Miscellaneous Jasper County, Missouri Obituaries 1996

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Mary Benfield 

Mary L. Benfield, 64, Joplin, died at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 1996, at her home after a short illness. 

Mrs. Benfield was born June 4, 1932, at Stoutland. She lived most of her life in the Joplin area. She worked at a Joplin Snak-Atak store from 1993 to 1996. 

Survivors include her husband, Clifford Benfield; four sons, Darrell Benfield, Carl Benfield and Dennis Benfield, all of Joplin, and Dale Benfield, Webb City; two daughters, Linda Fritts, Joplin, and Debbie Kent, Carterville; 12 grandchildren; and a great-grandson. 

The body will be cremated. No services are planned. Arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary, Joplin. 

Hazel Harris 

Hazel J. Harris, 77, Bella Vista, Ark., died at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 1996, at her home after a short illness. She is survived by her daughter Joy Mitchell, a Joplin resident. 

Mrs. Harris was born April 3, 1919, in the state of Virginia. She moved to the Hiwasse community near Bella Vista from Virginia in 1938. 

Her husband, Arnold G. Harris, died Dec. 15, 1973. 

Also surviving are another daughter, Christine Betz, Neosho; a brother, Raymond Hicks, Rockford, Ill.; a sister, Bertha Fields, Rockford; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. 

Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Hiwasse. The Rev. Jeff St. Clair will officiate. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Callison-Lough Funeral Service, Bentonville, Ark. 

John LaGasse Jr. 

John J. LaGasse Jr., 70, 2017 Jackson Ave., died at 12:06 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 1996, at a local nursing home after a short illness. 

Mr. LaGasse was born Dec. 28, 1925, at Denver, Colo. He lived most of his life in Joplin. He retired in 1985 after working 40 years for what is now ICI Explosives Inc. 

He was a World War II Navy veteran. He was a member of First Christian Church, the Military Order of Cootie, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge and Joplin Elks Lodge No. 501. He also was a life member of Earl J. Bruton Post No. 534, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and War Dad's Post No. 285, both in Joplin. 

He married Elnora Hessinger on June 6, 1945, at Columbus, Kan. She died Jan. 21, 1996. 

Survivors include three sons, John J. LaGasse III, Seattle, Wash., Robert D. LaGasse, Baxter Springs, Kan., and Charles M. LaGasse, Phoenix, Ariz.; a daughter, Vicki Banks, 820 Picher Ave.; a brother, Louis LaGasse, 2717 E. Eighth St.; three sisters, Grace Barber, Long Beach, Calif., Guida Lea Irvin, Spencer, Okla., and Mary Wallace, Houston, Texas; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. 

Arrangements are pending with Mason-Woodard Mortuary, Joplin. 

Sonny Fletcher 

ORONOGO, Mo. Services for Henry ``Sonny'' Fletcher, 49, Oronogo route 1, who died Friday, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Union Chapel, near Stella. 

The Rev. Travis Terry will officiate. Burial will be in Union Cemetery, next to the church. 

Pallbearers will be Tommy Arnett, Jason Sisco, Robert Fletcher, Albert Volkman and Jimmy Lawson. 

The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hedge-Lewis Funeral Home, Webb City. 

Carl Riley 

ANDERSON, Mo. Carl T. Riley, 76, Anderson route 1, died at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, 1996, at a local nursing home after a sudden illness. 

Mr. Riley was born July 9, 1920, at Sand Springs, Okla. He had lived in Anderson for 13 years, moving from Columbia. He was a plumber. He served in the Army Air Corps. 

His wife, Amo Jean Riley, died May 10, 1960. 

Survivors include a son, Carl T. Riley Jr., Anderson; three daughters, Carlette Zimmerman, Stella, Betty Booth, Coweta, Okla., and Coleen Epperson, Anderson; a brother, Tony Riley, Grove, Okla.; six grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. 

Private services were held Saturday. Arrangements were under the direction of Ozark Funeral Home, Anderson. 

Charles Rush 

NEOSHO, Mo. Services for Charles C. Rush, 78, 723 Terrace St., who died Friday, will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Woodard-Freund-Thompson Funeral Chapel, Neosho. 

The Rev. Jeff Combs and the Rev. John Harth will officiate. Burial will be in Neosho IOOF Cemetery. 

The Northeast Oklahoma Veterans Funeral Detail will conduct military rites. 

Pallbearers will be by Tom Higdon, Michael Foster, Rick Adler, Wayne Martin, Chuck McClintock, and Chuck Carroll. 

J.A. Turner 

SENECA, Mo. J.A. Turner, 66, Seneca route 2, died Sunday, Sept. 29, 1996, at St. John's Regional Medical Center, Joplin, after a sudden illness. 

Mr. Turner was born May 27, 1930, in La Flore County, Okla. He moved to Seneca from the state of California in 1972. He was a retired truck driver. 

He was an Army veteran of World War II. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Seneca. 

He married Mary Ethel Stilley on Aug. 13, 1949, at Lawton, Okla. She survives. 

Additional survivors include four daughters, Shirley Abriance, Del Rio, Texas, Janet Sue Lawrence, Germany, Donna Marie Moore, state of Florida, and Sara Beth Staed, Medford, Ore.; a brother, Samuel Turner, Joplin; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. 

Arrangements are pending with Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home, Seneca. 

Jessie Reynolds 

COLUMBUS, Kan. Jessie P. Zimmerman Reynolds, 88, Columbus, died at 7:45 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, 1996, in a Columbus nursing home after an illness. 

Mrs. Reynolds was born Oct. 11, 1907, near Cherokee. She worked at Bunyan's Dry Goods Store, Columbus, after graduating high school. She and her first husband owned and operated Zimmerman's Ag Grocery Store in Columbus for 30 years. In 1961, they sold the business, and she went to work at the J.C. Penney store in Columbus. 

She was a member of First Christian Church, Columbus. 

She married Russell J. Zimmerman on March 6, 1930. He died Sept. 5, 1968. 

She married William ``Bill'' Reynolds on Feb. 10, 1970. He died Feb. 14, 1986. 

Survivors include a son, Gerald James Zimmerman, Columbus; a daughter, Betty Jo White, Columbus; two stepdaughters, Billye Nybert, Miami, Okla., and Fayrene McKee, Columbus; 10 grandchildren; five stepgrandchildren; 12 great-stepgrandchildren; and six great-great-stepgrandchildren. 

Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Murdock Funeral Home, Columbus. The Rev. Garland Bohn will officiate. 

Private family graveside services in Park Cemetery, Columbus, are scheduled afterward. 

Contributions may be made to the First Christian Church Memorial Fund, or to St. John's Oswego Hospice, both in care of the funeral home. 

Mary Austin 

GROVE, Okla. Mary Alta Austin, 72, Grove, died at 8:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 1996, at Doctor's Hospital, Tulsa, after a long illness. 

Mrs. Austin was born Oct. 18, 1923, at Tahlequah. She was a longtime resident of the Hickory Grove community. 

She was a member and Sunday school teacher at the Hickory Grove Church, Grove. She was a children's church leader for many years and wrote a devotional book, ``Beyond Me''. 

She married Reubin Chlow Austin on June 26, 1948, near Grove. He died Dec. 6, 1970. 

Survivors include two daughters, Joyce Taylor, Tulsa, and Brenda Keith, Grove; two brothers, Elmer McDonald, Sand Springs, and Lester McDonald, Grant's Pass, Ore.; and four grandchildren. 

Services will be at 2 p.m. today at the Hickory Grove Church. The Rev. Ted Keith and the Rev. Ron Cross will officiate. Burial will be in Hickory Grove Cemetery, near Grove. 

Pallbearers will be Shane Taylor, Jon McKee, Roland Keith, Ron Keith, Eldon Smith and Neil Smith. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Worley-Luginbuel Funeral Home, Grove. 

Weldon Marcum 

MIAMI, Okla. Weldon E. Marcum, 74, Bella Vista, Ark., a former Miami resident, died at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at a Bella Vista nursing home after a long illness. 

Mr. Marcum was born Aug. 9, 1922, at Jonesboro, Ark. He graduated from Quachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Ark., with a bachelor's degree in 1944. In 1950, he received his doctorate degree from Southern Baptist Theology Seminary, Louisville, Ky. 

He was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Carrollton, Ky. from 1949 to 1951; at the First Baptist Church in West Plains, Mo., from 1951 to 1957, and at the First Baptist Church in Miami from 1957 until he retired in 1981. He also taught Old Testament and New Testament survey courses at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Miami, for many years. 

He served on several executive boards at Southern Baptist conventions. He also was a member of the board of trustees at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo. He conducted several crusades and stewardship conferences in over 56 countries for the Southern Baptist Convention's Foreign Mission Board. 

He also had been involved in Rotary clubs at Carrollton, West Plains and Miami. 

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Marcum; two daughters, Sara Elizabeth Whitwell, Broken Arrow, and Linda Lucile Meyer, Bella Vista; his mother, Mrs. E.E. Marcum, Bella Vista; and two grandchildren. 

Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church, Miami. The Rev. Stan Cover will officiate. Burial will be in Glen Abbey Cemetery, Miami. 

Contributions may be made to the Southern Baptist Convention's Foreign Mission Board, or to the Alzheimer's Foundation, both in care of Cooper-Althouse Funeral Home, Miami.

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