As of Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024
Cities without a state are in Missouri


Bret Baker

June 13, 1950 – Jan. 10, 2024

Bret B Baker, age 73, of Grove, Okla., lost his battle with COPD on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, at his home.

On June 13, 1950, Bret was born, the oldest of four sons, to Robert and Norma (Saunders) Baker in Joplin. He grew up in Webb City and was the valedictorian of the Webb City High School Class of 1968. Following graduation, Bret then attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated in 1974.

On Aug. 31, 1986, Bret married Marsha Cole at the family lake house in Grove. The marriage included the opportunity for Bret to experience the joys and challenges of parenting Marsha’s teenage daughter, Amy, and eventually becoming a grandfather and great-grandfather. Bret took great pride in watching them grow up and contributing in so many ways in each of their lives.

After college, Bret spent 10 years as a CPA with a national firm in Kansas City and two years with a local CPA firm in Memphis, Tenn. He then became a CFO, first for a publicly traded banking software company and then for a family-owned manufacturing company.

In 1993, Bret began a career as an ad hoc financial officer, working with a variety of small and medium size businesses. He helped owners and their management teams develop effective strategies, evaluate business alternatives, and improve cash flow and profitability. Bret felt most successful helping people develop and hone their management skills. He was a trusted business advisor and mentor for many.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Bret and Marsha traveled at every opportunity. They were not just sightseers, they traveled to engage with people and experience different cultures. Bret was known for his love of fine wines – the history, the process, the taste, but most of all the people he met as he explored and shared wines in both Europe and the U.S.

Bret was a voracious reader, always seeking to expand his knowledge and understanding of the world. He met weekly with a study group to learn and engage in intellectual discussions. He was truly a critical thinker who was willing to challenge his own beliefs and was open-minded to the ideas and beliefs of others. His wisdom and intellectual curiosity were truly inspiring, leaving an impact on all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Bret Baker will be remembered as a compassionate friend, a dedicated mentor, and a true connoisseur of life. His legacy will continue to inspire and guide us, reminding us to embrace knowledge, seek adventure, and cherish the friendships that enrich our lives.

He will be dearly missed, but his spirit will forever live on in our hearts.

Bret is preceded in death by his parents. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Marsha Cole; daughter, Amy Gifford; grandson, Jake Gifford, his wife Alyssa, their two children Madisson and Cole; grandson Zack Gifford and his partner Monika Doktor; brother Bruce Baker and his wife Becky; brother Brad Baker and his wife Linda Ann; brother Kurt Baker and his wife Connie; and many cherished nieces and nephews and their families.

A memorial service for Bret will be at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, at Nichols-Stephens Funeral Chapel in Grove, followed by a Toast to His Memory until 6 p.m.

Donations in Bret’s memory may be made to: Community Crisis Center of NE Oklahoma, Wild Heart Ranch Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, KOSU Public Radio, or other favorite charity of your choice.


Marjorie Boulware

May 23, 1930 – Jan. 2, 2024

Marjorie Louise Boulware, 93, a longtime resident of Webb City, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning, Jan. 2, 2024, in the comfort of her home, following a recent decline in health. Born on May 23, 1930, in Galena, Kansas, Marjorie’s life was a testament to the power of kindness and devotion.

Marjorie’s journey began as the cherished daughter of her late parents, Henry Myers and Goldie (Fanning) Myers, in Galena, Kan. She grew up surrounded by the love of her family, including her five brothers and two sisters. Her early education was completed at Galena High School, where she graduated in 1947. She furthered her studies at Joplin Business College and Apostolic Faith Bible School in Baxter Springs, Kan. It was there that she met Jack Boulware, the love of her life, and they married on March 24, 1951. Together, they built a life filled with joy. Jack passed away too soon on Sept. 1, 2007.

Marjorie’s legacy is carried on by her five children, Van Boulware and his wife Suzanne, Joplin, Launa Thompson and her husband Bruce, Oronogo, Troy Boulware and his wife Carla, Newburgh, Ind., Carole Myers and her husband Doug, Joplin, and Cayla Pinner and her husband Greg, Magnolia, Ark.; 13 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; her sister, Deloris Smith, Galena; and other family members and friends.

Marjorie dedicated her life to her family, serving as a devoted homemaker. She was a longtime faithful member of Frisco Church, where she taught Sunday School for nearly 60 years and also served as the vacation Bible school director and treasurer. She found joy in flower gardening and caring for her home and shopping. She was an avid reader of the Bible.

Funeral services were held Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, at Frisco Church, with the Rev. Troy Boulware officiating. Burial was in Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery. Pallbearers were grandsons Ty Thompson, Chad Boulware, Brandon Myers, Israel Thompson, Adam Pinner, Ryan Thompson, Seth Pinner and J. Chistopher Thompson. The family would like to give a special Thank You to Phoenix Hospice, Charlotte’s Angels, Beverly Donham and Myra Spiva for the love and excellent care their gave to our precious mother.

Marjorie’s favorite scripture is Proverbs 3: 5-6. Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths! Memorial contributions may be made to Frisco Church. Arrangements were under the direction of Hedge-Lewis-Goodwin Funeral Home.


Steve Carlile

Dec. 5, 1946 – Jan. 3, 2024

We are saddened to announce the passing of Steve M. Carlile, a compassionate and generous soul, on Jan. 3, 2024. Born on Dec. 5, 1946, in Oklahoma City, Okla., Steve lived a full and vibrant life. He spent the last 15 years of his life in Webb City.

Steve spent a significant part of his career as an inspector and machine operator at FAG Bearing, retiring in 2005. His employment history also included stints at Tamko Ashpalt in Joplin and Denver, as well as Fleming Foods in Joplin.

Steve is survived by his niece, Paula Davis; his sister, Leona Morgan and her husband Ernie; his nephew, Michael Brown and his wife, Maggie; and his brother-in-law, Gary Brown. He was preceded in death by his father, Carol Carlile; his mother, Alice Carlile; his sister, Claudette Brown; and his niece, Carol Morgan Kyler.

A graveside committal will take place at Mt. Hope Cemetery at a later date. Services are under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home.


Randy Choate

Aug. 17, 1956 – Jan. 8, 2024

Randy Carl Choate, 67, of Webb City, and Claremore, Okla., passed away Monday, Jan. 8, at Tulsa, Oklahoma Hillcrest Hospital. He was born Aug. 17, 1956, in Webb City, and was the oldest of four siblings. A special person in his life for the last several years was Dana Brownfield.

Randy was preceded in death by his late wife, Terri Pope Choate; parents Grant and Birdie Dart Choate, Carl Junction; sister Cynthia Anne Choate Simpson, Joplin, and maternal grandparents Frank and Willie Kennedy Dart, Webb City. He also wanted his late uncle Ben Dart and wife Deloris, of Jasper, to be mentioned.

Randy was a member of the Webb City High School Class of 1974. He worked as an auto mechanic, machinist, insurance agent and property manager. He was a skilled worker with his hands and could fix about everything.

Randy is survived by Dana Brownfield; two brothers and a sister-in-law, Richard Choate, Powell, Mo., and Charles and Kim Choate, Virginia Beach, Va.; brother-in-law Ron Simpson, Joplin; uncles and aunts, Herman and Joann Passley, Oronogo, and Bob and Pam Dart, Webb City; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Randy was a great guy, loved by all and will be missed.


Kim Gordon

Feb. 13, 1960 –Jan. 5, 2024

Kimberly Faye Gordon, 63, of Webb City, passed away peacefully at her residence the morning of Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born on Feb. 13, 1960, in Joplin, Kim’s life was a testament to her selfless, kind, and loving nature, which touched the hearts of all who knew her.

Kim spent her entire life in the area she loved, embracing the community and its people with open arms. She married the love of her life, Robert Gordon Sr., on March 4, 1977, and together they built a family founded on love, laughter, and shared joys. Kim’s role as a mother was one of her greatest accomplishments, and she instilled in her children, Robert Gordon Jr., and his wife Amanda, and Christopher Gordon, the values of compassion and integrity.

Her six grandchildren, Devinne, Colby, Mikey, Colton, Charlotte, and Dalton, were the light of her life. She cherished every moment spent with them, from the simplest of days to the grandest of celebrations.

Kim’s brothers, Donnie White and his wife Sherry, of Oronogo, and Brad White, of Tipton, as well as a host of nieces and nephews remember her as a beacon of strength and love within the family. Her parents, Jack and Evelyn (Eppright) White, preceded her in death.

A lifelong resident of the area, Kim was the former manager of Take-A-Break in Webb City, where she served for over 20 years. She took pride in keeping a clean home. Fishing was another of Kim’s joys.

Visitation was held the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, at Hedge-Lewis-Goodwin Funeral Home.


Tracy Greer

Feb. 13, 1972 – Jan. 6, 2024

Tracy Eugene Greer, age 51, of Webb City, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, at Mercy Hospital Joplin.

Tracy was born on Feb. 13, 1972, in Joplin, to the union of Jess and Shirley Coppenbarger Greer. He was a lifetime resident of the Webb City/Joplin area and graduated from College View State School. He enjoyed going to church while growing up at Bethel Assembly of God. He loved spending time with his family, playing on his tablet, and watching WWE, especially John Cena. Tracy was a homebody, but he never turned down an offer to go out and eat.

Tracy is survived by his three siblings, Keith Miksell, Denise Dale and Charlene Greer; and one niece, Shirlene Dale.

Memorial contributions may be made to Special Olympics or College View State School.

Funeral services were held Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, at Parker Mortuary, with Rev. Orville Garrison officiating. Interment followed at Osborne Memorial Cemetery


Daniel Kelly

March 8, 1990 – Jan. 3, 2024

Daniel R. Kelly, age 33, of Webb City, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024, at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kan. He was born on March 8, 1990, in St. Louis to Kurt and Mona Kelly.

He is survived by his father, Kurt Kelly, and stepmother, Ramona Kelly, of Webb City; his fi·an·cée, Amanda Scruggs of Cherokee, Kan.; four sisters, Elizabeth Charlton, DeSoto, Jessie Chandler, Grant, Ala., Rebecca Remson, Michigan City, Ind., and Stephanie Becquette, Arnold; two stepbrothers, Doug Deadmond, Webb City, and Monte Deadmond, Alba. He is preceded in death by his mother, Sherry Daniels

No services have been scheduled at this time. Arrangements are under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home.


David Shaffer

Aug. 6, 1938 – Jan. 7, 2024

David Merritt Shaffer, age 85, passed away at his home Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. He was born Aug. 6, 1938, on a 104-acre farm in Bates County Missouri. He was the fifth of 10 children born to Albert Arthur Shaffer and Ruth Lorena (Foster) Shaffer.

He attended elementary school at the one-room Oak Grove school house near their family farm. David left high school early to go to work for his uncle on a traveling road construction crew. Shortly after that he met the love of his life Karen Sue Harper. They were married on Aug. 19, 1956, in Ft. Scott, Kan. They had three children, daughter Ruth Ann, son Steven David and daughter Debra Louise.

David worked various jobs before eventually realizing he and his wife Karen’s dream of opening their own restaurant. In 1973 they sold their farm near Ft. Scott to open a Tastee Freez franchise at 1312 S. Madison St. in Webb City. A short time later they dropped their franchise and became their own independent fast food restaurant, Shaffer’s Big Q Burger. The Q stood for quality, something he and Karen were passionate about. In 1985, they converted that restaurant into Granny Shaffer’s, naming the concept after their grandchildren. The Shaffers’ 50th anniversary in business was celebrated in August.

David, known as “Mister” in the restaurant, baked homemade bread, dinner rolls and even made homemade hamburger buns, while Karen “Granny” cooked up delish comfort style entrees and prize-winning homemade pies and desserts. As their restaurant continued to grow, they eventually moved to their current location at 2728 N. Range Line Road, where it still serves the community today. David’s passion was his family. Nothing in this world was more important to him than family. He loved spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He loved spending time teaching them to fish and garden. He never missed an opportunity to share a life lesson, and he had many.

David loved the outdoors. He had a gift for gardening. He took pride in his beautiful flower beds and grew a bountiful vegetable garden. He enjoyed sharing his home-grown tomatoes and vegetables with friends and neighbors. Nothing was so good as his homegrown tomatoes. He even made sure the birds and wildlife ate well, too. He had many feeders that he diligently kept filled with goodies for his feathered neighbors. The feeders attracted cardinals, robins, finches, blue jays, and woodpeckers. Even hawks, and turkey buzzards knew David had a meal waiting for them. He would put out meat scraps daily to feed the fox and birds of prey that visited his yard. He loved watching them out his back window. His family will forever miss his unique sense of humor, wit and wisdom.

David was preceded in death by his wife, Karen, in 2005; and his siblings, Franklin Shaffer (Rosie), Phillip Shaffer, Dwaine Shaffer (Paula), and Connie Shepard (Lonnie). He is survived by his siblings, Ruth Huddleston (Clark), Dale Shaffer (Carol), Phillis Smith (Lyle), Dean Shaffer (Sue), Mitchell Shaffer (Ruth); children, Ruth Ann Feldman (Paul), Steven Shaffer (Jaime), and Debra Riley (Steve); grandchildren Briana Davis (Robert), John Riley, Emily Smith (Brian), Jeremy Riley, Brian Stepp (Jess), Tyler Shaffer (Amy), and Justin Riley; 11 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, at Mason-Woodard Mortuary.