As of Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023 

Cities without a state are in Missouri 


Margaret Davis

Sept. 4, 1926 – Feb. 20, 2023

Margaret Ruth Davis, age 96, of Webb City, passed away on Monday, Feb. 20, in Webb City.

Margaret was born on Sept. 4, 1926, to the late Charles and May (Petefish) Davis. She graduated from Joplin Junior College with her associate’s degree. She then went on to work at Empire District Electric Co. and retired in August of 1990 from Financial Federal after 31 years as the vice president.

Margaret is survived by her six cousins, Debbie Davis, Cecil Petefish, Steve Cooper, Becky Turnbough, Kevin Petefish and David Petefish; and many friends.

The family would like to say a special thanks to Foxberry Terrace and Compassus Hospice for their exceptional care of Margaret.

Margaret requested that donations be made out to the Joplin Humane Society.

Visitation will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Parker Mortuary. A graveside service will follow at 2 p.m. at Park Cemetery in Carthage.


Bernita Pence

June 2, 1944 – Feb. 19, 2023

Bernita Carol Pence, age 78, of Joplin, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 19, at Wildwood Nursing Center.  She was born on June 2, 1944, in Webb City, to Charles Degraffenreid and Bessie (Davidson) Degraffenreid.

Bernita taught school in the Webb City and Joplin school districts for many years. She loved to play the violin and listen to music.

Bernita married Robert Pence, and they were married for 50 years. He preceded her in death on Nov. 13, 2015. She is survived by her son, Brian Pence and wife Carrie, Webb City; a daughter, Kristi Rogers and husband Richard, Joplin; a son, Shane Pence and wife Darci, Carl Junction; a brother, Glen Degraffenreid, Tulsa, Okla.; a sister, Mary Bohnstedt, Webb City; grandchildren, Kyle Armitage and Travis Armitage, Nathaniel Rogers, Anna Pence, and Isaac Pence. Bernita was preceded in death by her husband; and her siblings, Royal Degraffenreid, Raydean Degraffenreid, Jack Degraffenreid, Jerry Degraffenreid, Richard Degraffenreid, Shirley Williams and Susan Hunt.

The family will be present for visitation from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at First Baptist Church in Webb City. Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s charity of choice. Services are under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home.


Kenneth Phillips

April 5, 1941 – Feb. 19, 2023

Kenneth G. Phillips, age 81, of Bella Vista, Ark., passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Northwest Medical Center in Springdale, Ark. 

Kenneth, son of the late Cecil and Iva “Louise” Phillips, was born on April 5, 1941, in Carterville.

Kenneth grew up and attended school in Carterville. During his time at Carterville High School, Kenneth was active in sports, including football and basketball, and he held a part-time job at the Joplin Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in the bottling department. After graduation, Kenneth was encouraged by the president of Joplin Coca-Cola plant to attend Joplin Junior College for business administration. He then moved his way up with in the company to management positions and then as vice president of the Wichita Heartland Coca-Cola facility until his retirement. Soon after, Kenneth moved to Bella Vista, to be close to Kenneth’s two favorite things, golf and grandchildren. Kenneth then purchased the Hiwasse Hilton Diner, where he enjoyed serving the locals and tourists with his family for over 34 years.  

Kenneth was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was united in marriage to Juanita Russell on Jan. 10, 1970, in Joplin. She survives. 

Also surviving are his grandchildren, Seth Edwards, and his wife Cassidee, Joplin, Abby Edwards, Webb City, and Madison Ritter, Joplin; his great-grandchildren, Gracie Edwards-Pineiro, Baker Malone, Lawson Roderique, Lincoln Roderique and Walker Ritter; and one great-great grandchild, Sergio James “S.J.” Pineiro. In addition to his parents, Kenneth was preceded in death by his only child, Keena Gail Phillips, in 2001. 

Private family graveside services will be held at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery in Joplin. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Association for Cancer Research. Arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary.


Karen Williams

Aug. 22, 1949 – Feb. 19, 2023

Karen Sue Williams, age 73, of Neck City, passed away Sunday, Feb. 19, at Freeman West Hospital in Joplin.

She was born on Aug. 22, 1949, to Edward Henson and Bernice (Tice) Henson in St. Louis City.

Karen was a member of the Purcell Baptist Church, and loved to watch all sports, but she dearly loved her Webb City Cardinals and her Kansas City Chiefs. She also loved to go antiquing.

Karen married James L. Williams on June 27, 1970, in Alba, and he preceded her in death on Sept. 14, 2020. She is survived by several family members and extended family members. No services have been scheduled at this time. Memorial contributions may be made to Purcell Baptist Church. Arrangements are under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home.