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Obituaries

Russell G. Clapper, Jr.
June 17, 1934 – Jan. 15, 2021

Russell (Rick) Garnett Clapper, Jr. died with wife, Eileen, at his side at Golden Valley Hospital in Clinton. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, who was loved by all.

Rick was born June 17, 1934, at home in Shelbina, the son of Rick and Thelma Clapper.

Rick was a United States Navy veteran. After returning from service to Shelbina he worked with his dad building houses. He then started working in highway construction. He ended his career with Reno Construction Company as a superintendent.

Rick married Eileen Hesse April 4, 1959, the love of his life, in Quincy, Illinois.

Rick was preceded in death by his brother, Bill Clapper; sister, Carolyn Troxel; and daughter, Jill Beecham; and son-in-law Dan Beecham.

Surviving are his wife, Eileen, Garden City; daughter, Kay Foreman and Joe Epperson, Archie; four grandchildren, Jessie Anderson, Matt Ayler, Adam and Joey Foreman; four great-grandchildren, Natalie, Dane, Talon and Conner; and many extended family members and friends.

Rick will be sorely missed.

Cremation and a private family service will be held at a later date.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Garden City.

Peggy J. Duncan
Aug. 8, 1927 – Jan. 16, 2021

Peggy Jean (Hunt) Duncan, 93, Harrisonville, died Jan. 16 at Beautiful Savior Home in Belton. Peggy was born Aug. 8, 1927, in Bates County, the daughter of Keith and Jessie Olivette “Betty” (Rogers) Hunt.

She was a 1946 Harrisonville High School graduate.

She married Gene Calvin Duncan Oct. 9, 1946.

Peggy was a lifelong resident of Harrisonville, other than living in Kansas City for a few years after she and Gene were married.

They later moved back to live east of Harrisonville on a farm until moving into town in 1981. She enjoyed her family and friends tremendously.

Her faith and church activities played a big role in her life. She was a member of Faith Baptist Church in Harrisonville, was a Sunday school teacher for many years and also sang in the choir. She was a former member of the Bayard Chapter No. 179, Order of Eastern Star, Harrisonville.

Peggy was busy and active and always had a smile on her face. She could be seen at the Community Center several times a week walking and line dancing with her group of friends, before moving to Beautiful Savior Home in 2016.

She enjoyed traveling with a travel group for several years and went to lots of interesting and fun places. She was also part of a card and Bunco group and volunteered in the Cass Medical Center gift shop for many years.

Peggy was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister, Rosemary.

She is survived by two daughters, Cheryl Bush, Harrisonville, and Marilyn Quirk and Bob, Independence; a brother, Roger Hunt and Judy, Leawood, Kansas; a sister, Dixie Dutro and Glenn, Lee’s Summit; five grandchildren, Corey, Zachary, Jesse, Shelbie and Joseph; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Peggy was a loving and caring mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend and will be greatly missed by her family and
friends.

Funeral services were Jan. 20 at the Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville.

Private burial was in Orient Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to the Harrisonville Animal Shelter.

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

Kathlyn Edmonds
Sept. 13, 1932 – Jan. 16, 2021

Kathlyn Edmonds, 88, Drexel, died at her home in Drexel Jan. 16. Kathlyn “Kay” Edmonds was born Sept. 13, 1932, in Kansas City, the daughter of John Preston and Inez Karr Fenton.

She graduated from Drexel High School in 1949 and attended Pittsburg State University. She later graduated in 1960 with a degree in business education.

She continued her education and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Education in 1967. During her time at Pittsburg State, Kay was an active member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority.

Kay taught business and English at Drexel High School for 11 years. She left teaching and served as the librarian at the Drexel Branch of the Cass County Public Library until her retirement in 2001.

Kay married Larry Wayne Edmonds June 4, 1965. They were both active members of the Drexel Christian Church. Kay served in various capacities by leading Sunday school classes, Bible studies and was a long-time church treasurer.

She also enjoyed spending as much time as possible with her grandson, Miller Fenton Calhoun.

Kay was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Larry Edmonds, Drexel; son, Stephen Calhoun, daughter-in-law, Kathy Mueller, and grandson, Miller Calhoun, all of Urbana, Illinois.

Funeral services were Jan. 20 at the Drexel Christian Church. Burial was in Sharon Cemetery, Drexel.

Memorial contributions may be made in Kay’s memory to St. Croix Hospice or the Drexel R-4 School Foundation.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Mullinax Funeral Home, Drexel Chapel.

Forest O. French
May 6, 1935 – Jan. 17, 2021

Forest Otho French, Pleasant Hill, was born May 6, 1935, in Kansas City, the son of George Otho and Maurene Adel (White) French. He died Jan. 17 at the Pleasant Hill Health and Rehab Center at the age of 85 years, 8 months and 11 days.

July 25, 1928, Forest married Patricia Parsons in Kansas City. Forest was a semitruck driver for 30 years.

Once he retired, he decided to drive the school bus in Kingston for another two years before he totally retired. He wasn’t a talker, he left that to his wife. Forest loved spending time with his grandchildren.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia French, July 23, 2004; two brothers, James and Clarence French; and two sisters, Edith Thomas and Audrey Cox.

Forest is survived by four children, Cheri Nickles and husband, Tim, Macks Creek, Christi Zimmerman and husband, Gene, Pleasant Hill, Dannie French and wife, Karen, Clinton, and Jacki Cameron and husband, David, Spring Branch, Texas; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Barbara Tabor, Clinton, Carol Brown, Garden City, and Libby Longacre, Dayton; other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were Jan. 21 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with cremation following the service.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Ascend Hospice and may be left at the funeral home.

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

Walter G. Heid, Jr.
Aug. 2, 1932 – Jan. 20, 2021

Walter G. Heid, Jr., died Jan. 20 under the care of Kansas City Hospice House. Walter was born Aug. 2, 1932, on a Pleasant Hill farm. He was the son of Alice Elizabeth (Lewis) and Walter G. Heid, Sr.

Walter grew up in Pleasant Hill until 1941 and then on a farm west of Harrisonville. He graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1950 and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for two years.

Walter then served in the United States Air Force for four years from near the end of the Korean War in 1952 until 1956, serving at bases in California and Japan. After being discharged, Walter returned to his parents’ farm in Harrisonville and in 1957, met and married Barbara Ann Hess, a farm girl from Archie.

They went to the University of Missouri-Columbia, where Walter finished his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture in 1958 and his Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics in 1960.

Walter and Barbara then moved to Washington, D.C., where he was employed by the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the United States Department of Agriculture.

In 1963, he was given the opportunity to move his office to College Park, Maryland, where he earned his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland. By this time, Walter and Barbara had three children, Leiann, Elizabeth and George.

After seven years in the Washington, D.C., area, Walter had the opportunity to work at a land grant university of his choice where the ERS had a field office.

He chose Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman and moved the family to Montana in 1967.

He worked at MSU on a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agricultural Economics and was an adjunct faculty member. Walter taught farm and ranch management and co-authored a textbook, “Grain Marketing Economics,”
with another university professor.

In 1975, ERS closed some field offices and Walter’s career moved the family to Kansas State University (KSU) in Manhattan, Kansas, where he continued to work for the ERS-USDA and again was an adjunct faculty member with the Agricultural Economics Department. During his career, Walter authored numerous research papers. He also authored and self-published four books of poetry.

In 1984, Walter took an early retirement from the USDA and was awarded the honorary title of Professor Emeritus at KSU.

During his time at KSU, Barbara and all three of his children received various degrees at the university.

Following his retirement, Walter had the opportunity to work in Central America and South America in various countries on nearly a dozen economic development projects. He later accepted a four -year assignment in Kenya, Africa, with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where Walter managed a project that helped small-scale farmers across the country improve their storage of food crops. He said this was one of the most rewarding projects he had ever worked on.

Upon their return from Africa in 1991, Walter retired again and he and Barbara moved to Harrisonville temporarily. In 1992, they moved to Donna, Texas, near Weslaco in the Rio Grande Valley, which they called home until 2012.

Walter and Barbara were avid volunteers, saying that no matter how young or old, they wanted to share their time and talents and do something productive for their community. They were often found working at the Weslaco Chamber of
Commerce and the Estero Llano Grande State Park and Frontera Audubon Nature Preserve.

During the summer months, they would migrate north and volunteer as naturalists, working for the National Forest Service, National Wildlife Refuge System and local nature parks. They volunteered from the Grand Canyon to Maine, and to Alaska as naturalists doing survey work, banding and counting birds and more.

Walter and Barbara were world travelers and shared their love of travel with their children and grandchildren through numerous trips. Walter was proud to have visited all seven continents, completing his final continent, Antarctica, in 2009.

Walter and Barbara’s last move in March 2012 was back to Missouri to be near their eldest daughter. Six months later, Walter lost his wife of 55 years.

Going solo, Walter started volunteering in various capacities with the Lee’s Summit Symphony, the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.

He became well known in Lee’s Summit as he volunteered for nearly every special event and distributed event posters to downtown businesses on a regular basis. In 2014, Walter was honored to receive the Dale Hartley Service Award for volunteer of the year.

Two years later, he received the Veterans Service Award from the governor’s office for his volunteer work.

Walter enjoyed living in John Knox Village Independent Living until moving into its care center in March 2020, just a week before the Coronavirus pandemic lock downs were put into place. He was a COVID-19 survivor, contracting the virus in October 2020.

During the last few years of his life, his family extended to include his wonderful Simply Home Companion caregivers, most recently Casey, Christina, Charity, Kara, Stephanie and Michelle, under the guidance of Nathan. Their one-on-one care allowed him to enjoy a better quality of life and remain in independent living until his last year.

The family is grateful for the wonderful care Walter received from Simply Home.

Additionally, the family wants to express sincere gratitude and thanks to Kansas City Hospice House for its assistance and guidance for a peaceful and beautiful end-of-life experience. Walter died peacefully of natural causes.

Walter is survived by his three children: Leiann Nelson and Steve, Harrisonville, Elizabeth Stabenow and Earl, Maple Grove Minnesota, and George Heid and Holly, Arlington, Texas; five grandchildren, Wade Nelson, Lee’s Summit, Craig Nelson and Lindsay, Blue Springs, Jennifer Byers and John, Dayton Minnesota, Kimberly Lober and Alex, Atlanta and Timothy Heid, Arlington; six great-grandchildren, Jack, Otto, Piper, Theo, Juniper and Finn; his brother, Konrad Heid and Barbara, Joplin; and many other relatives.

A private family celebration of life will be held post-COVID pandemic in the mountains of Montana.

For those who wish to make a donation in Walter’s memory, the family suggests donations to Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc., to continue support for community events and programs, something near and dear to Walter’s heart.

Donations can be made by visiting downtownls.org/donate or mailing donations to DLSMS at 13 S.E. Third St., Lee’s Summit, MO 64063.

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

Herluf L. Jaspersen
Oct. 26, 1930 – Jan. 19, 2021

Herluf L. Jaspersen, 90, Peculiar, died Jan. 19. Herluf was born in Latimer, Iowa, Oct. 26, 1930, the son of Chris Jaspersen and Ingebord (Strandskov) Jaspersen.

After schooling, Herluf joined the workforce and provided for his family as a laborer in various capacities not retiring until January 2020.

In life, Herluf enjoyed being around others. He was an evangelist at heart, spreading the word of God wherever he went.

Herluf was preceded in death by his loving wife, Betty Jaspersen; parents, Chris and Ingebord Jaspersen; two sons, Gary and Richard Jaspersen; and 11 siblings.

He leaves behind his son, Craig Jaspersen and his wife, Mary; daughter-in-law, Nancy Jaspersen; five sisters-in-law Marlys, Charlene and June Jaspersen, Charlotte Rush and Pauline Bull; nine grandchildren, Michelle and Paul, Misty, Mykael, Adam, Matthew and Nikki, Randy, Jared and Sarah, Scott and Emily, and Joshua and Barisha; 24 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Beacon of Hope Church Food Pantry, 1315 E. Walnut St., Raymore, MO 64083 A funeral service was Jan. 25 at the Cullen Funeral Home, Raymore. A graveside service was Jan. 26 at Elmwood Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Cullen Funeral Home, Raymore.

Leonard E. Lukenbill
March 18, 1959 – Jan. 20, 2021

Leonard “Lenny” Eugene Lukenbill, 61, Harrisonville, died Jan. 20 at Golden Years Care Center in Harrisonville. A private family celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Lenny was born March 18, 1959, in Howe, Michigan, a son of Leonard Orville and Alice Mae (Carriger) Lukenbill.

Lenny was an over-the-road truck driver and owned and operated his own truck for more than 20 years before his retirement.

He lived in Archie before moving to Harrisonville and was a graduate of Archie High School. Lenny enjoyed playing golf, bowling and baseball and was known as a very kind and giving man.

Lenny was preceded in death by his father, Leonard “Jack” Lukenbill and a son, David Lukenbill.

He is survived by a daughter, Barbara Schlesinger and Charles, Platte City; his mother, Alice Lukenbill, Harrisonville; three brothers, Dennis Lukenbill, Raytown, Jeff Lukenbill, Harrisonville, and Mark Lukenbill, Sr., Garden City; two sisters, Patricia Francy, Lee’s Summit, and Jacqueline “Jackie” Harris and Earl, Archie; three granddaughters, Clara, Eleanor and Violet Schlesinger; six nephews, Cory Lukenbill, Garrett Lukenbill, Christopher Harris, Scott Harris, Mark Lukenbill, Jr., and Joshua Lukenbill; and a niece, Devon Lukenbill; and many other family and friends.

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

Carl E. Osborn
Dec. 15, 1938 – Jan. 20, 2021

Carl E. Osborn, 82, Archie, died Jan. 20 at his home in Archie. Carl was born Dec. 15, 1938, in Austin, the son of Roy Eugene and Emma Mae (Kerr) Osborn.

Carl was a lifelong Archie resident and a 1957 graduate of Archie High School. Carl started his excavation business while still in high school, working with his dad and following in his dad’s footsteps. He continued to run the business, Carl E. Osborn Bulldozing, until his retirement in 2017.

He married a high school classmate, Eileen (Brown) Ray, July 9, 1994, in Cassville.

Carl was instrumental in helping start the Archie Ambulance Service, had served on the Archie City Council and on the Crescent Hill Cemetery Board. He was a lifelong member of the Archie First Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Emma; a daughter, Carla Reed; and a granddaughter, Ashley Tabor.

Carl is survived by his wife, Eileen Osborn, Archie; two daughters, Kim Osborn, Adrian, and Stacy and John Schaefer, Belton; a son, Kevin and Shelli Ray, Archie; and son-in-law, Charley Reed, Archie; two brothers, Allen and Kay Osborn, Pittsburg, and Randy and Joyce Osborn, Archie; a sister, Connie Smith, Belton; special niece, Maranda Morgan, Archie; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.

Funeral services were Jan. 22 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Burial was in Crescent Hill Cemetery in Adrian. Memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association.

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

Linda Frances Roberts
July 16, 1949 – Jan. 14, 2021

Linda Frances Roberts, 72, Urbana, died Jan. 14 at Big Spring Care Center, Humansville. Linda’s funeral plans included cremation and a Celebration of Life which will be held at a later date.

Linda was born July 16, 1948, the daughter of Kenneth R. Judd and Mildred F. Allred. Linda was united in life and marriage to Rocky Lee Roberts Sr. for 30 years until his death in 2010. Linda enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, crocheting, gardening, painting, listening to classic country music and reading poetry.

Linda was preceded in death by her father, Kenneth R. Judd; mother, Mildred F. Allred; and two sons: Rocky Lee Roberts, Jr. and Frankie Leon Johnson.

She is survived by her children, Sherri Ankebrant (Art), Cindie Johnson, Crystal Cambron, Tony Rievley, Kimberly Watson (Kevin) and Kenny Roberts (Tammy); her siblings, Jack Judd (Theresa), Carmen Cox, Jenny Jenson (Jim) and Melissa Shoaf; 21 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.

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

Henry G. Schmoll, Jr.
July 27, 1931 – Jan. 15, 2021

Henry George “Bill” Schmoll, Jr., 89, Harrisonville, was born, July 27, 1931, near East Lynne, the son of Henry G. and Mabel M. (Hollet) Schmoll, Sr. He died Jan. 15 at the Lee’s Summit Medical Center.

H.G., also known as Bill, was raised on the family farm north of East Lynne working alongside his parents and sister. He attended German Town Grade School and was a 1949 Pleasant Hill High School graduate.

At the age of 21, he joined the United States Air Force and proudly served for four years during the Korean War.

Nov. 11, 1953, he married Norma V. Santacruz in Tucson, Arizona, and to this union three daughters were born. They later divorced and she preceded him in death Feb. 13, 2007.

Bill was employed as a fireman inspector for the TWA overhaul base for 30 years. He also owned and operated a small lawn care business on the side. He was a hard worker always keeping his home and himself clean and neat.

He enjoyed collecting airplane memorabilia and Marilyn Monroe pictures. He was an avid reader. He loved taking cruises and traveling internationally.

Bill was also preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Carla Marie Boyle; a sister, Margie Yoder; and a special friend, Ruth Ward.

He is survived by two daughters, Natalie and Anthony Honeycutt Bartch, Stonewall, Louisiana, and Joan and Bernard Matthey, Tucson, Arizona; 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a sister, Ginger and Jim Holt, Harrisonville; several nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.

Rest in peace Bill and fly high.

Graveside funeral services were Jan. 19 at the Orient Cemetery, Harrisonville, with Jim Holt officiating. Casket bearers were Dwayne Boyle, James Boyle, Roy Boyle, Bernard Matthey, Dylan Smith and Jerrad Smith. Lawrence Yoder was an honorary casket bearer. Full military honors were conducted by the United States Air Force and the VFW Post No. 3118 Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Cass County on Aging or Wayside Waifs and may be sent in care of the funeral home.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Stanley-Dickey Funeral Home, Pleasant Hill.

Anthony H. Thomas
April 10, 1943 – Jan. 16, 2021

Anthony H. “Tony” Thomas, 77, Peculiar, died Jan. 16 at his home in Peculiar. Tony was born April 10, 1943, in Kansas
City, the son of Harold E. and Mary D. (Horsley) Thomas.

Tony was a life-long resident of Peculiar. After graduating from Mountain Empire High School in Campo, California, in 1961, Tony attended college a of couple years in Warrensburg (CMSU).

He was a United States Marine veteran. Tony was a Mason, a member of Ararat Shrine in Kansas City, the Harrisonville Elks Lodge and was a life-long member of the NRA.

He had attended the Harrisonville Community Church and was also a two-term mayor of Peculiar.

Tony married Donna Stephens May 21, 2005.

Tony enjoyed hunting and fishing and for 30 years had gone to Haley’s Camp in Canada fishing. He made two hunting trips to Africa and would have loved to have gone back a third time for a leopard hunt. His illness prevented his return to Africa and his final goal of killing a leopard.

Tony worked many jobs over the years. For many years he traveled the country, supervising the erection of cell towers, he operated the elevator in Peculiar and his last job was working for NECO Seeds as a seed and fertilizer salesman.

Tony loved owning and trading guns and was very involved with Off The Wall Gun Shop.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a son, Brian Anthony Thomas.

Tony is survived by his wife, Donna Stephens; a daughter, Joy Dawn Thomas, Peculiar; a brother, Brien Thomas, Everson, Washington; three grandchildren, Tristan Tyler and Alyssa, Trenity Tyler, and Aidan Thomas-Kruse; and a great-grandchild, Weslynn Tyler.

Funeral services were Jan. 19 at the Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville.

Burial was in Wills Cemetery in Peculiar.

Contributions may be made to Lewy Body Dementia Association.

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

Rhonda J. Batschelet
Nov. 17, 1955 – Jan. 15, 2021

Rhonda Joy Batschelet, 65, Clinton, died Jan. 15 at the Golden Valley Memorial Hospital. She was born Nov. 17, 1955, in Nevada, the daughter of Joy (Buhr) Belk and Larry Belk.

She grew up in Adrian and attended and graduated from the Adrian R-3 Schools. She was baptized into membership of the Adrian Christian Church in April 1967.

She married Gary Batschelet June 5, 1987. They chose Clinton to raise their family and build a lifetime of memories, a community Rhonda loved and called home. She was employed with the Golden Valley Memorial Hospital for 12 years, retiring in July 2018.

Rhonda loved animals. She was always ready to help a homeless dog or cat and was known to bring home a few through the years. It didn’t help that she would set out a bowl of milk or food for the wayward pet.

She enjoyed music, especially Elvis, family backyard barbecues and Fourth of July celebrations on Booth Road, the smell of a lilac bush in the spring and the smells of summer, while sitting on the front porch.

She loved the Christmas tree, sometimes being accused of leaving it up too long by her children, but she felt you could never have too much Christmas tree peace.

But her favorite season was fall. Laughter was never sweeter than when shared with family and friends around a fire pit or when playing apples to apples with her grandkids at the dining room table and that look on her grandson, Adam’s, facewh en team Papa won.

Rhonda loved sunsets and the Colorado Rocky Mountains, pausing to take in the beauty of nature. Above all else, Rhonda cherished her time with her family. Being a wife to Gary, mom to Jennifer, Jeremy and Andrew and being Nana.

She was preceded in death by her father, Larry Belk, and her dad, Ralph Tourtillot.

In addition to her husband, Gary; surviving are a daughter, Jennifer Petry and husband, Matt, Clinton; two sons, Jeremy Bowman and wife, Monica, Jefferson City, and Andrew Batschelet and wife, Tiara, Madisonville, Kentucky; Nana to Allison, Emma, Austin, Adam, Raegan, Blake, Whitney and Maverick; her mother, Joy (Buhr) Hill; beloved sisters, Kelly Talley and husband, Mitch, and Marsha Talley, all of Adrian; and her sisters by heart, Helen Heuser, Kim Willis and Rose Goth.

Graveside services will be scheduled for a later date.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Clinton Animal Shelter and they may be left in care of the funeral home.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Bradley & Hadley Funeral Home, Clinton.

Graca Fleischer
Oct. 10, 1940 – Jan. 17, 2021

Graca Fleischer, 80, Butler, died Jan. 17 at Butler Center Nursing and Rehab.

Graca Fern Fleischer was born Oct. 10, 1940, in Butler, the daughter of Abram “Abe” Henry and Edith Fern Ehart Berry.

She graduated from Butler High School in May 1958.

Graca married Howard Dennis Fleischer June 3, 1960. To this union three girls were born, Gayle Ann, Vicky Jo and Judy Kay.

Graca worked more than 40 years in insurance, greeting customers with a smile on her face everyday. First with Farm Bureau Insurance, then G.J. Six Insurance, Krinn-Cook Insurance and finally at Cook Insurance until her retirement in 2005.

During retirement, Graca enjoyed volunteering at the Community Food Pantry of Butler through 2012 then volunteering at the Pantry Thrift Store from 2013 to 2020.

She was a life-long Butler resident and she and Howard spent 43 years in their home on Fort Scott Street. She loved decorating her home for the holidays, hosting family dinners, gardening, planting and tending to her flowers every summer.

She was an Elvis fan, enjoyed traveling, made excellent peanut clusters and popcorn, but her greatest pleasure in life was to spend time with her daughters and grandsons.

Graca was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Howard Fleischer in 2017; and by her brother, Jackie “Jack” Berry.

She is survived by her daughters, Gayle Ann Fleischer, Butler, Vicky Jo Cameron and husband, Dale, Archie, and Judy Kay Moore, Kansas City; grandsons, Kyle Cameron and Victoria “Tori” Thompson, Harrisonville, and Kevin Cameron and Kaylie Hester, Raymore.

Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 30 in Oak Hill Cemetery, Butler. A visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler. Friends are welcome to attend, but masks are required and social distancing should be observed.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Food Pantry of Butler.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler.

Bernice Lesmeister
Jan. 15, 2021

With her children by her side, Bernice Lesmeister, 61, died Jan. 15. Bernice was the youngest of nine children, born to Clement William Lesmeister and Teresa Mary Rotert Lesmeister of Butler.

She was raised on a dairy farm that was famous for its Guernsey cattle. In high school, she was active in the Future Homemakers of America, the American Field Service Chapter and Future Business Leaders of America.

After high school, Bernice relocated to Corpus Christi, Texas, where she met her then husband. Together they had two children, Robert and Rachel Pennington.

Bernice was a wonderful mother and an outstanding role model. She was supportive and involved in everything they wanted to be a part of, soccer, baseball, kickball, football, jump rope, volleyball, bas ketball, raising all kinds of animals and the list could go on and on.

In 1999, Bernice started her teaching career at Calallen Middle School, she taught sixth-grade keyboarding and seventh- and eighth-grade technology applications. Her fun-loving personality and passion for teaching made her a favorite amongst the students.

Education was very important to Bernice. While raising a family, she was able to pursue a college education. In 2004, she graduated from Texas A&M – Corpus Christi with a Master Degree in Science.

In 2013 at the age of 53, Bernice was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.

Shortly after this diagnosis, Bernice relocated to North Carolina to be near her daughter. Even with this diagnosis, Bernice’s personality shined through, she continued to make friends, bring joy and laughter to many people’s lives. Bernice’s laugh and smile will always be remembered.

Bernice was preceded in death by her father Clement; mother Teresa; and brothers Donald and Harold.

Bernice is survived by her son, Robert Pennington, San Antonio, Texas, his wife, Anna, and their two children, Ellie and Ethan; her daughter, Rachel Hardison, Kinston, North Carolina, her husband, Scott, and their daughters, Kenly and Charlotte; four brothers, Joe Lesmeister, Arlington, Washington, Johnny Lesmeister and wife, Karen, Bolivar, Ralph Lesmeister and wife, Kathy, Spring Branch, Texas, and Francis Lesmeister and wife, Robin, Butler; two sisters, Sharon Miller and husband, Ken, Nixa, and Evelyn Beebe and husband, Robert, Montrose; and four grandchildren.

An amazing, beautiful, strong woman was lost, but her family is taking comfort in knowing that she is in heaven looking down on them.

A celebration of life was, Jan. 21 at Tanglewood Church of God in Kinston.

This obituary was provided courtesy of the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.

Rosalie A. Steele
Oct. 13, 1926 – Jan. 13, 2021

Rosalie Ann (Mullen) Steele was born Oct. 13, 1926, in Holden and died Jan. 13 at Adrian Manor in Adrian at the age of 94 years and 3 months. She was the daughter of Wilkes and Gertrude Marie (Christiansen) Mullen.

Rosalie spent her younger years in Holden, graduating from Holden High School in 1944.

After graduation, she worked at an ammunition plant in Kansas City.

In 1947, she met Lale Randolph “Randy” Steele. After their marriage, they made their home in Pleasant Hill.

Rosalie worked several places after her marriage including Bendix and the Pleasant Hill Garment Factory before taking a position with Western Electric in Lee’s Summit. She worked 20 years for Western Electric before retiring in 1983.

Rosalie was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She took great pride in her family and their accomplishments.

Rosalie was an active and dedicated member of the Community of Christ Church of Pleasant Hill. She worked tirelessly for her church, volunteering whenever and wherever she was needed.

Rosalie was also a member of the VFW Auxiliary Post No. 3118 of Pleasant Hill, the Pioneers of America and served for many, many years as an election poll worker for Cass County.

In her spare time, Rosalie enjoyed knitting and crocheting. She also enjoyed quilting and had made quilts for all of her family, which they each treasure. Rosalie loved to bake bread and was known far and wide for her pecan cinnamon rolls which she gifted to her family, friends, even her doctor and she always took a big tray to share with the other poll workers at her polling place each election day.

Rosalie was preceded in death by her husband, Lale Randolph “Randy” Steele, Jan. 17, 2004; her parents, Wilkes and Gertrude Marie (Christiansen) Mullen; two brothers, Max Mullen and Marvin Earl Mullen; and two sisters, Dorothy Elizabeth Bixby and Rena Mae Ellis.

She is survived by two sons, Allen Steele and wife, Sheryl, Adrian, and Francis Wayne Steele, Baytown, Texas; a daughter, Marcella (Steele) Ruehter and husband, John, Omaha, Nebraska; six grandchildren, Brian Steele and wife, Stephanie, South Weber, Utah, Eric Steele and wife, Kara, Kansas City, Timothy Steele and Angel Steele both of Baytown, Texas, Kyle Ruehter and wife, Alex, and David Ruehter all of Omaha; four great-grandchildren; other relatives and many friends.

Graveside service and interment were Jan. 20 at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Pleasant Hill, with Evangelist Don Carlile
officiating.

The family suggests contributions to the Pleasant Hill Community of Christ Church and may be mailed to Community of Christ Church, P.O. Box 115, Pleasant Hill, MO 64080.

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

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