As of Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022

Cities without a state are in Missouri 


Tony Barlett

June 18, 1956 – Dec. 4, 2022

Victor Tony Barlett, age 66, passed away Sunday morning Dec. 4, at Joplin Gardens nursing home, after a lengthy illness. Tony is the son of the late George and Georgia Barlett, of Webb City. He was also preceded in death by eight brothers, Wayne, Don, Ron, Gary, Jim, Ed, Mick and Rocky Barlett; and by four sisters, Mary Barlett, Janice Reed, Patricia Thurlo and Debbie Barlett.

Tony is survived by his son, Daniel Barlett and wife (Jessica), Joplin, three siblings, Beth Maynard, Oronogo, Steve Barlett, Webb City, and Sherry Barlett, Wichita, Kan.; six grandchildren, Anaria, Alysa, Nemo, Aleena, Aliyah, and Daniel Jr.

He was a mechanic and retired truck driver, and he also helped his son Daniel create a music group, Wicked Wayz. He assisted in the group’s tours and getting them established in the music industry. He was loved, well respected and became a father figure to the group as well. He loved being on stage with his son. He was known as Popz to them all.

Tony’s family plans a private celebration of life at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home.


Katherine Bland

July 28, 1946 – Nov. 25, 2022

Katherine Elizabeth Bland went to meet her loved ones in heaven on Friday, Nov. 25. Katherine was born in Delano, Calif. on July 28, 1946. She was preceded in death by her husband, Elvin Leslie Bland; her daughter, Leslie Ruth Bland Gann; her son, Elvin Leslie Bland II.; her mother; and three brothers. She was a woman of many names, such as sister, mom, aunt, chatty Kathy, and most affectionately mamaw. She loved her family and adopted family. Katherine was very dedicated to her work while also raising her younger three kids as a single mother. She was a CNA at nursing homes, an advocate at a group home and worked at the Salvation Army housing center. 

She is survived by her sister, Joanna Rebecca Harrington; her children, William Shipley, Marion Pink, Jackie Doke and Jerry Bland; along with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service was held Dec. 9, at Simpson Funeral Home.


Freda Dodson

Sept. 24, 1947 – Dec. 7, 2022

Freda Mae Dodson, age 75, of Sarcoxie, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Sarcoxie Nursing Center.

She was born on Sept. 24, 1947 in Picher, Oklahoma to Robert Eli, Sr., and Ethel Irene (Hart) Eli.

Freda loved to crochet, spending time with her family, and her dog, Freddie. She was truly a farmer’s wife and tremendously missed her husband after he passed away. 

She married Robert Dodson on Oct. 23, 1984, in Miami, Okla., and he preceded her in death on Jan. 12, 2019. Freda was also preceded in death by eight siblings. 

She is survived by her daughter, Peggy Johnson and husband Mike, Webb City; two sons, Robert Hight Jr. and wife Melissa of Parsons, Kan., Richard Hight and wife Sarah, Sarcoxie; stepchildren, Marvin, Angie, Jeanne, Tracy; a sister, Mildred Lloyd, Quapaw, Okla.; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and a host of extended family and friends.

Visitation and her funeral service were held on Monday at Simpson Funeral Home. Burial was in Weaver Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


Duane Hunt

Oct. 1, 1938 – Dec. 8, 2022

Duane Lee Hunt, of Webb City, made his final exit from the stage on Dec. 8, 2022. Duane (De to his friends) was born in Joplin, on Oct. 1, 1938 to Orville C. and Bobby Ellis Hunt. He is survived by the love of his life, Gwen Theis Hunt, whom he married on Nov. 27, 1964, and his beloved god-daughter Leslie Ballew of Springfield. He was part of a large extended family descended from early Joplin settler Levi Wesley Hunt.

De’s life was devoted to the theatre, a love which began in grade school. By the time he was in Joplin High School, he had been on the stage many times and received the first Bob Cummings Award given in his senior year, 1956. He continued his theatre education at Joplin Junior College under the tutelage of Milton Brietzke; then at Southwest Missouri State College (now Missouri State) studying with the renowned teacher Dr. Leslie Irene Coger. He collaborated with her in adapting Ray Bradbury’s novel Dandelion Wine for a Reader’s Theatre production, which premiered at the national convention of the Speech Association of America in 1960. The work was subsequently published in 1965 in the Reader’s Theatre Handbook, used nation-wide in high school and college theatre programs. He was selected to perform the title role in Finian’s Rainbow which was chosen to tour army bases in Germany and France in 1961under the auspices of the American Educational Theatre Association and the USO.

After receiving his Master of Arts degree in theatre from University of Arkansas in 1963, he returned to Joplin Junior College to begin his 37-year career teaching, mentoring, and befriending hundreds of students. That career spanned the evolution of JJC into the four-year institution it became, Missouri Southern State University, with the move to a new campus, the creation of the Barn Theatre, the building of Taylor Performing Arts Center and the addition of the “black box” theatre. He directed over 75 plays ranging from Greek tragedy to modern musical comedy. He was instrumental in developing the children’s theatre program which toured plays to area schools and eventually were performed on campus playing to thousands of children over the years. For that program he wrote and staged five original plays. He developed the course for Theatre Appreciation, a part of the fine arts component of the general education requirements. In 1977 he toured with MSSU’s production of “Finian’s Rainbow,” entertaining troops in Greenland and Iceland.

Always a student himself, De and his wife Gwen would go to professional theatre at every opportunity, making annual trips to New York City to see the best actors and directors at work. A consummate actor, he performed over 120 roles in university, community and professional theatre.

He and Gwen often performed together, creating special programs for various community organizations.

In addition to his theatre work, De served on numerous academic committees regarding development of the four-year college curriculum, academic policies, and other institutional business. He retired in 2000 with the honor of Professor Emeritus.

Following his retirement, De continued to travel to professional theatre and classical and other music performances and to enjoy a new passion in small ship cruises to study wildlife, indigenous cultures and natural wonders. He also continued to write and had completed a manuscript of stories from his childhood and youth which he had intended to publish.

Duane Hunt will be remembered for his kind and generous spirit, his razor sharp wit, and his care and guidance of his students. He requested that his ashes be scattered over the hills outside Santa Fe, N.M., a city he visited often for many years to enjoy the art, climate and especially the famous northern New Mexico cuisine.

Memorial contributions may be made to Running Strong for American Indian Youth or the Springfield Contemporary Theatre in care of Parker Mortuary. A celebration of life will be held after the first of the new year.



Ruby Studyvin

June 4, 1962 – Dec. 6, 2022

Ruby Studyvin, age 60, of Webb City, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at her home, with her family by her side.

Ruby was born on June 4, 1962, in Joplin, the daughter of Clyde and Odessa (Brown) Lawrence. She married Durran Studyvin on Jan. 18, 1980, at College Heights Christian Church, and together they had three children. Ruby’s last place of employment was Duquesne Smokes and Liquor.

She is proceeded in death by her parents, Clyde and Odessa Lawrence, and a brother, William Wheeler, of Goodman.

Ruby is survived by her husband, Durran, two daughters, Candy (Jack) Johnson, Branson, and Jennifer (Kenneth) Faucett, Lake Havasu, Ariz.; and one son, D.J. (Tiffany) Studyvin, Joplin; her brother, Brad (Cindy) Wheeler, Ft. Smith, Ark.; three sisters, Tonya McNary, Marie Lawrence and Paula Lawless, all of Joplin; and eight grandchildren.

Services were under direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary.


Gaylen White Sr.

June 6, 1951 – Dec. 1, 2022

Gaylen Lee White Sr., age 71, Carterville, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 1, at his home.

Gaylen was born June 6, 1951, in Hutchison, Kan., son of the late John White and Dorothy Roberts White. He grew up in Hutchison before moving to the Joplin area, where he owned and operated his own business, Affordable Seamless Gutters. He was a hard worker who loved spending time with his family, playing pool, golf, and going fishing.

In addition to his parents, Gaylen was preceded in death by his wife, Kathy White; daughter, Gayla Sue Gomez; brother, Virgil White; and sisters, Virgie Danley and Evelyn Cole.

Survivors include his son, Gaylen L. White Jr. and wife Christina, Carterville; daughter, Shawntel McHenry, Joplin; grandchildren, Caylen White, Payton White, Ryan White, Thomas McHenry Jr., Dalton Warden, Brandy Frailing, Mercedes Garza, and Jordan Garza; and several nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held Friday, Dec. 9, at Parker Mortuary, with the Rev. Alan McCamey officiating. Interment was in Saginaw Cemetery. Pallbearers were Gaylen White Jr., Ryan White, Payton White, B.J. Allen, Caylen White and Steven Volkman.


Vicky Wilkins

Aug. 27, 1953 – Dec. 4, 2022

Vicky Lynn Endicott Wilkins, age 69, passed from this life on Sunday, Dec. 4, at Freeman Hospital in Joplin, after a brief illness.

Vicky was born on Aug. 27, 1953, in Joplin, the daughter of Richard and Elzada Endicott. She moved to this area with her family in 1969 and has been a local area resident ever since. She graduated from Parkwood High School in 1971. She most recently resided northeast of Asbury, MO where she has lived for the last 49 years.

She married the love of her life, Lee Wilkins, in November of 1973 and at the time of her passing they had been married for 49 years. Together, they owned and operated Henson and Wilkins roofing Company in Joplin until their retirement in 2014. After retirement, Vicky continued to provide accounting and bookkeeping services to the family real estate rental business and her brother’s company, B&J Construction.

She is survived by her loving husband Lee Wilkins, Oronogo; one son, Curtis Wilkins and wife Jamie Todd, Joplin; two daughters, Tracy Woods and Husband Darren Woods, Joplin, and Cassie Wilkins, Joplin; three grandsons, Josh Wilkins, Levi Hayes, and Andrew Todd, all of Joplin; four granddaughters, Hazel Overman, Audrey Clark, Abby Woods, and Cailyn Buchanan, all of Joplin; one great-grandson, Gabriel Wilkins, Joplin; one great-granddaughter, Paisley; three bonus grandchildren, Johnathan, Amiel and Grace Overman, Joplin; her mother, Elzada Endicott, Joplin; her sister, Sherry Pennington and husband Scott, Joplin; her brothers, Bill Endicott and wife Jill, Oronogo, and David Endicott, Galena, Kan.; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard Endicott; and her bonus daughter, Windy Cox.

Vicky understood the meaning and importance of family. She had a mother’s heart and fiercely loved spending time with her kids and grandkids. She never missed an opportunity to be together. She and Lee loved the beauty of the outdoors and they spent countless hours enjoying the outdoors together especially fishing. Together, they took trips to the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas and even Alaska on fishing excursions.

She was a talented artist and worked in many different mediums as her interests drifted throughout her life. Painting, pottery, stained glass, ceramics, all received a touch of her talents at different times. Family and friends of Vicky have reminders of her talent and examples of her amazing eye for color balance and beauty throughout their homes. She made everything she touched more beautiful.

Funeral services were held Monday, Dec. 12, at Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary in Joplin.

11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
at Mt. Hope Cemetery