Herbert J. Harper
Jan. 14, 1939 – July 9, 2021

Herbert “Jerry” Jerald Harper, 82, Peculiar, died July 9 at Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Lee’s Summit. No services are scheduled at this time.

Jerry was born Jan. 14, 1939, in Peculiar, the son of Herbert Walter and Florence Georgia (Smith) Harper.

He was a graduate of Peculiar High School. Jerry was a United States Air Force veteran.

He married Gayle Lee Welborn July 18, 1986, in Peculiar.

He worked for AT&T, Western Electric, retiring in 1990. Jerry was a lifelong resident of Peculiar and had served as city alderman and mayor of Peculiar.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church and the VFW in Peculiar.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Mark Harper.

He is survived by his wife, Gayle, of the home; two daughters, Jeanette Steadman, Grandview, and Susan England, Peculiar; a son, Jerry Harper, Jr., Kansas City; two stepsons, Don Laffoon, Raymore, and Ron Laffoon, Platte City; two brothers, Donald Harper, Branson, and Jim Harper, St. Petersburg, Florida; a sister, Vicki Coleman, Raymore; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

James R. Little
June 21, 1926 – July 8, 2021

James “Jim” Robert Little, 95, Harrisonville, died July 8 at his home in Harrisonville. Jim was born June 21, 1926, north of Freeman, the son of James Robert and Marian Ruth (Myers) Little.

Jim was a lifelong Cass County resident and attended Brownville Rural School No. 116, north of Freeman.

He completed his education at Freeman High School.

Jim enlisted in the Navy during World War II and served on a Navy destroyer in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

After the war, he did some welding and helped lay a pipeline from coast to coast.

Jim did various jobs until he settled into the heating and cooling business. He was known as the best electrician around for the 50 years he was in business.

Jim married Virginia Ruth Comfort Aug. 12, 1949, in Harrisonville.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Virginia, on Feb. 27, 2012; four half-sisters, Carmie Harris, Rose Mackland, Goldie Little and Archie Elaine Little; and four half-brothers, John Reed Little, Clifford Wise Little. Quincy Everett Little and Omer Wendall Little.

Jim is survived by three sons, Clay Little, Kent Little and Bruce Little, all of Harrisonville; two daughters, Jennifer Shaw, Harrisonville, and Elizabeth Walker and Dale, St. Charles; a sister, Ruth Smith, Harrisonville; and a granddaughter, Jessica Shaw.

A memorial visitation was, July 15 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville. Contributions are suggested to Wayside Waifs or St Croix Hospice.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Gary Sivils
Sept. 17, 1934 – Jan. 30, 2021

Gary Don Sivils, 87, died Jan. 30, surrounded by his daughters, Lisa Young, Lori Miller and Kim Martin. Gary died at his home in Harrisonville where he had lived the last 40 years of his life.

Gary was born on Sept. 17, 1934, the son of Wilma Maude Wright Sivils and Earl Donald Sivils.

They lived in Rich Hill and later moved to Harrisonville where he played football and ran track. Gary worked for Meyer Music in Blue Springs up until his retirement a year ago. He was a dedicated road man and enjoyed his job and many band directors depended upon him.

He spent his life surrounded by music and musicians. He was a well-known jazz cornet player in the Kansas City area most of his life. He played with many talented musicians throughout the years.

He is survived by twin daughters, Lori Miller and Lisa Young; a son, Miles D. Dorfman; Kimberly Martin Sivils and Mike Sivils; grandchildren, Shaylen and Devin Miller, Dylan and Tyler Young, Jr., Melanie Martin and Taylor Dorfman; twin great-grandsons Aiden and Devin, Jr., Miller; many friends; his music will live on forever. We will miss you so much G Dawg!

There will be a celebration of life, date is still to be announced.

Forrest G. Wright, Jr.
June 18, 1935 – June 15, 2021

Forrest Glenn “Robin” Wright, Jr., 85, died peacefully in his sleep June 15, at his home in Overland Park, Kansas. Rob was born June 18, 1935, in Evanston, Illinois.

As the son of a major league baseball player, home was in many places during his early years. Most prominently though, home became Harrisonville, where Rob graduated high school in 1953.

Rob played football for the Harrisonville Wildcats, a team that never lost a game while he was there (and during a time when football was played in leather helmets).

Later in life, Rob was inducted into the Harrisonville Wildcats Football Hall of Fame, a moment he treasured. He also never missed a single day of high school due to illness. Sparing all the details, Rob had an interesting and challenging childhood, but he always rose to the top in whatever he pursued.

After high school, Rob attended the University of Missouri from 1953 to 1957 on a football scholarship. He was also a proud member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Rob left college from 1957 to 1961 to serve in the United States Army, where he quarterbacked two Army National Championship teams.

After his stint in the military, Rob returned to the University of Missouri where he graduated in 1961 with a degree in business.

With a degree in hand, Rob immediately went to work at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. Hungry for more, in the early 1970s Rob eventually took the final job of his life with Ward Paper Box (the box division of Russell Stover Candies). He would retire as president of the company after 37 years of employment. Once again, Rob rose to the top in whatever he pursued.

Rising to the top had the most meaning for Rob, though, when it came to family. So, in the early 1960s, it was time for him to get started on a family of his own.

As a college grad and administrator at a big hospital, Rob was known to enjoy an occasional evening out on the town. One of those nights, while at the Pink Poodle, Rob met the love of his life, Carolyn. She was a beautiful airline stewardess for TWA and he fell in love with her right away.

After a little more than a year of dating, they were married in 1962 and they went on to have three children together. They both devoted their lives to their children, with work always being second to family.

Rob and Carolyn were pillars in their community.

Rob was known to be a loving and caring friend to anyone and everyone of all ages. If you were in Rob’s presence, you were always special to him. He would truly do anything for anyone, he didn’t even need to know you. In many ways, Carolyn was the same and she elevated Rob as his better half.

Rob lost Carolyn in 2010. While a hole was left in Rob that could never be filled, Rob embraced life with his surviving family and friends. He downsized from a house to an apartment and he quickly became what many call “The Mayor” of his apartment complex.

With a ground floor apartment next to the entrance, he sat on his porch and greeted all who came and went. All were welcome in his apartment and a few were given keys. He went to the gym most days and made friends there. He played golf once or twice a week with a big group of friends and they all loved him. It was a fun last 10 years and a great example of his life. Everywhere Rob went, life was better for everyone.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Carolyn Ann Wright; parents, Forrest Glenn Wright and Margaret Benn Wright; and sister, Jennifer Wright Childers.

Rob is survived by his three boys David “Dave” and Nancy, Steven “Steve” and Meg, and Robert “Bob” and Kim; nephew, (who was like a son) Christopher “Chris” and Kyli; six wonderful grandchildren, Samuel “Sam”, Morgan, Mimi, Brooke, Ruby and Grady; and two amazing grandnephews, Cruz and Canton.

A celebration of Rob’s life was June 26 at Joe’s KC – The 180 Room, Olathe, Kansas.

Arrangements were under the direction of Charter Funerals, Merriam, Kansas.

Eula M. Ghere
Sept. 29, 1923 – June 9, 2021

Eula Ghere, 97, Butler, died June 9 at her home in Butler. Eula McQuinn Ghere was born Sept. 29, 1923, in Butler.

She graduated from Butler High School and attended college in Warrensburg.

Eula married Joe Wix Ghere on Oct. 4, 1942. As her husband served with the United States Army Air Force during World War II, Eula would travel with him and work service jobs on the base.

Eula was an active member of Butler First Christian Church Disciples of Christ until her later years.

She enjoyed playing golf, but one of her greatest loves was to travel. She and Joe traveled the United States and abroad throughout the years.

They looked forward to their yearly road trip with their grandson across the continental United States. She enjoyed showing him the country she was so proud of. Joe would drive, grandson B.J. would be the map reader and Eula was just along for the fun.

Eula was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Joe Ghere in 2010; and by four siblings.

She is survived by her daughter, Meri Jo Sexson and husband, Bill; grandson, B.J. Sexson and wife, Vanessa; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Ruby Cummings.

Cremation. A memorial service was July 17 at the Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler. Private family inurnment was in Fairview Cemetery, Butler.

Memorial contributions may be made to either Good Shepherd Hospice or the Butler Christian Church.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler.

Kenneth A. Hunter
Nov. 8, 1932 – July 9, 2021

Kenneth Arthur Hunter, 88, Adrian, died July 9 at Bates County Memorial Hospital, Butler. He was born Nov. 8, 1932, the son of Floyd Wesley and Nellie Morrison Hunter in Freeman.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Sherrie Morris; two brothers; and a sister.

Ken is survived by his wife, Sharon Hunter, Adrian; four sons, Victor Hunter, Archie, Andrew Hunter and wife, Cheryl, Butler, Ray Grubb, Simpsonville, South Carolina, and Wayne Grubb, Leeton; three daughters, Julie Eddings and husband, Foy, Alco, Arkansas, Beckie Obermiller, Garfield, Kansas, and Cheryl Probst and husband, David, Butler; 14 grandchildren; and 31 great-grandchildren.

Services will be announced at a later date. His wishes were to be cremated.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.

Ralph E. Smith
Jan. 25, 1928 – Feb. 4, 2021

Ralph Smith, 93, Butler, died Feb. 4 at Bates County Memorial Hospital, Butler. Ralph Earl Smith was born Jan. 25, 1928, in Jackson County, the son of Elmer and Lena Britt Smith.

He graduated from North East High School in Independence and served in the United States Navy during World War II from 1945 to 1946.

Following his honorable discharge, Ralph attended Johnson County Community College. Then he received his law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

Ralph practiced law in Butler from 1958 to 2020 and served as the Butler Prosecuting Attorney in 1961.

Ralph was married to Joan John.

Through the years Ralph was an active member of Butler Presbyterian Church where he has served as an elder, choir member and soloist. He was also a dedicated member of Butler Lions Club and the Butler Country Club.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; wife Joan Smith; and son Jay Christopher Smith.

He is survived by his daughters, Jan Barrett and husband John and Paige Anderson. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


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