Obituaries Published in the June 8 California Democrat



Makenzie Jo Graham

Makenzie Jo Graham, 1 month, of Latham, passed away on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at Capital Region Medical Center.

She was born on April 26, 2011, in Jefferson City, the daughter of Johnny Graham and Ashley Mosier, both of whom survive of the home.

She is also survived by two brothers, Chase and Trenton Graham, of the home; maternal grandparents Charles (Terri) Mosier of Barnett, Mo., and Lisa (Andrew) Swope of St. Joseph, Mo.; maternal great-grandmother Cora Reagan of Tipton, Mo.; maternal great-grandparents Robert (Patsy) Hammers of Springfield, Mo.; paternal great-grandfather Joe (Billie) Dobbs of Potosi, Mo.; paternal great-grandmother Viola Dobbs of Pekin, Ill.; aunts Michelle Graham and Melissa (Timothy) Buerk; and uncle Tommy Johnson. She was preceded in death by maternal great-grandfather Jim Mosier and paternal grandparents Johnny and Barbara Gulden.

There will be a private family service at Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services in California. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery. Officiating will be Pastor Steve Jones.

Memorials are suggested to Highland Cemetery Fund, c/o Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services, 100 S. Oak, California, MO 65018.

Arrangements are under the direction of Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services, California, Mo.



Charles G. “Bud” Higgins



Charles G. “Bud” Higgins, 86, of Centertown, died Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at his home.

He was born September 28, 1924 in Centertown, a son of Charles A. and Mabel A. (Handley) Higgins. He attended school in Centertown.

Bud served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II from 1942 to 1945, serving in Japan, China, India and Burma and attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant.

On May 31, 1947, Bud was united in marriage in Kansas City, Kansas, to Margaret H. Rupert, who survives at their home.

Bud was a union lather and carpenter, working for M.C. Rippeto Plastering Company for many years before becoming part owner of Modern Interiors. He was a member of American Legion Post 531 in Centertown; Carpenters Local 945; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1003 in Jefferson City; Masonic Lodge Jefferson #43 in Jefferson City; and Centertown Baptist Church. Bud raised horses, mules and cattle, enjoyed going on trail rides and watching the St. Louis Cardinals. His greatest pleasures were spending time with his grandchildren and watching them in sporting events.

He is also survived by one son, Mark R. Higgins and wife Peggy of Jefferson City; one brother, Dennis Higgins of Jefferson City; two sisters: LaRue Roll of Centertown, Shirley Bolten of Jefferson City; two grandsons, Chase Higgins and wife Leann of Jefferson City, Cody Higgins and wife Bailey of Blue Springs; and one great-granddaughter, Hadley Higgins. He was preceded in death by one son, David C. Higgins in May 1999, and three brothers, Bill, Don and Frank.

Funeral services were held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the Centertown Baptist Church with Rev. David Phelps officiating. Interment with full military honors followed in the Centertown Cemetery.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Centertown Baptist Church. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 W. Main, (573) 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at



Edith M. Murphy

Edith M. Murphy, 88, of California, Mo., passed away on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at California Care Center.

She was born on August 27, 1922, in California, Mo., the daughter of Eugene and Stella M. (Murrell) Anderson, both of whom preceded her in death. She was united in marriage on July 20, 1948, in California, Mo., to Delbert Murphy, who preceded her in death on June 17, 1994.

She was a faithful member of Main Street Baptist Church of California, Mo. She retired from California Manufacturing Co. after 45 years of employment.

Survivors include: five daughters, Ruby (Jerry) Mills of Odessa, Mo., Judy (Jim) Alkire of Dawn, Mo., Linda and Ralph Kesler of Jefferson City, Mo., Jeanne (Jim) Miller of California, Mo., and Joy (Mike) York of Latham, Mo.; two sons, Larry (Kathy) Murphy of California, Mo., and Lex (Lee) Murphy, also of California, Mo.; 16 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; a niece Kay Huffmon and a sister-in-law Esther Anderson. She was preceded in death by one son, Ralph; one granddaughter Alexa Dawn Murphy; one brother, Truman Anderson; one sister, Flossie Anderson; and one nephew Juel Anderson.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at Main Street Baptist Church in California, Mo. Burial was in California City Cemetery. Officiating was Rev. Ken Mathes.

Memorials are suggested to either Main Street Baptist Church or American Cancer Society, c/o Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services, 100 S. Oak, California, MO 65018.

Arrangements were under the direction of Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services, California, Mo.



Billy Don Payne

Greetings from Billy Don Payne! If you’re reading this, it means that I am in Heaven with my Lord! My body lost its battle with pancreatic cancer on June 3rd, 2011, but my soul just won its liberation. I leave behind my amazing wife, Kay, my two sons and daughters-in-law, Jeff and Jenice and Eric and Kerri, of whom I am so proud, five grandchildren, Ben, Abby, Kaley, Seth and Karsyn, my sister and brother-in-law Lawanda and Emmett Proctor, and so many friends. I was a blessed man!—I can’t wait to be reunited in glory.

I was born in Russellville, March 8, 1942 to Herschel and Laverne Althoff Payne. I was reborn spiritually in the Enon Baptist Church at age 10. I was a deeply committed follower of Jesus Christ, cleverly disguised as an electronics technician at Modine Manufacturing for 30 years, a husband, father, friend and deacon. I was an active member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Jefferson City and a part of the Concord Builders Team from 1995-2010. I also served as President of the Enloe Cemetery Board, a member of the Cole County R-I school board, and as a member of the Missouri Road Riders for Jesus Christ Motorcycle Club.

My cancer was so limited! It could not take away my peace, kill my friendships, destroy my confidence, reduce eternal life, quench the Holy Spirit, or lessen the power of the Resurrection. I wish you could see me now!

Here are the "A ,B, C’s" of how to know you are going to Heaven:

A.) Admit that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

B.) Believe in Jesus, not just with your head, but from the heart. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever (that’s you) believes in Him should not perish (go to hell), but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

C.) Confess and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:19)

Pray: "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me. I am so sorry for my sin. I believe you died on the cross for my sins and rose again. As best as I know how, I invite you into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. From this day forward, I choose to follow you. Amen."

When I died I stepped into eternal joy. When your time comes, I pray that you join me.

My visitation will be Tuesday, June 7 from 3:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. at the Cornerstone Baptist Church 4930 Old Lohman Road in Jefferson City. My funeral will be at the same location at 1:30 P.M. Wednesday, June 8, with burial to follow in the Enloe Cemetery. My pastor and dear friend, Brian Credille, will lead the celebration. Please come if you can. Instead of floral arrangements, I would prefer memorial contributions be given to Cornerstone Baptist Church or the Enloe Cemetery. Scrivner-Morrow Funeral Home in Russellville is assisting my family with my service.



Margaret Susan (Miles) Pike

Margaret Susan (Miles) Pike died Sunday, May 22, 2011 in her home near Warsaw, Mo.

She was born October 17, 1941, in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Robert F. Miles and Maureen Lucille (Clarkson) Miles whom preceded her in death.

Susan spent her early adult years as a professional ballroom dance instructor in Chicago. Later she married Douglas Albert Strother and moved to the farm near Kingsville, Mo. She raised a variety of animals and cultivated a beautiful garden year after year. A move to California, Mo., brought a career change as well. Susan was a licensed day care provider to many wonderful young children whom she loved. She devoted her life to rearing children and helping them find something special in the simplest things. To her, even the smallest of achievements deserved recognition and she recognized the power of building young people in their self-image and self-esteem. Prior to retirement, she worked for Crete Carrier Co. as an Assistant Terminal Manager where she not only took care of a large fleet of drivers, but developed wonderful friendships. She never met a stranger, and somehow made everyone with whom she met feel like they had been friends for years.

She is survived by three daughters, Andrea (Tiki) Longwell of Sedalia, Nicole (Strother) Safley of California, Mo., and Christina Kelly of Atlanta, Ga.; two sons, Arthur William Countz of South Carolina, and Gerald "Tiger" Countz of Kansas City; eight grandchildren, Faustina Maureen and Blake Alexandra Naros, Madilyn and Zane Safley, Arthur and Michael Countz, and Tyleshia Countz Avant and Kiante Smith.

Also surviving are two brothers, Robert David Miles of Shawnee Mission, Kan., Robert Michael "Mick" Miles of Freeman, Mo.; and several nieces and nephews. Also preceding her in death were her parents, her Aunt Louise, and husband, David Pike.

Services were held May 27, 2011 at McGilley and George Funeral Home in Belton, Mo., followed by a graveside service at Floral Hills Cemetery in Raytown, Mo.



Edward M. Shock



Mr. Edward M. Shock, age 89 years, of California, Mo., died Monday, May 30, 2011 at his home.

Edward was born July 9, 1921 on a farm three miles south of Hinton, Mo., the son of Frank Lee and Alma N. Samuels Shock. He was married in the home of Rev. J. Bryson in Columbia, Mo. on November 27, 1942 to Geneva Bishop.

Edward served in the United States Army during World War II. He served in General George C. Patton’s Ghost Corp, a special unit of Forward Observers. He saw action in Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and the Ardennes for which his company earned five bronze stars in those campaigns.

After being discharged from the Army, he returned to his carpentry trade, building houses in Central Missouri.

He was a member of a non-denominational Christian Church in Jefferson City, Mo.. He was also a member of the American Legion, Roscoe Enloe Post 5 and the United Commercial Travelers, a fraternal organization working with the Sheltered Workshop and various cancer organizations.

Survivors include: his wife of sixty-eight years, Geneva Shock; four daughters, Edwena Shock of California, Mo., Vivian Whitney of Jefferson City, Mo., Patricia Crane and her husband Tiry of Russellville, Mo., and Linda Matteson and her husband Joseph of Columbia, Mo.; four grandchildren, Brad O’Neal and his wife Susan of Marshall, Mo., Stephanie Beck and her husband Brian of San Diego, California, Cory Whitney and his wife Laura of Lenexa, Kansas, and Tiry Crane II and his wife Dana of Cabot, Arkansas; four great grandchildren; one sister, Sue Fenton of Columbia, Mo.; two brothers, Francis Shock and his wife Shirley of Ashland, Mo. and Charles Shock of Kansas City, Mo; beloved sisters-in-law, Virginia Williamson of Holts Summit, Mo. and Juanita Bishop of Columbia, Mo.; one brother-in-law Ray Bishop and his wife Rosemary of Centertown, Mo.; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Robert Shock of Columbia, Mo. and Lawrence Shock of Springfield, Mo.; two infant brothers; and two brothers-in-law, Edward Bishop and Melvin Williamson.

Funeral services were conducted at 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 3, 2011 in the Freeman Chapel. Graveside services and interment with military honors were conducted at 1:00 p.m. Friday at the Grandview Cemetery near Murry, Mo.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Grandview Cemetery, c/o Lee Hudson, 12301 E. Durk Road, Centralia, Mo. 65240; Hospice Compassus, 600 Monroe Street, Jefferson City, Mo. 65101; or the Central Missouri Veterans Honor Flight, 5550 Highway 63 South, Columbia, Mo. 65201.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.



Opal Josephine “Jo” Sterling

Opal Josephine “Jo” Sterling, age 95, of Lee’s Summit, formerly of Warrensburg, passed away Sunday, May 1, 2011, at John Knox Village Care Center.

She was born December 10, 1915, in Latham, the daughter of Charles Patrick and Eva (James) McBroom.

On June 7, 1935, she was united in marriage to Ray Sterling in Tipton, Missouri. He preceded her in death on November 3, 1993.

Mrs. Sterling was a Latham High School graduate. She later attended and received her Teaching Certificate from Central Missouri State Teacher’s College. She taught in several schools in Moniteau County and was also a homemaker. She lived most of her life in California until she and her husband moved to Warrensburg in 1989. Mrs. Sterling was a member of the Eastern Star and member of the First Christian Church in both California and Warrensburg.

Opal Josephine Sterling is survived by one son, Duane Sterling and wife Pat of Warrensburg; three grandchildren, Allison Ludlam, Shannon Pierce and Tiffany Gutieriez; and six great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; one son, Dwight Harlan Sterling, who died at 18 months; one sister; and three brothers.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at Sweeney-Phillips & Holdren Funeral Home in Warrensburg with Pastor Jerry Bayse officiating.

Interment was at Highland Cemetery in Latham, Missouri.

Memorial contributions were suggested to the First Christian Church Building Fund in Warrensburg and can be left at the funeral at 617 N. Maguire Street, Warrensburg, MO 64093.


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