Michael Duane Gayman passed from this life and entered eternal life on Wednesday, April 6, at the young age of 59. He is loved by his family and proudly held the titles of husband, dad, son, nephew, brother, uncle and great-uncle. He was a wonderful co-worker and great friend to so many.
Mike was born Sept. 1, 1962, in Shawnee Mission, Kan., the son of Duane and Shirley (Gilliland) Gayman. He grew up in Schell City, and graduated from Schell City High School, class of 1980.
Shortly after high school, Mike joined the U.S. Marine Corps to serve his county. In the mid 1980s Mike began his law enforcement career with Tulsa County Sherriff’s Office and worked at the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Joplin Police Department in 1999. He served the Joplin community for 20 years. Mike retired from JPD in January 2019 but returned to the City of Joplin as an airport police officer where he was serving upon his death.
Mike was married to Rona (Clark) Gayman on Aug. 18, 2001, and became a stepfather to Austin Riley Carter. On Sept. 22, 2002, Cole Michael Gayman was born and their family unit was complete. Mike was so proud of Austin and Cole for the young men they were becoming. Austin is serving our country in the Air Force, stationed in Omaha, Neb., and Cole is a baseball pitcher in his freshman year at Missouri Southern State University.
Mike was raised on a small farm in Vernon County and never lost his love for the outdoors. He loved playing and watching sports of all kinds. When he had time off you could probably find him hunting, fishing, golfing, coaching, playing or watching sports. Mike was very active and loved working out and running to stay fit. He loved his family. Most weekends you could find him and Rona at the baseball field watching the boys play ball. Waiting at home for him was his little Boo Bear. Boo had Mike’s daily routine memorized and knew exactly when he would be home. Boo was his shadow. She loved to run with him or just lounge around the house. They were buddies.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Duane & Shirley Gayman; and brother, Sgt. Steven Gayman.
Mike is survived by his wife, Rona (Clark) Gayman; and sons Austin Carter and Cole Gayman; his sister, Lisa Wittman and husband Mike; niece Lindsey Hoftender and husband Tyler along with their children Mila and Micah Hoftender; nephew, Officer Logan Bowline and his girlfriend Andrea Halcomb; nephews Austin Gayman and Tyler Gayman; and many, many cousins, aunts and uncles.
Funeral services for Michael Duane Gayman were held Monday, April 11, at Christ’s Church of Oronogo. Burial was in Mount Hope Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be given to the MSSU men’s baseball team.
Dixie R. Meredith, age 84, of Webb City, passed away Tuesday, April 5, at home, lovingly surrounded by her family. A celebration of life service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, April 16, at Central United Methodist Church, with pastors Clint Lambeth and Tom Shouse officiating.
Dixie was born on Sept. 11, 1937, in Maryville, the daughter of Ivan and Rosella Moyne (Matheson) Harmon. She graduated from Plainville, Kan. High School with the class of 1955. She married Don Meredith July 22, 1956, in Plainville. Dixie worked as the executive director of the Webb City Chamber of Commerce from 1998-2011. She helped promote the city and coordinated many civic and political activities. She played an active and integral role in political campaigns during the 1970s. Dixie loved her family and cherished time with them. She was a wonderful singer and delighted in music. She enjoyed the outdoors, traveling, history, and her church. She was an avid reader and skilled seamstress.
Dixie is survived by her husband, Don Meredith; one daughter, Kristin (Kevin) Williams, Webb City; two sons, Mark (Ruth) Meredith, Webb City, and John (Toni) Meredith, Staten Island, N.Y.; one sister, Pam Burrus, Overland Park, Kan.; six grandchildren, Mark Meredith II, Tiffany Meredith, Kyle Meredith, Liz Cantu, Nichole Meredith and Evan Meredith; nine great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.
Contributions may be made to Webb City CARES or the Central United Methodist Church Memorial Fund.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary.
Carlyn M. Myers, 95, a Maryland native who spent most of her life in Missouri, left a life she loved on April 1, 2022, in St. Louis, with all five of her daughters by her side in her final days.
Carlyn was larger than life, a true original. She was known for her devotion to her children and grandchildren, tireless energy, steely resolve, intelligence, humor and her love story with her husband of 35 years, William C. Myers Jr. (“Bill”), who died in 1983.
She was a longtime resident of Salisbury, Md., Webb City, and Saint Louis County.
Carlyn was born Juanita Carlyn Merryman on Jan. 15, 1927, in Venton, Md., at her grandparents’ house during a blizzard. Her parents were Juanita Evelyn (nee Reese) Merryman, a school teacher, and federal judge Lewis C. (Carl) Merryman Sr. She was raised in Salisbury, Md., and also spent her youth on Ocean City beaches and visiting her beloved grandparents – Florence “MaMa” Matilda (nee Causey) Reese and Joseph Benjamin “Biggy” Reese – on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
A highlight of Carlyn’s life, at age 11, was shaking hands with President Franklin D. Roosevelt as head of her elementary school crossing guards. She was yearbook editor, a cheerleader, lettered in basketball, was “very popular and a wonderful student” at Wicomico High School in Salisbury, class of 1944, her sister recalled. “Everything Carlyn touched turned to gold.” She loved to dance and won a jitterbug contest. During World War II, she was a civilian volunteer aircraft spotter.
After high school, she worked part-time as a reporter on The Salisbury Times newspaper. Her dream was to attend the top ranked journalism school – the University of Missouri at Columbia – for college. Soon after her arrival at Mizzou, Carlyn met World War II bomber pilot Bill Myers, a law student there.
Carlyn and Bill were married July 5, 1947, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury. They lived in Columbia until both graduated, Carlyn with a bachelor’s degree in English. They soon settled and raised a family in Bill’s hometown of Webb City, where he became a prominent attorney.
Carlyn was a doer. If it needed to be done, she delivered it with unmatched flair. She was involved in countless family and personal activities in the region, including the First Presbyterian Church in Webb City, and Twin Hills Golf & Country Club in Joplin. She chaired several church committees over the years and was Twin Hills golf tournament director, to name a few. She was an enthusiastic elementary school room mother for all five of her children.
A born competitor, she was an avid golfer, accomplished bowler, and a master card and bridge player. She won duplicate bridge tournaments into her 90s. Always a voracious reader, she finished 300 books one year and a 900-page book just months before she died. She was proud to keep her superb mental faculties to the end.
Carlyn lived in the family home in Webb City until the late 1980s, then moved to Santa Monica, Calif., to be near two daughters and the ocean. She moved to St. Louis in 1992, where another daughter was having grandchildren. In those years, she was on the Altar Guilds of All Saints Episcopal Church of Beverly Hills, Calif., and the Episcopal Church of St. Michael & St. George in St. Louis County, respectively.
Carlyn lived the last 30 years of her life in St. Louis, where she thrived as the family matriarch. She idolized her five grandchildren, all of whom were born in St. Louis. They affectionately called her “Grandma Carlyn” and “Momo.” She passed down to them her zest for life, including making fanfare of every holiday.
She was preceded in death by her husband and parents.
Carlyn is survived by her children, Lisa Merryman Myers of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Lynn Elizabeth Houston of Santa Barbara, Calif., Leslie Reese Myers of St. Louis, Gretchen Hardy Myers (Daniel J. Godar) of Clayton, Mo., and Ann Catherine Myers (Mark Hagemeister) of Clayton. She also is survived by grandchildren William “Will” Myers Godar, Elizabeth Myers Godar and Katherine Myers Godar, all of Los Angeles; and twins Alexandra Myers Hagemeister and Max Myers Hagemeister, both of Clayton. She also is survived by three siblings, Lewis “Lew” C. Merryman, Jr., of Easton, Md., Judith Reese Shafer of Pikesville, Md., and Robert Gwynn Merryman of Ocean Pines, Md. She also is survived by two cousins and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Episcopal Church of St. Michael & St. George in Clayton.
Carlyn chose to be cremated. Most of her ashes will be interred privately next to her husband’s gravesite at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Webb City. Her remaining ashes will be put in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, per her wishes.
Donations may be made in Carlyn’s memory to Evelyn’s House, c/o The BJC Foundation for Hospice, P.O. Box 790369, St. Louis, MO 63179, phone (314) 273-7006, or online at https://www.bjchospice.org/Evelyns-House.
Ronald Stinnett, age 90, passed away on Sunday, April 10, at Wildwood Senior Living in Joplin. He was born on Sept. 26, 1931, in Kansas City to Royce and Ilah Stinnett. Ronald loved his Lord and Savior. He was a proud husband, dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa.
Ronald met the love of his life, Joy Louise, at a skating rink. They were married Dec. 14, 1951. They moved to Wilmington, N.C., where he was stationed with the Marine Corps. Joy proceeded him in death after 59 years of marriage. Ronald was also preceded in death by his dad, Royce Stinnett, his mom, Ilah (Gilbert) Stinnett and his sister Rosella.
Ronald is survived by his three daughters, Beth Elsten and husband Coy, Teri Bentley and husband Jim, and Haven Pettit and husband David; grandchildren, Justin Elsten and wife Mandy, Tyler Elsten and wife Sarah, Clayton Bentley , Kelssey Layton and husband Jake, and Zachary Pettit; great-grandchildren, Brody Elsten, Aiden Elsten, Josiah Elsten, Reed Elsten, Avery Elsten, Beckam Layton, Breckyn Layton, and Brylee Layton, along with other family members and numerous friends.
Ronald worked for many construction companies over the years and helped build many structures in the area. He retired from the Joplin Housing Authority. He was a proud Marine who loved his country. Ronald also was an avid fisherman. He was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 14, at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Graveside services will follow at Ozark Memorial Park.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home.