As of Wednesday, June 15, 2022


Linda Fricke

March 10, 1945 – June 11, 2022

Linda Marie Olson-Fricke passed away on Saturday, June 11, in Webb City, at the age, 77. She was born on March 10, 1945, in Lincoln, Neb., to Julius Cecil (JC) and Gladys Olson. Linda attended school in Enid, Okla., graduating from Enid High School in 1963. 

She married John Sam Sanders on March 7, 1964, in Killeen, Texas, where he was stationed in the U.S. Army. This began her life of moving from place to place.

She married Larry Fricke in 1989 in Enid. They moved to Joplin in 2009 to be closer to their youngest son and his family.

Linda was a secretary and had many hobbies: playing piano, singing, solving puzzles, bowling, playing train dominos with her grandchildren and playing Mahjong on her computer. But her favorite thing to do was spend time with her family, telling and listening to stories, and laughing. She had a great sense, humor.  Her face would light up in the presence, her children and grandchildren. She said nothing brought her more joy than having all four, her boys together in the same room which didn’t happen,ten enough because “they were scattered hither and yon”.  Linda had many close personal friendships which she treasured and fostered. Linda was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. By 2019 the disease had progressed to the point where her family was forced to find a facility where she could receive a higher level, care. 

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the doctors, nurses and aides at Webb City Health & Rehabilitation who cared for Linda and kept her safe during the last three years, her life.

Linda is survived by her four sons, Stacey Sanders and wife Kay, Enid, Johnie Sanders and wife Bobbie, Williamsburg, Va., Corey Sanders, Drexel Hill, Pa., and Brad and wife Carrie, Joplin; brother, Bruce Olson and wife Patty, Mountain Home, Ark.; sister, Sharron Ames and husband Everett, Clearwater, Kan.; grandchildren, Jeremy Kirkley and wife, Kimmie, Enid, Elena Sanders, Harrisonburg, Va., Beau Balthazor, Ouray, Colo., Ada Shackleford and husband, Josh, Richmond, Va., Camden Sanders, Webb City, Braeden Sanders and wife Alexis, Joplin, and Elijah Sanders, Drexel Hill, Pa.; great granddaughter, Tabitha Kirkley, Enid; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Fricke; her parents, J.C. and Gladys Olson; nephew, Dustin Olson; and granddaughter, Chassity Nabors.

A celebration, life will be held Aug. 13 in Enid. Arrangements are under the direction, Parker Mortuary.


Mae Lassiter

May 11, 1926 – June 8, 2022

Mae Marie Lassiter, age 96, Webb City, passed away on Wednesday, June 8, at Westgate in Joplin. She was born on May 11, 1926 in Galesburg to Charles Horn and Vera (Edwards) Horn.

Mae was a member of the First Christian Church in Webb City. She loved to drink her coffee, sit on the patio and visit, and to especially spend time with her family.

Mae married Denny Lassiter on Aug. 29, 1957, and he survives her at home. She is also survived by her daughter, Judy Divine and husband Claude; grandchildren, Darren Linder and wife Cristy, Ronda Whisner and husband Rob, Robin Bach and husband Chris, Damon Divine, Darren Divine, Doug Divine and wife Lan, and Dana Weeks; and 20 great-grandchildren.

Mae was preceded in death by her siblings, Gene Horn, Bess Shira, James “Joe” Horn, and Dixie Hathcock; and two grandchildren, Dustin Divine and Dexter Divine.

Funeral services were held Saturday at Simpson Funeral Home, with Eldon Potts, Joplin, officiating. Burial was in Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery.


Lucille Lawrence

July 13, 1934 – June 14, 2022

Mrs. Lucille Marie Lawrence, 87, of Carthage, departed this life on Tuesday evening, June 14, while at Mercy Hospital Joplin.

Lucille entered this life on July 13, 1934, in Goodells, Mich., one of 13 children born to the union of the late Frank and Beatrice (McPhearson) Bradshaw. In 1950, she moved with her family to Carthage. 

On April 11, 1966, she was united in marriage to Milton Lawrence and together they have shared the last 55 years. They resided several years in Alba, returning to Carthage in the late 1990s. Lucille was a devoted homemaker throughout her life. She enjoyed crocheting, embroidery, quilting, gardening and bird watching.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Milton Lawrence, on Dec. 21, 2021; a son, Mike Lawrence; a grandson, Joey Dabbs; and 11 siblings.

Lucille is survived by her four children, Joe Dabbs and wife Samantha, Omaha, Ne., Vicki Renfro and husband Paul, Carterville, Cindy Adams and husband LeeRoy, Oronogo, and Stacy Donham, Oronogo; eight grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Bill Bradshaw, Goodells, Mich.; and a host of other family and friends.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, June 17, in Friends Cemetery at Purcell, with Paul Smith officiating. Pallbearers will be Jake Surridge, John Boles, LeeRoy Adams, Gary Pierce, Jerrod Hughey, Paul Renfro and Kevin Dabbs. Arrangements are under the direction of Hedge-Lewis-Goodwin Funeral Home.


James Maples

June 17, 1932 – June 13, 2022

James Jefferson Maples, 89, passed away Monday, June 13, in Carthage. James was born June 17, 1932 in Jasper to William J. Maples and Juanita E. Davis. 

He was raised in the Jasper/Alba area. After graduating from Alba High School, James joined the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in several locations during his 24-year military career. During this time, James served as deacon and elder in several Christian churches. While stationed in Washington, he attended Central Washington University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After retiring from the Navy, James coached college basketball at Puget Sound Christian College for about five years, then served as their athletic director for a short time. James also loved playing and watching baseball. He was an avid, lifetime St. Louis Cardinals fan. Even after James retired, he enjoyed playing in church and military baseball and softball leagues. 

James was united in marriage to Shirley Ann Blevins on June 12, 1955, in Alba. She preceded him in death on Jan. 14, 2021. 

James is survived by three daughters, Beth Ladd and her husband, David, Arlington, Wash., Rebecca Dartnall and her husband David, West Richland, Wash., and Debbie O’Neil and her husband Kevin, Kennewick, Wash.; one sister, Betty Priester, St. Louis; four brothers, Don Maples, Alba, John Maples, Carterville, Carl Maples, Cherokee, Kan., and Gene Maples, Holt; nine grandchildren, Joshua, Johnathan, Nick, Rachel, Katie, Zack, Daniel, Spencer, and Conner; and 15 great-grandchildren, Ayden, Ashton, Deacon, Sawyer, Lucy, Stella, Chandler, Lilah, Samson, Rocky, Abbey, Zeke, Jessica, Earnest, Edith, and Quinn 

James is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Maples; his son, Mark Jefferson Maples, on Feb. 14, 1989; his parents, William and Juanita Maples; two brothers, William Maples Jr. and Tom Maples; and three sisters, Shirley Ann, Patricia Busby and Maxine Campbell. 

Services will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Alba Christian Church. A visitation will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 17, at Ulmer Funeral Home in Carthage. Burial will be in Park Cemetery at Carthage, with Full Military Honors. Memorial contributions may be made to Charlie22 in care of the funeral home. 


Nellie Seeber

Dec. 13, 1925 – June 10, 2022

Mrs. Nellie Mae Seeber, 96, of Rogers, Ark., formerly of Oronogo, departed this life on Friday morning, June 10, in the comfort, her daughter’s home. 

Nellie entered this life on Dec. 13, 1925, in Oronogo, the daughter of the late Chester Field and Edna (Wilson) Carey. 

On Feb. 27, 1943, in Carterville, she was united in marriage to Raymond Leroy Seeber Sr., and together they shared 48 years before his passing on April 23, 1991. For 30 plus years, Nellie worked as a seamstress at Elders Shirt Factory in Webb City. She resided in Oronogo until moving to Northwest Arkansas in the early 1980s, where she retired from Clorox in Rogers. She enjoyed working with ceramics and going to area flea markets. Nellie was a member of Purcell Baptist Church. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Raymond Seeber Sr.; and a son, Raymond “Sonny” Seeber Jr. 

Nellie is survived by her daughter, Kathy Seeber, Rogers, Ark.; a sister, Dortha Adams, Webb City; three nieces, Gina Monson, Valerie Gonzalez and Linda Cook all, Webb City; a daughter-in-law, Lora Lea Wurzlow, Rogers; and a host of other family members. 

Graveside services were held Wednesday, June 15, at Oronogo Cemetery, with B.J. Goodwin officiating. Arrangements were under the direction of Hedge-Lewis-Goodwin Funeral Home.


Don Sheets

Dec. 10, 1936 – June 7, 2022

The life, Donald Ray Sheets began Dec. 10, 1936, in Avilla, and he entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, June 7, in Joplin.

Don spent his childhood years in Joplin and Webb City. He graduated from Webb City High School in 1954, then from the Air Travel Institute in Kansas City in 1955.

Don began a 36-year career in the travel business at Ozark Air Lines and later at AAA World Wide Travel. He and his wife, Nancy, moved to Joplin in 1972 to open Joplin Tour & Travel. They later owned the Athletic Center and Travel Planners in Joplin, (1982-1994) and Travel Planners in Bella Vista and Bentonville, Ark. (1990-1996).

Don thoroughly enjoyed planning tours and cruises for groups, and he escorted thousands, people all over the world, visiting 112 foreign countries and islands. Travel Planners received awards from TWA and four cruise lines for group travel development in our Four-State Area. He was honored by Royal Cruise Lines by being asked to represent them at a special dinner in the Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

After retirement from the travel business, Don sold real estate at PRO 100 Realtors for six years and later worked in the pro shop at Carthage Golf Course for eight years. He did not like idle time and volunteered at Freeman Health Systems before becoming employed there as a patient advocate.

Don married the love, his life, Nancy Maria Ashworth, on July 4, 1965, in Athens, Ohio. She survives. Additional survivors include three sons; Gary (Charlene) Sheets, Carthage, David Sheets, Springfield, and Eric (Stacey) Sheets, Stevens Point, Wisc.; seven grandchildren, Jenny (Sam) Madsen, Amanda Lyn (Lee) Hollars, Michael (Sarah) Sheets, Amanda Leigh (Brandon) Sheets, Stephanie (Casey) Haley, Ethan (Deb) Sheets and Alex Sheets; eight great-grandchildren, Eli, Connor, Courtney, Daniel, Kenzie, Kyler, Kelby, Ellie. He is also survived by a brother, Carl Sheets, Carthage; and a special nephew, Scott (Debbie) Sheets, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Alpha Sheets, and a grandson, Zachariah Wayne Sheets.

Don is a member, St Paul’s United Methodist Church where he was very active.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday June 16, at St Paul’s United Methodist Church. Visitation will be prior to the service, beginning at 1 p.m. A private family interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Arrangements are under the direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary.


Rita Shupp

May 13, 1946 – June 6, 2022

Rita G. Shupp, age 76, of Purcell, passed away on Monday, June 6, surrounded by the comfort of her family at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She was born on May 13, 1946, to Robert Cook and Christine Painter. She married Charles H. Shupp Aug. 24, 1963. Rita was a loving mother, Granny and ‘seester’ to many.

Rita dedicated her life to real estate. Her husband, Charles, and she owned and operated Charles Shupp Realtors for many years. She helped Charles manage the office, working as secretary, closing agent and office manager. After closing their real estate office she worked in the same capacity for David Morton and Morton Company Realtors. She worked closely with many of the title companies and other real estate agents in town and was loved by all.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents, Robert Cook and Christine Spears; her husband, Charles H. Shupp; brothers Rob Cook and Steve Spears; and nephew Steven Haver.

She is survived by her daughter, Julie Wendt; her son, Chuck Shupp and wife Sandy; grandchildren Chad Erwin, Ashley Edens and husband Bain, and Weston Wendt; a sister Nancy Cook Allen; a brother, Mike Spears and wife Ginger; stepmother Joyce Cook; and numerous nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.

A memorial service for Rita was held Monday June 13. Family and friends met for a meal Sunday at the Route 66 Events Center in Webb City.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home.


Debbie Simpson

April 9, 1953 – June 14, 2022

Debra Kay “Debbie” Simpson, 69, of Webb City, Missouri, departed this life on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, while at Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, after months of failing health.

Debbie entered this life on April 9, 1953, in Webb City, Missouri, one of five children born to the union of the late David and Dorothy (Polston) Cooper. She was a lifelong area resident and a 1971 graduate of Webb City High School. Debbie was a beautician for over forty years, graduating from Class Act School of Cosmetology in Joplin. Debbie centered her entire life around her family, especially her two daughters and three grandchildren. She enjoyed her daily soap operas, reading, watching the KC Chiefs and caring for her beloved wiener dog, Sophie. Debbie was a member of the First Baptist Church in Webb City.

Debbie is survived by her two daughters, Stacey Sampson and husband, Bo, of Carterville and Sarah Simpson of Joplin; three grandchildren, Caitlyn Meador, Connor Sampson and Drayden Simpson; four siblings, Linda Conway of Webb City, Michael Cooper and wife, Kellie, of Wichita, Kevin Cooper and wife, Aimee, of Carterville and Eric Cooper and wife, Beth, of Joplin; several nieces and nephews; as well as a host of other family and friends.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 20, at Hedge-Lewis-Goodwin Funeral Home. Private burial will take place at Mount Hope Cemetery.


Tommy Yow

July 26, 1949 – June 6, 2022

Tommy Lee Yow, age 72, of Joplin, MO, passed away peacefully with his daughter and oldest grandson holding his hands on Monday, June 6, at Medicalodge in Butler. Tommy was born in Winston-Salem, N.C. on July 26, 1949. He graduated with Parkland Class of 1967. He made a career in the U.S. Air Force. Tommy enjoyed his many tours overseas, including a tour in Thailand, Saudi Arabia, two tours in Germany, and several state side assignments. He then proudly retired as a master sargent.

Tommy had a big heart for his dachshunds and cats. He enjoyed going to eat his favorite meal, breakfast at Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel, and IHOP with family and friends. He loved watching Hallmark Christmas movies, and the TV series Monk. Tommy was a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys and sports in general. He enjoyed walking around Joplin, and even stopping to help defenseless turtles in the road.

Survivors include daughter Melissa and husband Byron West, Nevada, and son Mike Yow, Oronogo; grandchildren, Jake (Taylor) Brasfield, Caleb Splitter, Connor (Lauren) West, Hailey Bogardus and husband Clayton, Savannah Yow, Jackson West, Sophia and Seanna Yow, Adelaide West; and six great-grandkids.

Tommy was preceded in death by his father and mother, Floyd and Margaret Yow; brother Ronnie; sister Kay; nephew Christopher; and daughter-in-law Angela Yow.

Randy Coleman will conduct funeral services at noon on Friday, June 17, at Cheney Witt Chapel in Ft. Scott, Kan. Burial will follow in U.S. National Cemetery, with full military honors provided by the Air Force Honor Guard. The family will receive friends prior to the service, beginning at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Joplin Humane Society or Water Garden Ministries, in care of Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main St., Ft. Scott, KS 66701.