As of Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023
Cities without a state are in Missouri


Ailene DeWelt

Nov. 18, 1940 – Aug. 8, 2023

Ailene (Plummer) Foster DeWelt, 82, of Joplin, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 8, at her home. She was born Bessie Ailene Plummer on Nov. 18, 1940, to John Henry and Bessie Adeline (Sidenstricker) Plummer in rural Carthage.

Ailene attended East Pearl Hill schoolhouse from grades, 1 through 8, and graduated from Carthage High School with many honors in 1958. Ailene went to Joplin Junior College, where she received an associates degree in 1960. During this time she met Larry Thomas Foster, as he was also a student. They fell in love and were married Aug. 27, 1961.

Continuing their education, the couple attended Kansas State College of Pittsburg, and in 1962 Ailene earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Three weeks later, Ailene gave birth to the first of three children, Rhonda Lou, followed by Kathy Ailene and Randy Thomas Foster. While she was at home with her children, she was very active in many things; VBS, PTA, 4-H, March of Dimes and bowling, to name a few.

In 1969, the happy couple started Foster Construction from the ground up. Together they co-owned and operated the business. When Larry died suddenly in 1982, she continued as sole owner-operator, on her own.

Later in life, she spent 25 years with her loving companion, Sgt. Maj. Nelson C. Williams. Together they bowled, square danced, and traveled all over the U.S. They later described that time in their lives to be like a fairy tale.

Ailene was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Foster, and her companion, Nelson Williams. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Bessie Plummer; four brothers, Ross, L.D., Clyde and Joe Plummer; four sisters, Patsy Ann (stillborn), Jewell Fenimore, Thelma Bass and Darlene Wilson; and a sister-in-law, Rosie Plummer.

Ailene is survived by her children, Rhonda Foster-Myers and husband Willie Kuehn, Oronogo, Kathy Frodge and husband Stephen, Randy Foster and wife Melissa, all of Canyon Lake, Texas; two sisters-in-law, Shirley Plummer, Diamond, and Deola Plummer, Joplin; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of neighbors.

She was a beautiful person who was loved and respected by all. She is greatly missed.

A celebration of Ailene’s life will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at Joplin First Church, 501 W. Fourth St. Visitation will begin at 3 p.m. Contributions may be made to the Partakers Class of Joplin First Church, (417) 623-2796.


Ruth Duncan

May 6, 1931 – Sept. 22, 2023

Verna “Ruth” Duncan, age 92, of Webb City, Missouri passed away after a brief illness on Friday Sept. 22, at the Solace House of the Ozarks in Joplin.

Ruth was born May 6, 1931 in Manchester, Tenn., to Edgar and Valena (Bowker) Elrod. She was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers, Harold, John, Cylde, Daniel, Manuel; five sisters, Jewel Wyant, Mary Williams, Exie Fletcher, June Elrod and Etoy McMahan.

Ruth is survived by one son, Darrell Duncan and wife Elaine, of Defiance; two daughters, Cynthia Mahurin and husband Sammy, Joplin, Carla Marchbanks and husband Don, Webb City; one brother Jerry Elrod and wife Sue, St. Louis; seven grandchildren, Aaron, Jeremy and Brandon Duncan, Samantha Bird, Ashley Brigance, Alicia Hall, Alana Ganer, and 12 great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and friends.

After graduating from high school, Ruth moved to St. Louis, where she married and started a family. She was a homemaker raising her children and after her children were grown, she worked for over 15 years at Rite Point Pen Co. and then worked in her home as a child care provider. She remained in St. Louis for more than 40 years before moving to the Joplin area in 2005. Ruth was a devoted Christian and spent many of her early years teaching Sunday school classes as well as being a faithful and devoted church member.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday Sept. 29, 2023, at The Sanctuary of Joplin, 1831 S. Connor Avenue, with the Rev. Rex Robertson officiating. Burial will follow at Mt Hope Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Aaron Duncan, Jeremy Duncan, Brandon Duncan, Kris Bird, Thieman Ganer, Wesley Cargill and Bobby Brigance.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Solace House of the Ozarks, in care of Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory.


Lou Steinman

Dec. 20, 1933 – Sept. 25, 2023

Louis (Lou) Grant Steinman, 89, of Webb City, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday morning, Sept. 25, following a long illness. Born on December 20, 1933, in Calamus, Iowa, Lou was the only child of the late Rev. E.G. and Ruby (Schreve) Steinman. The family lived for a time in McGregor, Iowa. Lou graduated in 1951 from McGregor High School, where among other things, he enjoyed playing basketball.

After high school, Lou’s job with the railroad brought him to Southeast Kansas and eventually to Joplin, in 1970 where his strong work ethic and skill led him to a successful lifelong career as a brick mason. His work was not just a job, but a craft he honed over the years, leaving a lasting legacy across the area in the many buildings and other structures he helped create.

Lou was an avid golfer. He played often, deep into his retirement years. He enjoyed not only playing with his many friends in the area, but also introducing the game to his daughters from a very early age.

Often after a round of golf, he could be found at the Joplin Elks Lodge, where he made lasting friendships and contributed to community activities. Despite the gruff demeanor of a brick mason that he might have shown to some, Lou was a soft-hearted man when it came to his family and his love for his German Shepherds, Gus and Dutch, who were his faithful companions. While at home, Lou could often be found tinkering in his shed, where he would listen to the radio and enjoy ice cold drinks. He also took great pride in his gardening and was well known for growing big, beautiful tomatoes.

While Lou was undoubtedly proud of the many projects he helped build as a brick mason over the years, his greatest legacy is his family. He is survived by his wife, Toni Steinman, of the home whom he married on July 17, 1987; two daughters, Tammie Loyd and husband Jason, Bella Vista, Ark., and Darcy McDermott and husband Bryce, Neosho; one stepdaughter, Melissa Wales, Joplin; and a stepson, Jeff Neely, Webb City; 11 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

At this time, no formal services will be held. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Hedge-Lewis-Goodwin Funeral Home.