, Mo., died Tuesday, April 5, 2018, at Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, Mo., after a brief illness.

He was born Oct. 11, 1931, in West Plains, Mo., to Wilbur Thomas and Lucy Rebecca (Woods) Yarbrough. He was raised and attended school in West Plains. He resided in Kansas, McDonald County and Minnesota and retired from Hudson Foods in Noel, Mo. He enjoyed fishing, traveling and cattle hauling and trading.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first and second wife, Mary Yarbrough and Edna Yarbrough; a daughter, Mary Jo Whitaker; two stepchildren, Jo Ann Brown and Merle Dean Thompson; and four siblings, Henry, Hazel, Dorothy and George.

Survivors include one daughter, Karen Sue Cole of Neosho; two stepdaughters, Oleta Kay Tosh (Bill) of Goodman, Mo., and Irma Jewel Hunnicutt (John) of Noel; one grandson; numerous stepgrandchildren; and sister, Betty Romans of Moline, Kan.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in the Anderson Chapel of the Ozark Funeral Homes with Curt Hurley officiating. Burial followed in the Neosho Memorial Park Cemetery.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Ozark Funeral Home of Anderson, Mo., was in charge of arrangements.

Obits on 04/12/2018

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