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Obituaries

Karen Carrel
Feb. 6, 1939 – Nov. 22, 2020

Karen “DeeDee” D. Carrel, 81, Bella Vista, Arkansas, formerly of Harrisonville, died Nov. 22 at her nephew’s home in Lee’s Summit surrounded by her family.

Karen was born Feb. 6, 1939, in Butler, the daughter of Kenneth LeRoy and Doris Edna (Hill) Swigart.

Karen Dee grew up in the Belton and Harrisonville areas, graduating from Harrisonville High School with the class of 1957. During high school, she raised chickens with her brother, Theron, usually thousands at a time. She also played basketball throughout high school. She went on to marry Jim Harter in 1958 and they were married for 18 years before separating. He preceded her in death.

During this time, she and her brother, Theron, purchased B&H Freight Line from her father, Kenneth Swigart, and ran the family business as the secretary, bookkeeper and vice president for 38 years.

She later married Lawrence “Larry” Carrel Feb. 14, 1977, and they were married for 18 years as well before he preceded her in death. She went on to co-own and operate Show Me Trucking with her brother, Theron, for many more years.

Karen Dee volunteered at Cass CountyMedical Center for 19 years. She also enjoyed bowling and traveling with Doris Marrs and several friends over the years.

She will likely be remembered most for giving her love to others selflessly, volunteering at many places in the local community and from helping to raise her niece and nephew from young ages and becoming a second mom to them, later becoming Grandma to their children and always enjoying a funny story being told.

She will be missed by all those who knew her.

Karen was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Jim Harter; her second husband, Larry Carrel; her sister, Carol Lynne “Skip” Marrs; and her niece, Tera Marrs.

She is survived by her brother, Theron and Nina “Sis” Swigart, Harrisonville; her nephews, Mark and Jamie Marrs and Darrin and Andi Swigart; her nieces, Misty and Russell Wohlford and Dena Lynn and Dominic Swigart-Lilly; and 12 great-nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was Nov. 29 at Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

J. Merle Davis
Nov. 28, 1925 – Nov. 24, 2020

Julia Merle Davis, 94, Harrisonville, died Nov. 24 at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. Merle was born Nov. 28, 1925, in Archie, the daughter of William Allen and Mary Dosha (Freizner) Ladd.

She was a lifelong Harrisonville resident and attended Bybee Rural School No. 89, Mt. Zion Rural School No. 63 and was a 1943 graduate of Harrisonville High School.

Merle married Ira E. Davis in Olathe, Kansas, April 6, 1946, following Ira’s discharge from the Army, after returning home from Pearl Harbor in October 1945.

She was a homemaker and worked as a commercial secretary for Tip-Top Plumbing for 17 years before her retirement. She was a member of the Abiding Love Baptist Church in Harrisonville.

Merle was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ira, Dec. 15, 1991; a son, Jimmy, Sept. 20, 1966; five brothers and two sisters.

She is survived by her son, Billy G. and Sharon Davis, Harrisonville; two grandsons, Timothy Davis and Jamie Davis, both of Harrisonville; and five great-grandchildren, Mason, Jordan, Jasper, Tabitha and Joshua.

Graveside services were Nov. 30 in Orient Cemetery in Harrisonville.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the American Diabetes Association.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Raymond L. Eastland
Dec. 12, 1940 – Nov. 22, 2020

Raymond L. Eastland, 79, Harrisonville, died Nov. 22 at the Kansas City Hospice House in Kansas City.

Raymond was born Dec. 12, 1940, in Ava the son of Chester Carl and Ila Lucille (Downs) Eastland.

He grew up in Rogersville and was a 1959 graduate of Rogersville High School.

Raymond married Janice Ilene Thompson June 15, 1963, in Raytown. Raymond worked in assembly for General Motors before his retirement. Raymond was very close to his family and enjoyed family gatherings at the cabin. He loved to fish, ride motorcycles and dirt bikes and go camping.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Harold Eastland; and two sisters, Betty Clines and Wanda Kanuff.

Raymond is survived by his wife of 57 years, Janice; two sons: Kenneth Eastland, Independence, and David and Idel Eastland, Lee’s Summit; a daughter, Karen and Scott Williams, Osceola; two brothers, Donald Eastland, Elmo, and Melvin and Shirley Eastland, Ava; a sister, Imogene White, Mt. Ayr; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Nov. 28 at the Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville.

Burial was in the Crescent Hill Cemetery, Adrian. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the American Disabled Veterans.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville.

Jesse Shane Etter
May 7, 1987 – Nov. 11, 2020

Jesse Shane Etter, 33, Belton, died, Nov. 11 at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. Funeral services were Nov. 20 at Belton Assembly of God Church. Interment followed at Belton Cemetery.

Jesse was born in Kansas City, Missouri to Julie (Moore) and Stanley Etter on May 7, 1987. Jesse thrived well until he began to have seizures in January 1989.

After much testing, it was discovered Jesse had Chromosome Ring 22 syndrome, with him being the 13th case diagnosed in the world. Jesse was the one doctors watched to diagnose others with this rare disease. There were lots of wonderful people the family met through this very rare syndrome.

Jesse was the first early childhood special education student in Belton in 1991. He then attended Trails West State School, where he participated in Special Olympic bowling, then continued on to the Sherwood Center from 2000 to 2008, where he graduated. He attended Hope Day Care from graduation to present.

Jesse didn’t know a stranger, he loved everyone and was the happiest person anyone could know. He loved McDonald’s, watching people mow, socializing and having his soda. He also loved music, mostly country, and some of his favorite movies included “The Straight Story,” “Home Alone,” “The Christmas Story,” and “Look Who’s Talking.” Jesse could light up any room.

His beautiful smile and infectious laugh would make anyone happy.

There is so much to be said about Jesse. He was never prejudiced, he loved everyone the same and he is loved so much by so many. Our hearts are shattered and we know God got the best of the best when He took Jesse. He can now run, talk, drive, mow grass, anything he wants, because he received a complete healing. Our hope is that Jesse knows his momma loves him forever and always and that he continues to watch over all of us until we can meet again. Rest in Paradise our angel.

Jesse is preceded in death by his father; his paternal grandparents; maternal grandparents; and a cousin.

He is survived by his mother, Julie Etter of the home; his brother, Cody Etter of the home; his brother, Jason (Amy) Etter, Belton; his sister, Chera (Tom) Jackson, Lawson; niece and nephews, Gerald Jackson, Katelyn Jackson, Malachi Etter, Brayden Taylor, Derrick Ruffino and Eli Ruffino; many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Wilson L. Farr
Jan. 2, 1926 – Nov. 17, 2020

Wilson LeRoy “Dick” Farr died Nov. 17 after a short illness. Dick was born in Freeman Jan. 2, 1926.

Dick grew up in and around Freeman, the second of six children. As a boy growing up during the Depression, Dick worked on area farms and doing whatever he could to help support the family.

But according to the stories told by his mother, this never dampened his mischievous personality. He was an enterprising boy
too. He saved enough money to buy some baby chicks at the hatchery in Pleasant Hill and raised them himself.

Whenever he needed money to buy something, he’d just go to town and sell a chicken. Dick attended school in a one-room schoolhouse and really did have to walk a mile or more through the snow to get there.

He loved to tell people that he was valedictorian of his class and then smile and admit that there were only two people in the class and the other fellow was the salutatorian.

In 1944, after his graduation from Freeman High School, Dick went into the Navy. He served during World War II on the USS Laurens, a Haskell-class attack transport operating among the islands in the Pacific. Dick was on the Laurens from the time it was commissioned in 1944 until it was decommissioned in 1946 after the war and always had a picture of the ship hanging in his home.

He was awarded the Victory Medal, the American Area Campaign Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon (one Bronze Star) and the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal (two Battle Stars) for his service in the war. He re-enlisted in the Navy Reserves after his discharge.

Not too long after he returned to Freeman, Dick met the love of his life, a girl named Mary Lou Myers. Three years later, June 5, 1949, the two were married at the First Baptist Church in Pleasant Hill. They celebrated their 71st anniversary together this year and theirs is a love story that continues to this day.

In July 1950, Dick’s Reserve unit was called up for the Korean War. In that war, he served on the USS Boxer, an Essex-class aircraft carrier. Dick wrote Mary Lou every day he was away from her and she wrote him back. The Boxer provided close air support for United Nations ground troops and conducted strategic bombing raids. Dick was awarded the Korean Service Medal (one Battle Star) for his service on the Boxer. He was discharged in November 1951.

During the next decade, Dick and Mary Lou had three daughters, Lou Ann, Earlene and Linda. Dick spent lots of time with his girls playing, gardening, singing, fishing and going mushroom hunting. The girls thought (and still think) that the sun rose and set in their daddy. He supported them in everything they did and taught them they could do anything and be anything they wanted to be.

Dick’s self-deprecating humor about his class rank never obscured the fact that he was an exceptionally intelligent man. Dick spent most of his career working for Amoco Corporation (formerly Standard Oil Company, Indiana). He started with the company mowing the lawn at the Service Pipeline Company in Freeman. He quickly rose to better things. Dick worked pipeline jobs around the United States and was sent to head up a job building an oil pipeline in southern Argentina, where he found penguins and bad drinking water.

Because of the bad drinking water, the men had to drink wine and this led to Dick’s lifelong appreciation of good wine. After Argentina, Amoco sent Dick to Egypt, where he began by flying up and down the coast of the Red Sea in the company plane and selecting the site for the first onshore Oil Production Facility in Egypt.

This time, Dick was able to take Mary Lou and the girls with him. By the time he was transferred back to the states in 1977, the family had lived in Egypt, Greece, the Netherlands and Iran and had literally travelled all around the world.

Dick retired from Amoco in March 1984. By that time, the boy from Freeman High School had men with PhDs working for him.

Shortly after his retirement, Dick and Mary Lou moved back to Harrisonville. Their girls had all made their way back to the Kansas City area and the grandchildren were starting to arrive. Dick’s retirement was long and extremely happy.

He loved his grandchildren wholeheartedly and spent every moment he could with them, attending every soccer, baseball and softball game, school play and golf match. One of their favorite memories is lying outside at dusk with Grandpa and watching the stars pop out in the sky.

Dick was always the man who would step up and do the difficult job, the one who could be depended on to act quickly and intelligently in an emergency and the one whose integrity was beyond question.

He was also the most loving, faithful and supportive of men to his family and friends.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, James LeRoy “Roy” Farr and Mary Amanda (Wilson) Farr; his brothers, Bob Farr, Don Farr and Dale Farr; and his sisters, Chrystal (Farr) Hayes and Charlene (Farr) Atwater.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou (Myers) Farr, of the home; his daughters, Lou Ann Johnson, Lee’s Summit, Earlene Gordon and his son-in-law, Thomas Gordon, Kansas City, and Linda Vaughn and his son-in-law, David Vaughn, Greenwood; his grandchildren, Mary (Johnson) Wells and her husband, David, Whitney (Vaughn) Gear and her husband Rob, Blake Vaughn and his wife, Kelsie, and Miranda (Vaughn) Jarnevic and her husband, Luke; eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly.

Shakespeare said it best: “His life was gentle; and the elements so mixed in him, that Nature might stand up And say to all the world, This was a Man!”– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Celebration of life services for Wilson LeRoy “Dick” Farr were Nov. 23 at the Wallace Funeral Home in Pleasant Hill, which began with Masonic Service conducted by George Barrios and Jewel Lodge No. 480 AF&AM. The Rev. Kent Deubner officiated the funeral service.

The final salute was given at the funeral home by VFW Post No. 3118 of Pleasant Hill.

Burial was in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery with full military honors by the United States Navy and VFW Post No. 3118 Honor Guard of Pleasant Hill.

The family suggests donations to VFW Post No. 3118 of Pleasant Hill.


Arrangements were under the direction of the Wallace Funeral Home, Pleasant Hill.

Mildred M. James
March 30, 1924 – Nov. 20, 2020

Mildred MaryBelle James, 96, Harrisonville, died Nov. 20 at Crown Care Center in Harrisonville. Mildred was born March 30, 1924, in Hastings, the daughter of Elven and Mattie (Platt) Sledd.

She married Harold James Nov. 13, 1941, and they enjoyed almost 45 years of marriage until his death in July 1989.

Primarily, she spent her time taking care of their five children and the home, but she did work for a period of time as a clerk at Bob’s Country Store in East Lynne.

Mildred loved to crochet, spend time outdoors and had a love for flowers. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Mildred was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Harold; her son, Darrell James; her daughter, Darlene James; and her brother, Clarence Sledd.

She is survived by two sons: Darwin and Linda James, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Harold and Sue James, East Lynne; her daughter, Dieanna and Donald Van Benthusen, Harrisonville; many grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.

A private burial was Nov. 24 in the Blairstown Cemetery in Blairstown.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Anna L. Martin
Nov. 12, 1923 – Nov. 21, 2020

Anna Lee (Wright) Martin, 97, a resident of Tiffany Springs Senior Living Community, died Nov. 21. She was born Nov. 12, 1923, in Cass County. Anna Lee was the youngest child of Hannah (Lawson) and Olin Wright.

After her father’s early death, stepfather Wray George came into the family, from whom Anna Lee learned to love horse racing and card games like pinochle.

After graduating from Harrisonville High School in 1940, Anna Lee married James U. “Jimmie” Martin in August 1945, after he had completed his military service in the Pacific during World War II and joined Trans World Airlines (TWA).

The couple was blessed with a son, J.R., in 1946. Later, Anna Lee joined Farmland Foods as an executive secretary. She retired in 1989, but remained active socially with her former bosses and co-workers until recently.

Anna Lee was a life-long member of the Disciples of Christ Christian Church, joining Gladstone’s Fairview Christian Church after she, Jimmie and J.R. moved to the Northland in 1958.

There, she sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, volunteered in the church office and was active in the work of the women’s fellowship.

Besides games (card, board or word) and horses, she loved music, classical to country, hand-crafted quilts and pillows, receiving and sending beautifully handwritten notes, reading, baking for her family and friends and hosting book clubs and other such meetings in her welcoming home.

She traveled the world with Jimmie and their friends, something she continued to do after his death in 1991. “Yes, I’ve been there” was often her first response to a new friend’s story.

Besides her beloved husband, Anna Lee was preceded in death by her siblings, Velma Wright Foster and Robert Wright, and their spouses, as well as three nieces and many cousins.

She is survived by a son, J.R. Martin, Gladstone and the Philippine Islands, his wife Haide, stepson, Sherwin Mendez; and niece, Jane Foster Woodruff, Liberty; all of whose lives she never stopped “organizing” and truly blessing.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at Fairview Christian Church next year, after the pandemic eases.

Anna Lee was laid to rest next to Jimmie at a graveside service Nov. 28 in Orient Cemetery, Harrisonville.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the American Cancer Society or to Fairview Christian Church.

Arrangements were under the direction of the McGilley Antioch Chapel, Kansas City.

Mary E. Parker
Sept. 23, 1952 – Nov. 21, 2020

Mary Elesbith Parker, Harrisonville, was born Sept. 23, 1952, the daughter of Frank Leroy and Marquerite Elsie (Day) Groves.

She died Nov. 21 at her home near Harrisonville at the age of 68 years, 1 month and 29 days.

July 25, 1970, Mary married Johnny Laverne Parker in Kansas City.

Mary was employed as a quality inspector for J.C. Penney, Lenexa, Kansas, until an automobile accident forced her to retire in 1992.

She loved to crochet and was very fast and good at it. She enjoyed fishing with Johnny, loved Christmastime and Mexican food from Ponaks Mexican Kitchen and Bar.

Mary always enjoyed doing things for others. Often she would see something for someone and buy it for them. All of Sheree and Kris’ friends loved her and called her Mom. Mary was an extremely cool mom and meant everything to her family.

Besides her parents; she was preceded in death by her husband, Johnny Parker, Sept. 3, 2005; and two brothers, Frankie and Adrian Groves.

Mary is survived by a daughter, Sheree Parker of the home; Kris D. Parker, Rhododendron, Oregon; a granddaughter, Alexus Parker; five brothers, Walter, Billy, Ted, Roy and David Groves; three sisters, Arline Gabauaer, Susanna Linville and Genevieve Hayes; other relatives and many friends.

Funeral services were Nov. 28 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with burial at the Maplewood Cemetery, Brownington.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Jean Payne
Feb. 6, 1930 – Nov. 17, 2020

Jean Payne, 90, Harrisonville, died Nov. 17 at Crown Care Center. Jean was born Feb. 6, 1930, in Lebanon, the daughter of Raymond Clyde and Alma (Stark) Claxton.

Jean married James Donald Payne, Dec. 16, 1946, in Springfield, and they made their home in Springfield before moving to Harrisonville in 1953.

Jean was the bookkeeper for the family business, Tri-County Dairy Equipment, for more than 20 years. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Harrisonville.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, James, May 13, 1973; a son, Danny Payne, Sept. 14, 2020; her sister, Ruth Claxton; and a grandson, Korrie Chaney, May 7, 2014.

Jean is survived by two sons, David Payne and Tim Payne, both of Harrisonville; a daughter, Alma Chaney, Kearney; five grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.

A visitation was Nov. 23 at the Atkinson Funeral Home and a private family graveside service was in Orient Cemetery.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Betty S. Spangler
March 16, 1941 – Nov. 19, 2020

Betty Sue Spangler, 79, Harrisonville, died Nov. 19 at Crown Care Center in Harrisonville. Betty was born March 16, 1941, in Floyd County, Kentucky, the daughter of John Calvin and Oma (Riley) Moore.

She had lived in Lee’s Summit before moving to Harrisonville in 1973. Betty married William Earl Spangler Feb. 5, 1975, in Harrisonville.

They owned the Dinner Bell Restaurant in Harrisonville for many years. Many customers were life-long friends. She also dabbled in real estate in Harrisonville and was a counselor and adviser for women’s support group ministries.

She was a devout woman of faith and a member of the Church on The Rock in Harrisonville. Betty enjoyed flipping houses with Earl, fashion, home decorating, gardening and cooking. She loved to read and debate politics.

She was always eager to learn new things that helped others. She had a heart of gold and gave to many charities and families of need in the community. Betty never met a stranger. She was blessed with the gift of gab and a smile that would absolutely light up a room. To know her was to love her.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Earl Spangler, Jan. 1, 2008; a son, Robert Thomas; a daughter, Julie Thomas; and a brother, Ricky Moore.

Betty is survived by her two daughters, Deborah and Bryan Anderson, Lee’s Summit, and Brandy and Trent Farr, Harrisonville; a daughter-in-law, Lorie Thomas; four grandchildren, Jamie and Gary Sheets, Michael and Kristi Adair, Ariel Thomas and Rob Thomas; five great-grandchildren; four brothers, Eddy Moore, Ralph Moore, John Moore and Dennis Moore; aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

She is also survived by Earl’s children, Judy and Jim Franklin, Raymore, Mike and Robin Spangler, Henderson, Nevada, Paul and Jennifer Spangler, Raymore, and Chris and Kris Spangler, Kansas City; nine grandchildren, Erin and Justin Pace, Jesica and Jason Junge, Lauren and Chase Maudlin, Caleb Spangler, Brad Spangler, Misty Fangrow, Jared Spangler, Paige Spangler and Chad Spangler; and 12 great-grandchildren.

A private family memorial service was Dec. 1 at the Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville. Inurnment was in Orient Cemetery, Harrisonville.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Hope Haven in Harrisonville or the City Union Mission, in memory of Robert Thomas, Kansas City.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Peggy L. Knapp
Feb. 8, 1934 – Nov. 20, 2020

Peggy L. Knapp, 86, Hermitage, died Nov. 20 at Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach. With profound sadness, we announce the death of our loving and devoted mother and friend to all whose lives she touched.

Peggy was a devoted and beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who will be remembered for her unfailing strength and endurance. She remained an independent woman while enduring many hardships along the way. Her family was her greatest achievement and she was so proud of the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren.

Peggy Lou Crozier was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, Feb. 8, 1934, the eldest daughter of Clifford and Doris (Pearson) Crozier. Peggy grew up in Osawatomie, Kansas, where she attended school and helped with her younger siblings.


At the age of 15, Peggy married her husband of 61 years, James Roy Knapp. This marriage was blessed with seven children, 17 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Peggy was preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Doris Crozier; her beloved husband, James Roy Knapp; her son, Clarence Raymond Knapp; grandson, Larry James Crowder; son-in-law, Henry Jeff Rietz; and brother-in-law, John Allcorn.

She is survived by her sisters, Shirley Thomas, Lane, Kansas, and Janie Allcorn, Blue Mound, Kansas; her brothers, Raymond Crozier and wife, Sharon, Mountain Home, Arkansas, and Thomas and wife, Loretta, of Osawatomie.

She was the beloved mother of Jimmie and his wife, Teresa, Springfield, Deborah and her husband, Bob Miller, Collins, Susan Rietz, Adrian, Rebecca and her husband, Quinten Bishop, Tunas, Penny Whitaker and Gary Kleeman, Willard, and William Joseph Knapp, Versailles.

Peggy lived a full life as a wonderful mother and homemaker and worked many years in the restaurant business where she excelled in baking pies and breads. She loved to cook, kept an immaculate house and was highly skilled in candy making.

At Christmastime, she would fill every surface in the house with homemade candy that she shared with her family and friends. She was famous for her chocolate black walnut fudge. Her famous fudge would be highly sought after at family reunions. Her greatest pleasures in later years were trips to Osawatomie to visit her family.

She was devoted to her brothers and sisters and delighted in seeing them as often as she could. Her trips would usually end with a drive by of 1024 Chestnut, her childhood home, and to see the railroad where her dad worked.

She loved to visit the cemeteries of her son, parents, grandparents and to see Dad and Larry as she would always say. She spent many hours making flowers for the annual trips to the cemetery. She embraced life no matter what hardships she endured. She loved to read and was amazing at embracing technology, learning to use the computer in her later years.

She loved Facebook where she kept current with her family and spent much time copying and making recipes she found on Pinterest. Most of all, she loved her family and instilled in her children strong values that have served them well.

She has many cousins, nieces and nephews and friends who will miss her. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.

Funeral services were Nov. 30 at the Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville, with burial following in Crescent Hill Cemetery in Adrian.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

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