As of Wednesday,  Nov. 23, 2022

Cities without a state are in Missouri 


Dean Clopton

April 5, 1942 – Nov. 17, 2022

Dean Evan Clopton, age 80, of Webb City, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 17, at Freeman West Hospital in Joplin.

Dean, the only child born to the late Delbert and Lilly Mae (Sisson) Clopton, was born on April 5, 1942, in Joplin. He grew up and attended school in Joplin, graduating high school from Joplin Senior High School with the Class of 1960. Soon after he attended Missouri Southern State University and University of Missouri. He was previously employed with Harry Cooper Supply and Joplin Supply in sales until his retirement. On June 12, 1987, he was united in marriage to Carol Mascher in Miami, Okla. She survives.

Dean was a devoted and caring husband, father, and grandfather. He enjoyed being outdoors in his yard and garden, watching his birds. He and Carol were avid two-steppers around Southwest Missouri, often making new friends along the way, as Dean loved people and striking up conversations. He worked part-time after retirement at Henkle’s Ace Hardware in Webb City. He adored his Henkle’s work family and customers. Dean loved his family and spending quality time with everyone, including his cousins he considered more like siblings.

Survivors include his wife, Carol Clopton, of Webb City; his children, Rebecca Miller, Burmese, Okla., Debra Clopton, state of Louisiana, and Tara Banks, Joplin; stepchildren, Gary Atkinson, and his wife, Kelly, Joplin, and Jay Atkinson, Rohnert Park, Calif.; 10 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; and several cousins.

Graveside services were held Tuesday, Nov. 22, at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery in Joplin. Arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary.


Julie Jones

Nov. 8, 1959 – Nov. 16, 2022

Lovingly written by Julie herself…

Julie Ann Pierce Jones, 63, of Joplin, went from this earthly home to her forever home with the Lord Wednesday, Nov. 16. I was born Nov. 8, 1959, to parents Marion Homer “Pete” Pierce and Marybelle Katherine “Kate” Alumbaugh Pierce. Oldest of four, I had two sisters, Sheila Belle Runyon and Treva Rae Vailes, and one brother, Ralph Eugene Pierce.

I grew up in Alba. All Alba students were bused into Webb City to attend junior high and high school. It’s there in Mr. Green’s political science class I met the cutest, most dreamy guy ever, Bruce Jones. Soon we were dating, engaged, and planning a future. While still in high school, I attended Stapps School of Cosmetology in the afternoon.

On June 30, 1978, Bruce and I married. We started our life in a little house on Prospect Street. I finished beauty school. After passing state boards, with a degree costing $500 and an investment of $500 for equipment, I opened Julie’s Hairstyling, which I owned and operated until retiring in June 2020 after 40 years. I loved my ladies; they were truly more than just customers, these friendships will last an eternity.

I was blessed with two children, Lanna Marie and Levi Bruce Jones. On April 13, 2013, we had the joy of welcoming our daughter-in-law, Felicia, into the family. Our grandchildren came, Chloe, Asher, and Zimri. We now have a great-grandchild, Grayson Kol.

I loved sewing, a talent my mother gifted me. I made all of Lanna’s clothes as a child. Then I began Quilting. It became a ministry for me. My other passion that I used as a ministry was card making.

I became a Christian at the age of 10. A relationship with Christ was a top priority for me. I loved children’s ministry and taught second grade Sunday school for 37 years, as well as serving the Lord in various areas of the church. Bruce and I are members of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Webb City.

I am survived by my husband, Bruce A Jones, of the home; my daughter, Lanna Jones, Portland, Ore.; my son, Levi Jones and his wife Felicia, Carl Junction; grandchildren Chloe, Asher, and Zimri and Grayson the Great; my brother, Ralph Pierce, his wife Sheri, Oronogo; aunts, uncles, and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding me in death were my parents, Pete and Kate; and sisters, Sheila and Treva.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in my name to the Emmanuel Baptist Church Building Fund, 300 N. Pennsylvania St., Webb City, MO 64870.

Julie will be loved and missed.

A memorial service was held by the family Monday, Nov. 21, at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Arrangements were under the direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary.


Loretta Lillard

April 15, 1939 – Nov.  20, 2022

Verlon “Loretta” Lillard, known to those who adored her as “MeMe,” age 83, of Alba, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 20, with her family by her side. She was born on April 15, 1939, to Lena (Fortner) Maxwell in Rockwood, Ill.

Loretta was a minister’s wife, a job in and of itself. She worked for over 36 years in church ministry. Previously, she was a member of the Emmanuel Assembly of God in Noel. When asked if Loretta wished to leave her family behind a message, she said, “I love my children and am grateful for God, family and friends.”

She was preceded in death by daughters Vicky Qualls and Brenda Lillard-Hodson. She is survived by children Cynthia Lillard, of Carthage, Rodney Lillard and wife Sharon, David Qualls and wife Lisa of Oronogo, Terry Jones and husband Mark, of Neosho, Jerry Lillard, Dianna Grimes and husband Ray, of Alba, Richie Lillard, of Los Angeles, Calif., Daniel Lillard and wife Diana Lynn, of Alba, Alisa Jones and husband Jeff, of Blue Springs, and David Lillard and wife Karen, of Bentonville, Ark. She is survived additionally by a multitude of family members, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

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


Bill Thornton

Nov. 1, 1944 – Nov. 21, 2022

Mr. William Baron “Bill” Thornton III, 78, of Joplin, departed this life on Monday, Nov. 21, in the comfort of his home after months of declining health. 

Bill entered this life on Nov. 1, 1944, in Joplin, one of three children born to the late William and Virginia (Shaver) Thornton. He was a lifelong area resident and a 1962 graduate of Joplin High School.  On Feb. 7, 1970, he was united in marriage with Diane George, and to this union two sons were born, Jason and Jerad.

Early in his life, Bill joined his father in the operation of the family business, Bill’s Drive-In, located on Madison Street in Webb City. Bill eventually purchased the restaurant in 1977. Folks would drive from miles around just to have one of Bill’s famous chili dogs. Bill sold the building and retired in 1999.  He enjoyed riding horses, loved old cars and standing at the counter visiting with his customers. Bill was a veteran of the U.S. Army.    

Bill is survived by his wife, Diane Thornton, of the home; two sons, Jason Thornton, Duenweg, and Jerad Thornton and wife, Tiffany, Joplin; a granddaughter, Amber Thornton, Joplin; two sisters, Loretta McFall, Springfield, and Janice Simpson, Sand Springs, Okla.; and a host of other family and friends.  

The family will receive friends at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, at Hedge-Lewis-Goodwin Funeral Home. Funeral services will follow at 6:30 p.m.