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Obituaries Published in May 2 California Democrat

Obituaries Published in May 2 California Democrat

May 2nd, 2012 by Democrat Staff in News


LaVern Louise Birdsong, 84, of Clarksburg, Missouri, passed away Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at St. Mary's Health Center Jefferson City, Missouri.

She was born on December 10, 1927 in Fortuna , Missouri, to O'Raymond and Eda (Willliamson) McDaniel, both of whom preceded her in death.

On August 3, 1947, LaVern was married to "Doc" Donley and then was married to Dean Birdsong on May 27, 1961 who survives of the home.

She was a member of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church near Clarksburg, Mo., where she taught Bible School and Sunday School and sang in the choir. LaVern donated blood on a regular basis. She was an avid bowler and pinochle player and traveled many countries throughout the world, yet enjoyed the simple pleasures of finding four leaf clovers, picking up walnuts, mushroom hunting and walking daily with her dog, Joy. LaVern lived to love her family and was a faithful servant of the Lord. She taught for over 25 years which included several rural schools, and fourth grade at California R-1.

LaVern is survived by: her husband Dean Birdsong of Clarksburg; son Larry Donley of Reno, Nev.; daughter Lana Donley Heflebower (Bruce) of Liberty, Mo.; sons Bob Donley of Kansas City, Mo.; Dennis Donley (Donna) of California, Mo., and daughter Deena Birdsong Dummermuth (Wayne) of California, Mo.; six grandchildren Bryan and Nathaniel Donley, Britney and Brielle Heflebower, Tyson and Tessa Dummermuth; one sister Elaine Griffith (Freddie) of Otterville, Mo., and several nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by her first husband Robert Miller "Doc" Donley on October 31, 1958; her stepmother, Stella McDaniel; and her grandson, Lance Tyler Dummermuth on August 15, 1983.

Funeral services were held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2012 with Rev. David Griffith officiating at Windmill Ridge Funeral Chapel in California, with interment following in the California City Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association c/o Windmill Ridge Funeral Service, PO Box 443, California, MO 65018 or charity of the donor's choice. On-line condolences for the family may be left at


Leroy Hays, 79, of California, Mo., passed away on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Mo.

He was born on November 13, 1932, in California, the son of Cecil Roy and Gladys Mabel "Hall" Hays, both of whom preceded him in death. He was married on June 9, 1955, at California, to Sue Ferguson.

He attended Red Brush grade school and graduated from California High School in 1951. Leroy worked at Putnam Chevrolet as a salesman for 10 years and won numerous sales achievement awards. He made many lifelong friends of his customers and co-workers. Prior to his retirement in 1996 he worked in Security at Cargill. He also loved buying, selling and hauling cattle with his buddies Charlie and Mike until they moved to town in 2001. Leroy enjoyed watching ballgames and racing but most of all he loved his family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Sue; one daughter, Brenda Sue Frank and husband Jim, Jefferson City; two grandsons, Clinton Frank and wife Heather, Eldon, and Tyler Frank, Jefferson City; one granddaughter, Valerie Frank, Jefferson City; one great-granddaughter, Brooklyn Renee Frank; and one great-grandson, Lucas James Frank; two brothers, Glen Hays, Kittinger, Germany, Russell Hays, California; four sisters, Norma Dutcher and Frances Howard, California, Lavern Lockard, Jefferson City, and Carol Sue Venneman, Sedalia. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Ruby Mather on May 15, 2002.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., at the Bowlin Cantriel Funeral Services. Burial was at the California City Cemetery, with Mr. Jack Bowlin officiating.

Memorials are suggested to California Nutrition Center or charity of the donor's choice, c/o Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services, 100 S. Oak St. California, MO 65018.

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


Cletus Koerner, 80, Barnett, died April 29, 2012 at his residence, near Barnett.

He was born April 14, 1932, in Barnett, son of the late Otto Thomas and Elma Enid (Sharples) Koerner. On June 4, 1955, in Curtis, Miss., he was married to Martha Miriam (Morrow) Koerner who survives of the home.

Other survivors include: his children: Richard "Rick" Koerner, Olean; Gary Koerner, Barnett, and Karen Coats, Mountain Grove, Mo.; nine grandchildren; one brother, Robert Koerner, Forsyth, Mo.

Funeral Services were held at 11 a.m., May 1, 2012 at High Point Baptist Church. Interment was at Hopewell Cemetery near Barnett, with full military honors.