Around the Community

Obituaries

Patsy M. Benton
Dec. 12, 1938 – Feb. 22, 2021

Patsy Marie Benton, 82, Harrisonville, died Feb. 22 at her home in Harrisonville. Patsy was born Dec. 12, 1938, in Summit, Arkansas, the daughter of William and Ethel (Maxey) Pope.

She married Marion Franklin Benton Oct. 19, 1957.

She had lived in Peculiar before moving to Harrisonville. Patsy worked in the apparel department at Harrisonville Walmart for 25 years before her retirement.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Marion, who died Sept. 7, 1984; and a son, John Benton.

Patsy is survived by a daughter, Deborah Smith and James, Harrisonville; two granddaughters, Sammijo Miller, Holden, and Bobbijo Dalton, Seattle, Washington; and four grandchildren, Naomi Miller, Elijah Miller, Eliana Bowlin and Bobby Lee Bowlin.

Graveside services were Feb. 25 at the Peculiar Cemetery, Peculiar.

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

Mary J. Couch
June 24, 1956 – Feb. 19, 2021

Mary Jane Couch, 64, Belton, was born, June 24, 1956, in Springdale, Arkansas, the daughter of Jerry and Jeannette (West) Jayroe. She died Feb. 19 at the Beautiful Savior Care Center, Belton, surrounded with love and family.

Mary was a 1976 Center High School graduate. Oct. 19, 1974, she married Albert Boyd Couch in Kansas City.

Mary was a homemaker. She was also employed as a cafeteria assistant for the Belton School District and sold Avon for more than 20 years.

She was a member of the Crossroads Methodist Church in Belton. Mary enjoyed going to the lake, traveling and cameo painting. She most loved spending time with family.

Mary was preceded in death by her father, Jerry Jayroe; and her step-father, Albert G. Couch.

She is survived by her husband, Boyd, of the home; a son, Jess Couch, Kansas City; her mother, Jeannette, Belton; three brothers, Harold and Kelly Couch, Pleasant Hill, George and Arla Couch, Liberty, and Jeff and Jamie Couch, Harrisonville; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; and friends.

Cremation has been accorded. Private family services will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Crossroads Methodist Church and may be sent in care of the funeral home.

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

David L. Freer
Dec. 6, 1940 – Feb. 25, 2021

David Lee Freer, 80, Fort Scott, Kansas, died and joined his wife of 50 years Feb. 25 at his daughter’s home in Harrisonville.

David is survived by three daughters, Stephani Beckett and husband, Steve, Appleton City, Cheryl Link, Raymore, and Leslie Burdine and husband, Kerry, Harrisonville; five grandchildren, Ashley Cornish and Landon, Thomas Link and Dominee, Robert Link, Ethan Link and Kia and Taylor Thomas and Kyron; 10 great-grandchildren; a sister, Raylene Freer, Fort Scott; other relatives and many friends.

Cremation. A private family inurnment will be at the Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Scott, Kansas, and a celebration of life service will all be held at a later date.

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

T. Joe Hernandez
Aug. 6, 1951 – Feb. 15, 2021

Tony Joe Hernandez, Creighton, died Feb. 15 at Research Medical Center, Kansas City, surrounded by love and family at the age of 69 years, 6 months and 9 days.

May 3, 2009, Joe married Mary Sue (Lewis) Polzin in East Lynne.

Joe was employed as a millwright for Automatic Systems in Kansas City until his retirement. He was a faithful member of Heart of Life Church, Garden City, and played the bass guitar in their music ministry.

Joe was a homebody and loved and cared for his family deeply. He enjoyed making knives, key chains, bracelets and many other items out of power cord.

Joe was a lifelong area resident of Garden City before moving to Creighton in 2009.

He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Daniel.

Joe is survived by his wife, Sue Hernandez, of the home; a son, Nathan Hernandez and Kendra, Grandview; a daughter, Tara Bace and Jeff, Madisonville, Kentucky; a step-daughter, Miranda Tuter, Creighton; four grandchildren, Rachel, Brittany, Michael and Alex; two great-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; two brothers, David Hernandez and Paul Hernandez, both of Garden City; six sisters, Christine Smith, DeKalb, Glenda Giesken, Wilcox, Mildred Fransson, Sweden, Teresa Gay, Garden City, Vanessa Conger, Garden City, and Deneice Beggs. Guilford; other relatives and a host of friends.

Cremation. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

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

Reyna J. Oliver
March 12, 2002 – Feb. 17, 2021

Reyna Jeanneth Oliver, 18, Pleasant Hill, was born March 12, 2002, in Guatemala. She died Feb. 17, 2021, as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Reyna was in her senior year of high school and was working at the Pleasant Hill Creamery and as a childcare provider for Kidz, Inc., both in Pleasant Hill.

She was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit, where she enjoyed helping with Vacation Bible School, was active in the youth group and helped on mission trips.

Reyna loved reading, working puzzles and the color hot pink. She enjoyed baseball, especially attending her brother Ty’s games and watching the Royals play.

Reyna adored fishing with her grandpa at the family cabin and still holds the family record for the biggest crappie caught.

Reyna also enjoyed playing board games and pool with her family.

Reyna is survived by her parents, William E. “Bill” and Kaila D. (Breon) Oliver; three brothers, Grady and Anna Oliver, Paola, Kansas, Jorden and Cheyanne Oliver, Harrisonville and Ty Oliver, Pleasant Hill; two sisters, Carsynne and Brady McGuire and Maizee Oliver, both of Pleasant Hill; her nephew Reed McGuire; paternal grandparents, William and Sandra Oliver, Lee’s Summit; maternal grandparents, Larry and Cheryl Breon, Lee’s Summit; and many other relatives and friends.

Cremation has been accorded.

Visitation was Feb. 28 at the Grace Baptist Church, Lee’s Summit. Private family services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be forwarded to Grace Baptist Church “Missions,” 850 SW MO-150, Lee’s Summit, MO 64082, or online at Gracebaptistls@gmail.com.

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

N. Nadine Semsch
Sept. 10, 1930 – Feb. 20, 2021

Norma Nadine Semsch, 90, Freeman died Feb. 20 at her home in Freeman, surrounded by her family. Nadine was born Sept. 10, 1930, in La Cygne, Kansas, the daughter of Marion L. and Nettie Mae (Dowdle) Copeland.

She attended school in Amsterdam and was a 1948 graduate of Amsterdam High School.

Nadine married John William Semsch March 18, 1951, in Amsterdam, where they made their home until moving to Kansas City in 1954. They lived in the Bethel Neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas, before moving to Freeman in 1962.

Nadine was an active member of the Freeman Baptist Church and the Domestic Dames. She served as the city clerk of Freeman and as an election judge for a number of years.

She was a fixture at Cass-Midway High School watching her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren in all their events.

She enjoyed gardening, camping, cooking, baking and spending time with her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John, Aug. 26, 2000; three brothers; five sisters; and a great-granddaughter, Savannah Nash.

Nadine is survived by two sons, Jerry Semsch and LeeAnn, Kansas City, and Joey Semsch and Christy, Freeman; three daughters, Debbie Mincks and Dean, Freeman, Denise Goddard and Alan, Cleveland, and Deann Wolf and Jim, Harrisonville; a brother, Glenn Copeland and Janice, Rotan, Texas; a sister, Fern Coffel, Sedalia; 13 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; 15 great-great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were Feb. 26 at the Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville.

Burial was in the Freeman Cemetery, Freeman. The family requests contributions to the Freeman Baptist Church.

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

William B. Snipes
Nov. 19, 1942 – Feb. 19, 2021

Retired Navy E-6 William Bruce Snipes, Grandview, was born Nov. 19, 1942, in Fairmont, North Carolina. His parents were Albert and Olathe Snipes. He died Feb. 19 at his home in Grandview at the age of 78 years, 3 months.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Wilbur Snipes; many beloved aunts, uncles and other relatives.

Surviving are his loving wife of more than 46 years, Virginia Thurman Snipes; his sister, Nelda Wallace, Okeechobee, Florida; sister-in-law, Ella Mae Snipes, Ellerbe, North Carolina; and niece, Kim and Gene Chapman, Cheraw, South Carolina; and great-niece, Carley Chapman, Marietta, Georgia; his wife’s family, Jim and Sue Thurman, Independence; Frank and Mickie Thurman, Archie; Mary and Rick Silber, Camden Point; Betty and Terry Hartwig, Independence; and Bill and Teresa Thurman, Harrisonville; along with many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews; and other family and friends.

Bill retired after 22 years in the United States Navy, April 1985, from NAS Jacksonville, Florida. During his long and storied naval career, he was engaged in active duty in Vietnam from 1969 through 1971, later serving aboard the USS Saratoga and USS Forrestal before working as a jet engine mechanic at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, NAS Cecil Field, Florida, and finally training reserves at NAS Jacksonville, Florida.

After retiring from the Navy, they moved to Kansas City where he worked numerous jobs driving a school bus and working in security to supplement his Navy retirement. Bill greatly loved football and basketball, especially any teams related to his beloved North Carolina; and of course, the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Funeral services were Feb. 23 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Burial was in the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Harrisonville.

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

Mary R. Cook
Aug. 15, 1921 – Feb. 19, 2021

Mary Ruth Cook, 99, formerly of rural Butler, died Feb. 19 in Independence. She was born the daughter of the late Roy C. Hays and Iva Evans Hays Aug. 15, 1921, at their home near Ballard.

She attended Fairview Grade School and Ballard High School. She earned an associate’s degree from Southwest Baptist College (now university), Bolivar, and continued studies at Central Missouri State College (now Central Missouri University).

Mary Ruth and Aaron Cook, also from the Ballard community, were married April 22, 1943, in San Diego California.

Being citizens of a country at war, they worked at Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation.

Following Aaron’s service and discharge from the United States Army Feb. 18, 1946, they settled on their farm south of Ballard. Here they worked together 50 years raising crops and livestock, notably prime beef cattle.

Mary Ruth worked tirelessly to preserve the products of their large vegetable gardens. In 1996 they retired, but remained in their home until 2012.

Mary Ruth accepted the Lord Jesus as her personal Savior early in life. She served through the ministries of the Fairview Baptist Church. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She promoted mission awareness through leadership in the Children in Action, Girls in Action and Woman’s Missionary Union organizations.

For 30 years she was clerk of the church, keeping records and preserving history. In 2017, the church recognized her years of service. In later years, Mary Ruth was a member of the First Baptist Church of Butler where she taught a class of senior ladies.

Mary Ruth volunteered at Kamp Keirsey and supported her children’s participation in 4-H. She was a student of family, church and Missouri histories.

Her ancestors of both the Hays and Evans families were pioneers in the settlement of Bates County.

As a short, petite, energized, white-haired senior, she maintained correspondence with many friends, including some from her youth and college days. She completed many pieces of embroidery work for quilt construction.

Mary Ruth was preceded in death by Aaron in 2013 , her husband of 70 years.

She is survived by beloved family, son, David Cook and Alice, Buckner; daughters, Lois Miller and Richard, Leawood, Kansas, and Mary Wood and Joseph, Lee’s Summit; five granddaughters, Karen French and Dann, Clinton, Carol Frerichs and Chad, Pilger Nebraska, Lindsey Miller, Brentwood, Tennessee, Elizabeth Wood and Ryne Verschoor, Sioux City Iowa, and Hannah Brizuela, Lee’s Summit; great-grandchildren, Bethany Coplenand Kurt, Marcus Cloe and Kareena, Amanda Balcom, Miriam Frerichs, Cristian Brizuela, Veronica Brizuela; and great-great-grandchildren Reaghan Cloe and Gage Coplen.

The family thanks the kind caregivers of Interim in Independence.

A private graveside gathering of family will be held with a possible memorial service later in the year. If desired, memorial contributions can be made to Kamp Keirsey or the Butler Community Food Pantry and directed to the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.

Victoria A. McMullin
June 22, 1944 – Feb. 22, 2021

Victoria Aileen McMullin, 76, Odessa, died Feb. 22 at Pleasant Hill Health and Rehab in Pleasant Hill. She was born June 22, 1944, the daughter of Victor Archie and Dorothy Rankin Proctor in Lexington.

Victoria is survived by two sons, Mike McMullin and wife, Kelli, Butler, and Lance George McMullin, Cameron; a brother, Charlie Lee Proctor and wife, Cheryl, Oak Grove; four grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Ray Boone McMullin.

Victoria’s wishes were to be cremated.

A celebration of life service will be held at a later date with inurnment in the Odessa Cemetery.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.