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Obituaries: July 11, 2019

Martha Hocker
March 17, 1928 – June 27, 2019
Martha Hocker, 91, Drexel, died June 27 at Crown Care Center, Harrisonville. Martha Eleanor was born March 17, 1928, the daughter of James Elbert Phillpott and Floy Allene (Hook).

She married her high school sweetheart, James Arthur Hocker, Jr., May 21,
1946, after he returned from serving in World War II.
They had three children, Barbara, Randy and Bill.
She served at Drexel Christian Church her whole life, often doing things be-
hind the scenes, like sending birthday cards to her church family. For several years she also served as a librarian at the Drexel Public Library and worked as a cook at Wildwood Outdoor Camp near La Cygne, Kansas.
Grandma Martha was feisty with a sense of humor and she loved her family.
She loved the color red, as you might have noticed with her red lipstick, red shoes and red blouses. She enjoyed baking, knitting, reading,
fishing, playing cards and watching sports. She passed on many of these hobbies to her children and grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her father, mother; stepfather, Walter Tucker; husband, James Arthur Hocker, Jr.; daughter, Barbara Taylor; and great-grandson, Wyatt Deel.

She is survived by her sons, Randy Hocker, Bill Hocker and their spouses along with nine granddaughters; 17 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren

Funeral services were July 5 at the Drexel First Christian Church. Burial was
in the Sharon Cemetery, Drexel. Memorial contributions are suggested to
Ascend Hospice.
Arrangements were under the direction
of the Mullinax Funeral Home, Drexel.


Betty M. Howard
March 2, 1923 – July 5, 2019
Betty Maxine Howard, 96, Little Rock, Arkansas, died July 5 at the Presbyterian Village Care Center in Little Rock.
March 2, 1923, Betty was born to Roy and Florence Bragg
Robertson (Toppy) in a Rosston, Oklahoma, sod house. When she
was a few months old, she moved to Holden with her parents and
older siblings, Forst and Lena.
They then moved to Harrisonville where she began first grade, continuing through high school. After graduation, she married John
Hambright, Jr., “{Jay” and they moved to San Diego, California, and lived there fo more than a year.
On returning to Harrisonville, she gave birth to John Hambright, III, “Little Jay”, who died an accidental death at an early age. Two other children of that union are Gary Hambright (Jan), Scottsdale, Arizo-
na, and Debbie Jerome (Ken),

Betty returned to Oklahoma in 1969 to marry Robert Howard and lived there for 34 years. They then moved to Edmond,
Oklahoma. Following her husband’s death in 2007, she moved to Little Rock.
Her parents, her siblings, her husband and her first son all preceded her in death. Surviving are her children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who referred to her affectionately as
Grandma Betty.
What a long and full life she lived. She was known for her superb cooking and hospitality while she was living at home. Later, her joy of singing and
laughter and reading brightened the days of many people, as well as herself. We are grateful for all of her days, sad at the loss of her loving presence, yet we rejoice in her going home to be made whole at
the feet of Jesus.
A graveside service honoring her life will be held at 10 a.m. July 18 at Orient Cemetery, Harrisonville, with the Rev. Ken Jerome officiating.
Arrangements are under the direction ofthe Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Johnny A. Kraft
July 25, 1945 – June 26, 2019
Johnny Allen Kraft, 73, Clinton, died June 26 at his home.
Johnny was born July 25, 1945, the son of Gene Kraft and Iris Funke Burns of Rolla.
After school he joined the Army Aug. 30, 1963, and served until Aug. 29, 1966.
He married Pamala Kraft July 3, 1996. Johnny worked mainte-
nance for Tracker Marine until his retirement in 2004.
He was a member of VFW Post No. 1894 andAmerican Legion No. 14 of Henry County.

Survivors include his wife, Pamala; three children, Cheryl Kraft, Collins,
Johnny (Nova) Kraft, Freeman, and Eddie (Crystal Kraft, Collins; siblings Charles “Bud” (Judy) Kraft, Troy, Danny (Sherry) Burns, Collins, David (Linda)Burns, Troy, Becky (Jim) Hogue, Jonesburg, Wanda (Jerry) Thompson, Collins, and Ruth (Dave) LaCerda, Troy; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Preceding Johnny in death were his parents; Gene and Iris; his stepfather, Dan Burns; brothers, William (Linda) Burns and George Kraft; and grandson, Gage Kraft.
Funeral services were June 29 at Consalus Funeral Home, Clinton, fol-
lowed by an Honor Guard service and interment at Peaceful Home Cemetery, Deepwater.
Memorial contributions may be made to Deepwater First Baptist Church and may be left at Consalus Funeral Home, 209 S. 2nd St., Clinton, MO 64735.


Ralph Thomas Oldham
June 7, 1942 July 3, 2019

Ralph Thomas Oldham, 77, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, died peacefully July 3,

surrounded by his family. He was born on June 7, 1942, in Drexel, to Bill and Veda Oldham.
Ralph graduated from Central Missouri State University majoring in business and agriculture. He married Mary Taylor in 1964 and they
started their adventure out in Olathe, Kansas,
with Ralston Purina. His job as a feed salesman continued through
several other towns until he decided to follow his dreams of working for himself in the field of agriculture, so he took a chance in Carthage and purchased an abandoned run-down feeder pig business and went to work. He quickly turned it into a thriving business with duck-tape,
binder twine and prayers. That began a series of seemingly impossible projectsthat took him on to even bigger challenges in West Plains; Sulphur Springs, Texas; and Oak Grove, Louisiana. Ralph’s ability to see value in something others could not was amazing not only in risky
business ventures but in people too. He had a knack for reading people and knowing when someone down on their luck deserved a hand up. Ralph’s competitive nature won him many honors over the years. He was selected Master Pork Producer of Texas, Star Young Farmer of Texas and Farmer of the Year in bothTexas and Louisiana.

His work to improve the cattle and pork industry led himto serve on state and national boards. Not one to be afraid to express his views, he was well known for his innovative ideas and courage in facing challenges.
As the children came along, he could not wait until they were old enough to
throw a ball or swing a bat. He loved coaching his kids so much that afterward he continued to coach little league for his community. Mary came home from work one day to find a complete baseball field
in the back yard of their Louisiana home.
If he wasn’t coaching, he was planningand thinking about coaching. More importantly than the wins and losses were the valuable lessons he taught players and parents as he modeled honesty, responsibility, and good sportsmanship. “Coach Ralph” left a wonderful legacy to the young people he touched throughout the years. “Always my best” was his motto
and he both taught it and lived it well.
After retirement, the couple moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to spoil three granddaughters. He described himself as the “Grandpa” of the neighborhood. He was there for anyone who needed a jumpstart, a tire changed or just someone to lend a hand and offer encouragement.

No matter if he was landing a new business deal, pushing for change in his community, being a foster parent, leading a 4-H club, coaching baseball or just walking his neighborhood as “Grandpa” he always tried his best. He pushed the people he loved to do their best. And if he could do something to help you achieve that, you could count on him every time. Ralph enjoyed doing things for people anonymously. He loved seeing a need and be-
ing able to do something about it.

We would like to challenge all who knew him to honor his memory by doing something nice for someone else.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Veda Oldham.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary Oldham; children Jason Oldham, Meredith Howlin and husband, Philip, Howlin; Dr. Carrie Robey and husband, Mark Robey; Honorary son Billy Spataro and wife, Jennifer Spataro; grandchildren Sydney Robey, Taylor Robey and Evelyn Robey; brother Robert Oldham, and brother Larry Oldham and wife, Kathie
Oldham; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. Heaven has gained a wonderful man.

Elizabeth “Betty” Spangler
Sept. 24, 1927 – June 29, 2019

Elizabeth “Betty” Spangler, 91, Harrisonville, died June 29 at Crown Care Center in Harrisonville.
The daughter of Mary Rae Miller, Betty was born Sept. 24, 1927, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She grew up in Philadelphia and was a
graduate of Overbrook High School.
She was married to Robert W. Spangler Oct. 10, 1959. Betty had lived in Florida before moving to Harrisonville in 1959.
She was a member of the Harrisonville United Methodist Church.
Betty was a huge sports fan. She always had the Kansas City Royals games playing on the radio. She never missed her son’s sporting events and was an enthusiastic spectator at her grandson’s baseball and soccer games.
Betty was always up for an adventure and took many family vacations throughout the United States and abroad.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert W. Spangler, Feb. 11, 2015;and her mother, Mary (Rae) Miller. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Wallis and Susan Spangler, Aiken, South Carolina; and two grandchildren, Matthew (Karli) Spangler, FortWorth, Texas, and Adam (Christy) Spangler, Irving, Texas.

Funeral services were July 2 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with interment in Englewood Cemetery, Clinton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Arrangements were under the direction of Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

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