Carla J. Weitzel
Carla J. Weitzel was a multifaceted woman whose talents took her from activism to kickboxing.
Mrs. Weitzel is most remembered in the public mind as an organizer of the Shantytown movement, which influenced the UM Board of Curators and the state of Missouri to withdraw investment dollars from companies that did business in apartheid South Africa.
Protesters in 1986 built a shantytown on Francis Quadrangle on the MU campus as a demonstration of the cause. After nearly a year of pressure on the University, the state of Missouri and the University divested their money in corporations as an economic sanction.
"Carla was certainly one of the most identifiable leaders of the movements," said fellow activist Jai Amrod, who camped on the quadrangle in the shantytown village. "At the time there was a lot of hostility toward those of us involved with the shantytown. Carla believed that no matter what hostility that was directed toward us, we had to return it with love and kindness. She said that we had to know that what we were doing was out of love for others, that we had never met."
"She had no fear to stand up for people who were being mistreated," said her husband, James M. Kamp. "She was a natural leader. People would look to her because she would never back down. Her politics were personal."
Mrs. Weitzel of Columbia died Tuesday, July 4, 2000, at University Hospital and Clinics. She was 47.
She died after a long struggle with manic depression.
Mrs. Weitzel was born on June 29, 1953, in Clinton to Charles F. and Shirley W. May Weitzel.
A graduate from Buffalo High School in Buffalo, Mo., Mrs. Weitzel went on to graduate from Southwest Missouri State University. She later received her master's degree in sociology from MU and another master's in professional counseling from Lincoln University.
She married Kamp on Dec. 31, 1990, in Columbia.
In addition to activism, Mrs. Weitzel was an instructor of kickboxing at Gold's Gym, a writer and director of radio drama with the Free Range Radio Theatre Group, as well as a co-host of the radio program "The Green Room" on KOPN. She was a hospice volunteer and had the female lead role in the local production of "Kamikaze College." In 1971, she was named Miss Dallas County.
Mrs. Weitzel was also an avid bassist, dancer, swimmer and runner. She was a former soldier in the U.S. Army, a recipient of the Martin Luther King Civil Rights Award, and a member of the Missouri Playwrite's Workshop.
Her father and one brother, Shawn P. Weitzel, died earlier.
Visitation for Mrs. Weitzel will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 N. Tenth Street, in Columbia.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Jeannie Martin Webb, will follow the visitation.
Mrs. Weitzel is survived by her husband, James M. Kamp of Columbia; her mother, Shirley W. Weitzel of Buffalo, Mo.; two sisters, Julie L. Davis of Columbia and Bridget M. Lovera of Austin, Texas; and five brothers, Anthony K. Weitzel of Ocean Side, Calif., Jeffery K. and Scott H. Weitzel of Springfield, Mo., Michael T. Weitzel of St. Louis, and Norman L. Weitzel of Jacksonville, Fla.
Memorials may be given to the McCambridge Center for Women, 201 N. Garth, in Columbia.
Betty J. Carey
Betty J. Carey died Tuesday, July 4, 2000, at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Mich. She was 70.
Ms. Carey was born in Higbee on Feb. 4, 1930, to Frank Delmar Wright and Violet Ruth Schafer. Ms. Carey worked as a bookkeeper at an animal clinic in Michigan.
Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. today in Michigan. Services, conducted by the Rev. James E. Robinson, will follow at 3 p.m. today at Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel in Lansing, Mich.
Ms. Carey is survived by her brother, William F. Wright of Columbia; one son, Michael Lee Carey of Lansing, Mich.; one daughter, Cheryl Palmer of Clio, Mich.; one granddaughter, Jessica Kingman of Flint, Mich.; one grandson, Sean Carey of Lansing, Mich.; and one greatgrandson, Troy Kingman of Flint, Mich.
William Eugene Gossett of Columbia died on Wednesday, July 5, 2000, at his home. He was 74.
Mr. Gossett worked as a printer for the Columbia Missourian for 37 years. His co-worker, Bill Bass, remembers him as a conscientious and dedicated individual.
"He was well-thought of at the printing shop," Bass said. "He was a great worker."
"Billy enjoyed walking and visiting with his neighbors as he passed by," said Mac Brushwood, Gossett's cousin. "He was such a compassionate person. He was a pro at gardening and grew some of the best tomatoes around. He also enjoyed curing hams."
Mr. Gossett was born Feb. 11, 1926, in Columbia to Ben and Gertrude Brushwood Gossett. He graduated from Hickman High School in 1944.
Mr. Gossett served with the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946 in the Pacific. He was a member of VFW Post 280 and attended Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church.
Visitation for Mr. Gossett will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services, conducted by Rev. Dennis Swearngin, will be held immediately following the visitation Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel.
Mr. Gossett will be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Edna Mae Perkins
Playing practical jokes came naturally to Edna Mae Perkins, as did her happiness and ability to laugh at things.
Her son, James Perkins, remembers one joke that he fell for.
"She played one on me," said Perkins, laughing. "She got a box of talc powder once - I didn't know what it was at the time - and held it up to my nose and said, 'Here, smell this.' I took a big snuff and nearly choked to death."
Edna Mae Perkins of Holden died Tuesday, July 4, 2000, at Holden Manor. She was 85.
Linette Owens, one of Ms. Perkins many past Sunday school students, remembers her laugh and love.
"She was the kind of person that when you spent a couple of minutes with her, she made you feel very special," Owens said. "She had a wonderful laugh and had a true inner child. She was always in the middle of fun."
Ms. Perkins was born Aug. 28, 1914, in Jefferson City to James I. and Mary Elizabeth Waters Bradshaw. She and her husband, Alfred Perkins, whom she married on July 19, 1929, in Columbia, had 10 children.
For 40 years, Mrs. Perkins taught Sunday school at the Bible Baptist Church in New Franklin.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Rodney Haggett, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 N. Tenth Street. Mrs. Perkins will be buried at Columbia Cemetery.
Survivors include her daughter, Melba Bratcher of Mission, Kan.; six sons, Darrell Perkins of Grandview, James Perkins of Holden, Lester Perkins of Holts Summit, Russell Perkins of Higginsville, Terry Perkins of Kansas City and Timothy Perkins of Coppers Cove, Texas; and one brother, Frank Bradshaw of Columbia.
Mrs. Perkins' husband, three daughters, five brothers and three sisters died earlier.
Memorials may be given to Bible Baptist Church in New Franklin.
Robert Williams Jr.
Robert Lee Williams Jr. was an avid sports lover even until his death. Only days before his death, Williams played baseball with his team, Red Wire, in Columbia and Jefferson City.
Mr. Williams died Monday, July 3, 2000, at his home in Mexico, Mo., of unknown causes. He was 30.
His cousin, Kela Williams also remembers his compassion.
"He always made sure everyone had fireworks or everyone had a gift at Christmas," she said. "He didn't want anyone to feel left out."
His mother has similar memories of her son's generosity.
"If someone was in trouble, he'd give the shirt off his back for them," she said. "He was so compassionate."
Visitation for Mr. Williams will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on today at Second Baptist Church, 418 E. Breckenridge, Mexico, Mo. Services, conducted by Rev. T.L. Garner, will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Second Baptist Church.
Mr. Williams is survived by his father, Robert L. Williams Sr., and mother, Ruth Williams, both of Mexico, Mo.; two daughters, Breann L. Williams of Des Moines, Iowa, and Bianca S. Williams of Mexico, Mo.; one son, Avondre Williams of Columbia; two sisters, Tracy L. Williams of Mexico, Mo., and Twyla Duncan of Seattle; four brothers, Stephen E. Williams, Bobby Lee Jennings and Michael Jennings, all of Mexico, Mo., and Ed Hayes of Des Moines, Iowa.
Charles Cooper of Fayette died Tuesday, July 4, 2000, at his home. He was 74.
Mr. Cooper was born Aug. 24, 1925, in Fayette to Henry and Mary Rowden Cooper. He married Corine Hall in 1945.
Mr. Cooper attended the Howard County school system and was employed at the Howard County courthouse for many years. He was also a member and assistant pastor of Fayette's Holy Ground Christian Tabernacle Church.
Visitation for Mr. Cooper will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the H.T. May and Son Funeral Home in Fayette. Services, conducted by the Rev. R.C. Paige, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Holy Ground Christian Tabernacle Church.
Mr. Cooper will be buried at the Fayette City Cemetary.
Mr. Cooper is survived by four daughters, Mary Jones of Boonville, Josephine Tindall of Fayette, Charlene Cooper of Warrensburg and Linda Jordan of Columbia; two sons, Robert Cooper of Columbia and Charles Cooper Jr. of Kansas City; 16 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.
His wife died earlier.
Shirley Melchert enjoyed baking, sewing, watching medical shows on television and spending time with family.
"She really looked forward to spending time with her grandchildren," said her daughter, Theresa Brigham.
Mrs. Melchert of Columbia died Tuesday, July 4, 2000, at her home. She was 63.
Mrs. Melchert was born on March 6, 1937, in Illinois to Howard and Blanche Williams Kessinger. She grew up and spent half of her life on a farm. Mrs. Melchert also worked as a licensed practical nurse at Mesa Hills Nursing Home and did private nursing duty.
Visitation for Mrs. Melchert will be from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at Nilson Funeral Home, 5611 St. Charles Road. Graveside services, conducted by the Rev. John Foley, will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Park Cemetary in Moberly.
Mrs. Melchert is survived by her son, Robert "Dean" Melchert of Macon; three daughters, Linda Horswill of Moberly, and Karen Moranda and Theresa Brigham, both of Columbia; two sisters, Geraldine Mehochko of Hillsboro, Ill., and Nina Stine of High Hill; 11 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Her brother, Raymond "Dean" Kissinger, died earlier.
William Herschel Nickerson of Salisbury died Wednesday, July 5, 2000, at Chariton Park Health Care Center in Salisbury. He was 79.
Family members remember him as a patriotic man and a loving father.
"He was a devoted family man and he believed in serving his country," said his son Leroy Nickerson. "He was a man who finished what he started."
Mr. Nickerson was born on Feb. 2, 1921, in rural Chariton County to William Franklin and Della Coy Nickerson. He married Valeria Lingo on April 25, 1941.
Mr. Nickerson served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in India, Burma, and China.
After his career in the armed forces, Mr. Nickerson worked as a street commissioner in Salisbury for 26 years, retiring in 1988.
A lifelong, active resident of Salisbury, Mr. Nickerson was a member of the First Christian Church in Salisbury and the Warren Masonic Lodge No. 7 in Keytesville.
Visitation for Mr. Nickerson will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Summerville Funeral Home, 506 N. Blevins, in Salisbury, with Masonic Services at 7:30 p.m. Services, conducted by the Rev. Clifford Ridge, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Summerville Funeral Home. Mr. Nickerson will be buried with military honors at Keytesville City Cemetary.
Mr. Nickerson is survived by two sons, Leroy Nickerson of Columbia, and Gary Nickerson of Salisbury; one daughter, Judy Boley of Salisbury; and six grandchildren.
His wife, four brothers and one sister died earlier.
Mikel Ray Skipper
Mikel Ray Skipper of Columbia liked to fish, hunt, spend time with his two daughters and play the guitar.
"He loved music," said his mother, Jane Frost.
Mr. Skipper died Monday, July 3, 2000, from cirrhosis of the liver caused by Hepatitis C. He was 35.
Mr. Skipper was born Aug. 3, 1964, in Boone County to Jane Dusenberry Skipper. He earned his GED after attending Hickman High School. He worked in production at Columbia Foods and was a member of Highland Park Assembly of God Church.
Visitation for Mr. Skipper will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services, conducted by the Rev. James Spinner, will follow at 11 a.m. Mr. Skipper will be buried in Oakland Cemetery.
Mr. Skipper is survived by his mother and stepfather, Jane and Troy Frost of Columbia; his maternal grandmother, Opal Vivian Dusenberry of Eldon; two daughters, Amber Ray Skipper and Heather Angelee Skipper of Huntsdale; a stepdaughter, Jeanie Marie Skipper of Huntsdale; and two brothers, Scott Moore of Columbia and Matt Saak of Leawood, Kan.
When Arthur Hackmann's garden was ready for harvesting, the neighbors knew they soon would be showered with gifts of vegetables.
"He loved gardens, and he shared all his produce with the neighbors," said his daughter, Cindy Glascock.
Gardening was one of Hackmann's hobbies, along with hunting and fishing.
Arthur Henry Hackmann Jr. died Monday, July 3, 2000, at his home in Ashland. He was 75.
Mr. Hackmann was born October 30, 1924, in Jefferson City, to Arthur Henry Hackmann Sr. and Nora L. Ackman Hackmann. He married Violet Nell Pauley on March 20, 1949, in Columbia.
Mr. Hackmann was a member of the Peace United Church of Christ in Hartsburg. He also belonged to the American Legion Post #424 in Hartsburg and to the VFW of Columbia. He served in World War II, where he was stationed in the Phillipines.
Mr. Hackmann retired from Boone Electric as a member service advisor after 37 years. "He worked hard, and he loved his children and grandchildren," Glascock said.
Visitation for Mr. Hackmann will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Robinson Funeral Home in Ashland. Services, conducted by the Rev. Bryan Crousore, will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Robinson Funeral Home. His burial will be at Friedens Cemetery, Hartsburg. Mr. Hackmann is survived by his wife, Violet Hackmann of Ashland; one son, Bruce Hackmann of Ashland; three daughters, Cindy Glascock of Hartsburg, and Linda Winfrey and Terri Craig, both of Ashland; one brother Norlan Hackman; and nine grandchildren.
His parents died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to Peace United Church of Christ in Hartsburg.
Doris Jane Foland
Few people have the opportunity to fulfill their life's dream, but Doris Jane Foland completed that journey. She visited nearly every country in the world, said her daughter, Jane Kay Poore.
"As a little girl, she would climb up in the pine trees around her grandmother's home and act like she was flying a plane and touring the world," Poore said. "She would tell all her cousins and siblings that one day she was going to see the world. It was her dream."
Mrs. Foland of Columbia died Sunday, July 2, 2000, at Boone Hospital Center. She was 84.
Her sense of adventure propelled her through life and provided her with many opportunities. In 1990, Mrs. Foland and her husband were prepared to go on a trip to Nepal and Tibet, but his sudden illness kept them at home. He later died and, at age 74, she decided to take to the skies on her own.
"Mom took up flying as therapy to deal with dad's death," Poore said.
Mrs. Foland was born Jan. 21, 1916, in Exeter to Earl Lee and Leland Jane Jordan Smithson. She married Kelso Otto Foland on Jan. 1, 1940 in Miami, Okla.
Mrs. Foland graduated with a degree in business from Joplin Junior College and Monet Business College. Before her marriage, she worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Later, she worked at her husband's pharmacy business in Louisiana, Mo.
After moving to Columbia in 1991, Mrs. Foland attended the Olivet Christian Church where she always seemed to find great joy in living and being with others, said her pastor, the Rev. Dennis Swearngin.
"Doris was a great socializer," Swearngin said. "She always had a strong witness about the joy in her life. She always wanted to be involved with the church happenings."
Activities beyond the church also kept Mrs. Foland busy. She loved to paint landscapes and play the piano. And her sense of humor kept her family smiling.
"Her humor was so sophisticated that it seemed flaky at times," Poore said. "But it wasn't. She could always bring a smile to our faces."
Mrs. Foland found great joy in spending time with her family, especially during holidays.
"She liked the times when the whole family would get together," Poore said. "The Fourth of July was her favorite. Sometimes the weather was bad at Christmas and the family had to stay at home. But she could always count the weather in July."
Visitation for Mrs. Foland will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday at Memorial Park Funeral Home. Services, conducted by the Rev. Dennis Swearngin, will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mrs. Foland is survived by a son, Stephen Kelso Foland of Crofton, Md.; a daughter, Jane Kay Poore of Columbia; a sister, Leland Smithson Salamon of Rogers, Ark.; four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Her husband and two brothers died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to Olivet Christian Church, 1991 S. Olivet Road, Columbia, Mo. 65202 or Arthritis Foundation Eastern Missouri Chapter, 8390 Delmar, St. Louis, Mo. 63124.
Chloe E. Kelly
Chloe E. Kelly of Columbia died Saturday, July 1, 2000, at Boone Hospital Center. She was 95.
Ms. Kelly was born Oct. 1, 1904, in Lincoln County, Oklahoma Territory to John Leslie and Florence Maude Wade Poland. Ms. Kelly taught elementary grades and public school music in Oklahoma for three years.
She married Charles Curtis Kelly of Granby on Jan. 1, 1928.
From 1952 to 1964, she acted as the state director of women's work with the Ohio Christian churches, headquartered in Cleveland. During those 12 years, Ms. Kelly studied and observed refugee work in several countries.
In 1964, she was called to Missouri to the same position she had held in Ohio. In 1968, she took early retirement because of her sister's terminal illness. Afterward, she was called to an interim assignment in Lincoln, Neb. She retired four years later at Lenoir in September of 1974.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Rick Frost, will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Lenoir Chapel, 1 Hourigan Circle. Ms. Kelly is survived by a step-daughter, Evelyn Gorde of Arizona, and a niece, Jo Etta Acre of Sterling, Colo.
Memorials may be sent to Lenoir Health Care, 3300 New Haven Road, Columbia, Mo. 65201.
Dorothy Ann Hudson of Columbia died Saturday, July 1, 2000, at Boone Hospital Center. She was 70.
Mrs. Hudson was born Feb. 14, 1930, in Omaha, Neb., to Ludwig H. and Johannah Gerdes Helling. Before moving to Missouri in 1997, she worked for the state of Arizona as an office supervisor.
Mrs. Hudson will be cremated, and at her request there will be no services.
Mrs. Hudson is survived by a son, Robert L. Hudson of Bolivar; a daughter, Rachelle Nowlin of Centralia; a brother, Duane Helling of Tulsa, Okla.; a sister, Donna Fritz of Royal City, Ind.; and three grandchildren.
Two sons died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, 404 Portland St., Columbia, Mo. 65201-9904.
Nicholas James Madden Jr.
He built a legacy of family unity and community.
Nicholas James "Jim" Madden Jr. of Columbia died Saturday, July 1, 2000. He was 79.
Surrounded by family, Mr. Madden began volunteering at the Harry S. Truman Veteran's Hospital. Surrounded by family, Mr. Madden died there as well.
The hospital had become a gathering place for family members. Both Mr. Madden and his wife, Violet, volunteered there. Their daughter Jeannie Hill works at the hospital.
"It was a real family affair," daughter Jan Ranciglio said.
Everything about Mr. Madden included his family.
"We've always had big family get-togethers," Ranciglio said. "He always wanted to take care of the kids."
Mr. Madden was born May 2, 1921, in Shelbina to Nicholas J. Madden and Jocie Waller Madden.
He would have celebrated his 58th wedding anniversary with his wife on July 27.
"We've got a lot of stick-to-it," said Violet, laughing quietly.
Mr. Madden and Violet also built a legacy of faith as charter members of the Christian Chapel. Together, they have greeted church members every Sunday. Violet said she would continue this routine alone.
Religion was important to Mr. Madden, and he instilled the Christian faith in his children.
"Jesus is just carrying us along; he definitely has my father in his arms," Ranciglio said.
With the start of World War II, Mr. Madden began what would become a life-long dedication to the U.S. Army. After three years of service, Mr. Madden became a member of the American Legion and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
His enjoyment of the time spent with the other veterans eventually led to volunteering at the veteran's hospital.
Mr. Madden retired from University Hospital and Clinics in 1983, where he was employed in the electrical maintenance department.
Visitation for Mr. Madden will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services, conducted by the Rev. Gary Denbow, will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel.
Mr. Madden is survived by his wife; two daughters, Betty Jean "Jeannie" Hill of Holts Summit and Janet "Jan" Lee Ranciglio of Redlands, Calif.; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be sent to Christian Chapel, 3300 S. Providence Road, Columbia, Mo., 65203.
Mildred Forbis of Ashland died Saturday, July 1, 2000, at Columbia Regional Hospital. She was 83.
Miss Forbis was an elementary school teacher and worked for more than 40 years as a bookkeeper for the Missouri State Teachers Association. She was a member of New Salem Baptist Church in Ashland.
Miss Forbis was born Nov. 23, 1916, in Ashland to Robbie E. Forbis and Myra Bratton Forbis.
Visitation for Miss Forbis will be from 6 to 8 tonight at Robinson Funeral Home, 601 N. Henry Clay Blvd. in Ashland.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Paul Larimore, will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at New Salem Baptist Church, 12721 S. U.S. 63.
Miss Forbis is survived by several nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be sent to New Salem Cemetery, 12721 S. U.S. 63, Ashland, Mo. 65010.
Marilynn J. Harris
Marilynn J. Harris of Columbia died Wednesday, June 28, 2000, at University Hospital. She was 77.
"She was a very interesting and unique person," her friend Rita Cupp said.
Ms. Harris was a medical illustrator who at one time helped to illustrate Masters & Johnson medical publications. She came to Stephens College in 1972 where she served as a hall counselor for several years before retiring.
Ms. Harris was born July 31, 1922, in St. Louis to Roy T. and Laura Coughlin Harris. She attended St. Louis University and received a degree in radiology. She earned her master's degree in art from Washington University and worked there for many years.
She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where she helped in its annual Christmas bazaar.
"She was very dedicated to helping us," Cupp said.
Services, conducted by Father Edwin Cole, were held on Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Ms. Harris was buried at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.
Ms. Harris is survived by her nephew, Kenneth Harris of St. Peters; and a niece, Karen Garrett of Huntsville, Ala.
Memorials may be given to Stephens College, 1200 E. Broadway, Box 2011, Columbia, Mo. 65215.
Kenneth Earl Roberts of Columbia died Friday, June 30, 2000, at Columbia Regional Hospital. He was 68.
Mr. Roberts was born on Jan. 11, 1932, in Howard County to William Bryan and Mildred Cook Roberts.
Mr. Roberts married Nellie Warren in Columbia, Mo., on Aug. 30, 1952. He served with the Army from 1952 to 1954. He owned and operated R & W Refrigeration Company in Columbia for 33 years. Mr. Roberts attended the Assembly of God Church.
Visitation for Mr. Roberts will be from noon to 2 p.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services, conducted by the Rev. Charles Parker, will follow at 2 p.m. at Memorial Funeral Home. Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mr. Roberts is survived by his wife, Nellie Warren Roberts; one son, David Roberts of Columbia; one daughter, Leslie Canole of Columbia; and six grandchildren.
Two brothers and one sister died earlier.
Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
Ryan and Robert Thompson
Bob Thompson pulled his hand out of the pocket, clutching a clear plastic aspirin bottle tightly.
"I was out at his softball game Thursday night," he said of his grandson, Ryan. "He was playing third base."
"I was telling him what to do," he continued. "He kept saying, 'I know, Papa. I know.' " He was scraping the ground, picked up something and handed it to his grandfather.
"He looked at me and said, 'Papa, isn't that a neat rock!' "
Bob Thompson displayed the bottle that contained the opaque reddish pebble his only grandson had given him.
Ryan Thompson and his father, Robert Thompson, both of Columbia, were killed Friday in an eight-car accident. Ryan was 8; Mr. Thompson was 37.
Ryan played all kinds of sports. He loved baseball, football, and fishing - especially fishing with his uncles and his dad.
Ryan's mom, Kaytina Harrison, said he would rather talk about science. Ryan was always looking at rocks and bugs and things he'd pick up off the ground, his grandmother, Marie Kleinsorge said.
Ryan had just finished second grade at Mill Creek Elementary School. Each of Ryan's teachers from kindergarten to second grade all said the same things about him: He was very smart, a deep thinker and really had the big picture in his mind.
Robert Thompson was devoted to his son. He graduated from MU with a bachelor's degree in parks and recreation.
"He had opportunities to go anywhere to work, but he didn't want to," his father, Bob Thompson, said. "He wanted to be in Columbia with his son."
Mr. Thompson's brother, Greg Thompson, said Robert loved MU. He was a big Tiger fan, especially of basketball.
"Rob was big in all sports, he played it all - bowling, basketball, softball," Greg Thompson said. "He always wanted to tell us he was better than all of us in basketball."
Mr. Thompson was born Feb. 19, 1963, in Springfield, Mo. to Bobby McCray and Suzanne Batey Thompson. He married Kaytina Kleinsorge in Columbia.
He is survived by his parents, of Springfield, and his brother, of Kansas City.
Ryan McCray Thompson was born Feb. 10, 1992 to Robert and Kaytina Thompson. He is survived by his mother, Kaytina Harrison and his stepfather, Kevin Harrison of Columbia; maternal grandparents, Alvin and Penny Kleinsorge and Marie Kleinsorge of Columbia; paternal grandparents, Bobby and Suzanne Thompson of Springfield, Mo.; step-grandparents, Don and Betty Harrison of Edina; and three brothers, Clayton Harrison, Matthew Harrison and Daniel Harrison, all of Columbia.
Visitation for the two will be today at noon at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel. Services, conducted by the Rev. Kenneth Gerike, will be at 2 p.m.
Memorials may be made to the Ryan Thompson Memorial Science Fund, Mill Creek Elementary, Attn: Pam Conway, 2200 Nifong Blvd., Columbia, Mo. 65203.
As the family gathered Saturday to support one another, they looked at old pictures and shared food. They told stories of a father and his son and what they meant to the family.
"I miss him," Greg Thompson said. "I miss them both."