Merlin Lewis of Boonville died Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2000, at Cooper County Memorial Hospital. He was 82.
Mr. Lewis was born on April 25, 1917, in Tipton to Edward and Ada Lewis. He married Alfreda Miles on June 16, 1954, in Speed, Mo. He was a World War II veteran.
Visitation for Mr. Lewis will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the H.T. May and Son Funeral Home in Boonville.
Funeral services, conducted by the Rev. Dale Hopkins, will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Mr. Lewis will be buried in Bunceton Cemetery.
Mr. Lewis is survived by his wife; two sons, Mern Lewis of Boonville and Maurice Miles of Moberly; four daughters, Darlene Jackson, Cindy Lewis, Tina Lewis, and Sharon Lewis, all of Boonville; one brother, James Lewis of Omaha, Neb.; one sister, Omega Crockett of Boonville; 16 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Three brothers, four sisters, and two grandchildren died earlier.
Michael Dean Poff was a man big of stature but soft of heart.
"He had a gruff exterior, but he was soft as cotton inside," his sister Vickie Andreassen said of her 6-foot-4-inch brother.
Mr. Poff of Fayette died Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2000, in Columbia. He was 44.
Mr. Poff was a man with "a lifelong passion for learning," Andreassen said. "There wasn't much he couldn't tackle."
He loved history, and liked to deal and collect antiques, especially armchairs and clocks. He even bought a 100-year-old antique house when he moved to Fayette four years ago, which he was renovating with his wife. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his sons, collecting arrowheads, golfing and gardening.
Mr. Poff was born in Columbia on December 12, 1955 to Ralph and Hazel Payne Poff. He married Marilynn Limbird on April 6, 1976, in Tulsa, Okla.
Mr. Poff worked in construction before he started P&D Excavating Company in the 1980s, which he owned and operated for a number of years.
Visitation for Mr. Poff will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home. Services, conducted by the Rev. Adam Andreassen, will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel. He will be buried at Fairview Cemetery.
Mr. Poff is survived by his mother, Hazel Poff of Columbia; his wife, Marilynn Poff of Fayette; two sons, Michael Aaron Poff and Jacy Nicholas Poff, both of Fayette; one brother, David Poff of Independence; two sisters, Vickie Andreassen of Arlington, Texas, and Celeste Poff-Shafer of Seattle; and many nieces and nephews.
His father died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to Seventh Day Adventists Church, Building Fund, 1100 College Park Dr., Columbia, Mo. 65203.
Ronald Lee Rule
Ronald Lee Rule of Columbia died Monday, Feb. 21, 2000, at his home. He was 68.
Mr. Rule was born Dec. 23, 1931 in Columbia to William H. and Imo Gene Rule. On June 2, 1950, he married Dorothy Ann Gibbs in Arkansas. She died in l995.
He served in the Air Force for 20 years retiring in 1969 as a Master Sgt. Mr. Rule worked as the vice president of sales for Walcot Water Softeners.
In his time away from work, Mr. Rule was an avid golfer.
"He was a fixture on the golf course, so everyone knew him," said his daughter Rhonda Leigh Berg. "We have been getting a lot of phone calls."
Mr. Rule also loved to travel. He traveled to Europe and Mexico. He also enjoyed taking cruises.
"One of his favorite things to do was get in the car and drive," Berg said. "He has driven most of the United States several times."
Visitation for Mr. Rule will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 N. Tenth St. There will be no services.
Mr. Rule is survived by his mother, Imo Gene Woods of Columbia; two daughters, Rhonda Leigh Berg of Sacramento, Calif., and Rae Anne Letterman of Liberty; one brother, Randall Carey Rule of Fayetteville, N.C.; two sisters, Treva Pugh of Columbia and Rayma Jo Smith of California; four grandchildren and one great grandchild.
His father, wife and step-father died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to the Missouri River Hospice, 1440 Aaron Ct., Jefferson City, Mo 65101.
Martha L. Straub
From her own artwork to the paintings that filled her home, Martha L. Straub immersed herself in art and fostered others' appreciation of it.
"Art was just part of life," said her son Gary Straub.
Mrs. Straub died Feb. 23, 2000, at Lenoir Health Care Center in Columbia. She was 80.
Mrs. Straub was born July 31, 1919, to Charles Hardin and Augusta Fay Reed Trimble. She graduated from Stephens College with a degree in art in 1941 and married A. Earl Straub on May 31, 1942.
Mrs. Straub was the first woman to run for judge in Boone County. She was the recreational leader at Oak Towers for many years, past president of the Columbia Art League and a member of the Altrusa Club. She attended First Baptist Church.
She and her husband visited many large art museums around the world. Her husband often photographed the art and she used the pictures as models for her paintings.
"It was through her that I became interested in art," Earl Straub said, "and through her paintings."
He said he will remember her through the art in their home. "These are the highlights of her life," he said.
Her son Gary, a local furniture artist, said his mother's love of art influenced his decision to become an artist himself.
He said his mother made people feel comfortable and allowed them to be themselves. No matter what walk of life you came from, she treated everyone the same, he said.
"She supported me through it all and encouraged me," Gary Straub said. "She was the one person who stood behind me, somebody I could always talk to. No question about it, she was my best friend."
Mrs. Straub is survived by her husband; two sons, Gary Straub and James Straub, both of Columbia; a daughter, Debbie Surprenant of North Haven, Conn.; and three grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 N. Tenth St. Services will follow.
Memorials may be sent to the national headquarters of the Alzheimer's Association, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60611.
Doris J. Athy of Jefferson City died Monday, Feb. 21, 2000, at Capital Regional Medical Center. She was 66.
Ms. Athy was born Oct. 7, 1933, in Boone County to Robert B. and Mary F. Grant Athy. She was the Executive Director of Mid-Missouri Regional Library Systems for 30 years.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Harvel Sanders, will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. The visitation will be at the funeral home one hour before the services.
Mrs. Athy is survived by her mother.
Memorials may be sent to Hospice of Mid-Missouri, 601 E. High St., Jefferson City, Mo. 65101, or Heartland Regional Library Systems, Jefferson City, Mo. 65101.
Rebecca Lee Ehler of Columbia died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2000, at University Hospital. She was 46.
Mrs. Ehler was born Sept. 3, 1953, in Tuscombia to Kenneth and Dorothy Music Eads.
She married James Howard Ehler on July 23, 1977.
Mrs. Ehler was a member of the Phoenix Society and Native American Organization.
Graveside services were at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mrs. Ehler is survived by her husband, James Howard Ehler; one son, Joe Allen Eads of Columbia; two brothers, Fred Eads of Brumley and Kenny Eads of Rocheport; two sisters, Sue King of Wheatland and Barb Porter of Eldon; and three grandchildren.
Her parents and one brother died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1013, Columbia, Mo. 65205, or the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 30638, Columbia, Mo. 65205.
John Leroy Freelon of Columbia died Friday, Feb. 18, 2000, at Truman Veterans Hospital. He was 72.
Mr. Freelon was born June 2, 1927, to Leroy and Hazel Jennings Freelon. He graduated from Douglass High School and worked at Allen's Florist. Mr. Freelon served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1947. He also worked at St. Luke Hospital in Kansas City.
Mr. Freelon married Anna L. Tucker on June 7, 1997.
Visitation will be from 11 to 1 p.m. Friday at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 501 Park Ave. Services, conducted by the Rev. Shirley Heermance, will be at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Paul A.M.E. Church. Burial will be at Columbia Cemetery.
Mr. Freelon is survived by his wife; nine daughters, Rev. May E. Hall, Rhonda Tucker and Starletta Tucker, all of Columbia; Janice Ridgeway of Rantoul, Ill.; Melva Crum and Careada Tucker of Kansas City, Kan.; Brenda Freelon of Newton, Kan.; Rev. Shirley D. Heermance of Bremerton, Wash.; and Renee Tucker of San Antonio, Texas.
He also is survived by eight sons, Darrell Freelon and Charles Freelon, both of Kansas City, Kan.; John Freelon Jr. of Kansas City; Leroy Freelon of Leavenworth, Kan.; Tony Tucker, Jeffrey Tucker, and Lawrence Freelon, all of Columbia; and Tory Tucker of Atlanta.
Mr. Freelon is survived by two sisters, Rosa Burton and Myrtle Ellis of Columbia; and two brothers, Charles Freelon of Columbia and William Broadus of Chicago, Ill. Mr. Freelon also has 32 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Catherine Valerie Neal Parke of Columbia died Feb. 2, 2000, at Candlelight Lodge. She was 87.
Mrs. Parke was born Dec. 16, 1912, in Sivells Bend, Texas, to William Alfred and Catherine Johns Neal.
Mrs. Parke married James Hambright Parke in 1945 in New York City. She worked on the dean's staff at Teacher's College of Columbia University in New York. She was also director of adult education at the YWCA in Washington, D.C.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Frederick Thayer, will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Episcopal Church, 123 S. Ninth St. Burial will be at Memorial Garden at Calvary Episcopal Church.
Mrs. Parke is survived by her daughter, Catherine N. Parke of Columbia, and three grandchildren.
Her husband died earlier.
Memorials may be made to the Veterans Administration, Division of Voluntary Service, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20420, the Salvation Army, YWCA or the James H. Parke Scholarship at the Department of Theater and Dance, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712-1168.
Hazel Harrison Sampson of Paris, Mo., died Monday, Feb. 21, 2000, at Monroe Manor. She was 89.
Mrs. Sampson was born June 6, 1910, in Burt, Iowa, to Lewis and Margaret Cutler Markla. In 1929, she married William Henry Harrison, who died in 1978. In 1979, she married Roy Sampson, who died in 1984.
Mrs. Sampson was a member of First Baptist Church in Paris, Mo. She taught children's Sunday school classes at her churches in Algona, Iowa; Perry, Mo.; and Titonka, Iowa.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Wesley Hammond, will be at 1 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Paris, Mo. Visitation for Mrs. Sampson will be one hour before the funeral at the church, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.
Mrs. Sampson is survived by three sons, William H. "Pete" Harrison Jr. of Monroe City, Dean L. Harrison of Perry and Robert "Bob" Harrison of Santa Fe, Mo.; two daughters, Frances Langerud of Paris and Alice Yager of Sturgeon; 20 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; four step- great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
Twelve brothers and sisters, one grandson and four great-grandsons died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church, 100 N. Main St., Paris, Mo., or Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 600 W. Main, Jefferson City, Mo. 65101.
Laura Alice Smith of Columbia died Monday, Feb. 21, 2000, at Villa Marie Nursing Home in Jefferson City. She was 87.
Mrs. Smith was born May 16, 1912, in Lexington, Ky., to Chester "CC" and Gertrude Bewich Cunningham. She married George E. Smith.
Mrs. Smith graduated from Stephens College in 1932 and received a bachelor of science from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Dorothy Lairmore, will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Visitation for Mrs. Smith will be 30 minutes before the service.
She is survived by one son, George Edward Smith of Spring Hill, Kan.; one daughter, Jeanne Powell of Columbia; one sister, Mariana Dunlop of Victoria, Texas; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Her husband and two brothers died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, 1121 Business Loop 70 E., Columbia, Mo. 65201.
David Lee Level of Columbia died Sunday, Feb. 20, 2000, at Columbia Regional Hospital of complications from lupus. He was 36.
"He had an illness he had to deal with, but he also had a drive to live his life to the fullest," said J.O. Parker, an acquaintance.
In 1993, Parker met Mr. Level at the Grace Church of Mid-Missouri in Columbia, which they both attended.
"Even then, he was very sick," said Parker, who remembered Mr. Level undergoing regular dialysis treatments. But he still found the energy to help Parker, an MU student at the time, with school work ranging from algebra to journalism.
Until last year, when Mr. Level's illness worsened, he was active at Grace Church, said Debra Cochran, wife of the church pastor. He played the drums for the church's worship team and had earlier founded a singles group at the church.
Mr. Level was born Aug. 14, 1963, in Columbia to Donald and Mary Breedlove Level.
On March 23, 1996, he married Donna Lynn Perkins in Columbia.
Mr. Level had a bachelor's degree in education from MU and worked with Mid-Missouri Youth Services until his death.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home. Services, conducted by the Rev. David Cochran, will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, and burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mr. Level is survived by his wife; his father; his mother; his stepmother, Thelma Level of Huntsdale, Texas; one stepson, Adam Lewis of Columbia; one brother, Corey Level of Columbia; two stepbrothers; Ervin McMillen of Winnie, Texas, and Dewy McMillen of Huntsdale; and three stepsisters, Rose Anna McMillen of Huntsdale, Marie McMillen of Whorton, Texas, and Leona Hall of Friendswood, Texas.
Memorials may be sent to Midwest Organ Bank, Inc., 1900 W. 47th Place, Ste. 400, Westwood, Kan. 66205, or to the Lupus Foundation Association, Missouri Chapter, 8420 Delmar Blvd., #LL1, St. Louis, Mo. 63124.
Mahala I. Miller
Mahala Ivadene Miller of Columbia died Saturday, Feb. 19, 2000, at the Boone Retirement Center in Columbia. She was 77.
Mrs. Miller was born Jan. 2, 1923, to Shelby Odell and Sallie Mahala Cornelison Nichols.
She married Jessie "Dub" Miller on Dec. 9, 1944, in Columbia.
Mrs. Miller was a member of the Dripping Spring Christian Church in Harrisburg.
Visitation for Mrs. Miller will from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services, conducted by the Rev. John Foley and the Rev. Fred Erickson, will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Memorial Funeral Home Chapel. She will be buried in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mrs. Miller is survived by her husband; two sons, Jerry Wayne Miller and Terry Lynn Miller, both of Columbia; one daughter, Connie Fares of Columbia; and one grandchild.