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Obituaries for the week of Feb. 26, 2013
Feb 26, 2013, 10:34

Danny Lee Laws, son of Robert Dick and Barbara Jean (Seeley) Laws, was born in Princeton, Mo., on Oct. 23, 1955, and passed away on Feb. 16, 2013, at the North Kansas City Hospital at the age of 57 years.
Dan was raised in Mercer County, Mo., where he attended school in Ravanna and Princeton, and was a 1973 graduate of Princeton High School. He worked most of his life as an automobile mechanic. For the last several years, he has been an employee of the East Penn Manufacturing Company in Corydon.
On Jan. 12, 1996, Dan was united in marriage to Beth Ellen (Albers) Roberts. Beth survives him of their home in Unionville, Mo.
Dan dearly loved spending time with his grandchildren. And, when he had the time, he enjoyed fishing.
He is also survived by two sons, Joshua Lee Laws and daughter-in-law Tiffany and Logan Tanner Laws and daughter-in-law Alisha Marie; daughter, Katie Dianna Laws, all of Unionville; stepson, Guy Roberts and his wife Jennifer of Spickard, Mo.; 14 grand and stepgrand- children, Devon, Joshua Ryan, Kelsey, Emily, Sarah, Dawson, Zoe, Aubrey, Jayden, Isabella, Sophia, Nicholas, David, and Alaina; two sisters, Debbie Lankford and husband Benny and Cheri Bryan and husband Ron, all of Princeton and by many other relatives and friends.
His parents; brother, Dick Laws; granddaughter, McKenzie Bowen and stepdaughter, Jennifer Roberts, preceded him in death.
Funeral services were held Feb. 20 at the Greenlee-Middleton Funeral Chapel in Princeton with Pastor Gary Watkins officiating.
Burial was in the Ravanna Cemetery.
Greenlee-Middleton Funeral Chapel in Princeton was in charge of arrangements.

Virginia Sponsler was born June 7, 1924, to Grant and Mary Snethen in Grand River, Iowa, and died Feb. 18, 2013, near Tehachapi, Calif. The oldest of seven children, she grew up in a 480 square foot house without electricity, running water or insulation on a small farm near Blythedale, Mo. Despite its limitations this house was a center of neighborhood hospitality and later, Virginia could remember few times when the family was not joined for dinner by friends or neighbors. Hardly feasts – Virginia first ate beef at age 12 after the family cow broke its leg on an icy pond - these twinned privations and open hospitality undoubtedly contributed to Virginia’s life-long habits of thrift, industry and friendship.
At age five, alone but for instructions to cross the field and turn right at the creek, and assured that she would see the school over the next rise, Virginia began her education in a one-room country schoolhouse, continuing it there until she moved to Lamoni to attend high school.
In Lamoni, Virginia also attended and graduated from Graceland College, after which she taught at a one-room school and graduated from Iowa State College with a degree in home economics.
Following graduation, she interviewed for a job as the Wayne County Iowa Extension Home Economist and was hired despite the urgings of one member of the interview committee, James Sponsler. Despite his recommendations to others, he pursued her for himself and they were married March 26, 1950.
James had saved nearly all of his war-time pay and with it had purchased a small farm near his birthplace here. Together they set about meeting the challenges of making the operation successful. To Virginia’s chagrin, that task began with the trading of her stylish ’49 Plymouth coupe for a piece of farming equipment James thought necessary.
Over the next 50 years, Virginia worked hard in and out of the home. She kept the books for the farm, and for a related business they formed to deliver fertilizer to area farmers. She kept a large garden, sold encyclopedias and reported news for the Humeston New Era. She was later its editor, writing Virginia’s Corner each week, commenting upon community happenings.
Virginia and James had four children. Grant in 1951, Joy in 1953, Brian in 1955 and John in 1966. Virginia was a 4-H leader and a den mother. She compiled a large home library and sought out, obtained and used all manners of educational materials to enrich the learning of her children.
Until her final decline following a stroke last summer, Virginia was a woman of vigor and physical strength. In her 70s, she excavated at an archeological dig, at age 80, she could carry a five-gallon bucket of water in each hand, upstairs. She studied and implemented natural diets and remedies throughout her life, and she outlived a doctor’s prognosis by nearly twenty years. She had a sharp mind and a remarkable memory and enjoyed playing the piano and researching family history.
Virginia was an open and hospitable lady. She introduced herself easily and sought to be helpful in any gathering. Her genuine interest in others and its resulting hospitality was never feigned.
Virginia was a member of the Yorel Study Club, the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Methodist Church.
Following James’ death, Virginia moved to Tehachapi, Calif., and greatly enriched the lives of her children and grandchildren there.
Virginia was predeceased by her parents; brother, Richard; husband James and their son, Grant.
She is survived by her daughter, Joy Moore and husband Thomas Moore of Joplin, Mo., son, Brian and wife Cathy Sponsler of Tehachapi and son, John Sponsler of Kansas City, Mo.; eight grandchildren, Sarah Moore Haynes and husband Bob, Joseph Moore, Mary Moore, James Sponsler, Joseph Sponsler, Molly Sponsler, Dan Sponsler, and Frank Sponsler; one great-grandson, Logan Haynes; three sisters, Margaret Gibson, Norma Ward and husband Hugh and Ina Myrick; two brothers, Earl Snethen and Tom Snethen and wife Cher; sisters-in-law, Betty Hindes and Muriel Sponsler; brothers-in-law, John Sponsler and wife Virginia and Joe Sponsler and wife Phyllis and aunts, Esther Gorden, Maxine Snethen and Helen Kellison.
Services are slated for Saturday, March 2, at the Humeston Christian United Methodist Church and her remains will be interred at Green Bay Cemetery.
Slade-O’Donnell Funeral Home in Leon was in charge of arrangements

Eston D. Curtis, 95, of Promise City, Iowa, passed away Feb. 21, 2013, at his home.
Eston was born March 17, 1917, in Appanoose County, Iowa, the son of Clell F. Curtis and Flo I. (Fenton) Curtis.
He was married to the love of his life Ethel L. Poe on Feb. 24, 1938.
Eston was a master of many trades from sawing lumber and blacksmithing to making hay rakes. He farmed, drove a school bus and did carpenter work. He and son, Tim, were caretakers for Promise City and Jones Cemeteries for many years. He and his sons also built fence for a time.
He was a member of the American Legion after he volunteered to serve his country during World War II. He was a member of the Promise City council and was an engineer for Mount Pleasant Old Threshers for many years.
He is survived by his wife, Ethel; daughters, Virginia L. Corbett, Joan Galbreath, Thelma I. Curtis and Ella Elaine Recoy; sons, Eston Gene Sr., Lloyd E., David R., and Tim A.; 25 grandchildren; 42 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren; sister, Letty McCarty; brothers, Donnie Dean Curtis and Dale L. Curtis.
His parents, Clell and Flo Curtis; infant son, Robert Eston; daughter, Arlene Curtis Nichols Easton; great-grandsons, Joshawah C. Corbett and Danner Johnston; brother, Jamsie; sister, Leota Cooper; brother, Harley Eugene and sister, Leta Dueland, preceded him in death.
Services are pending.

Bobby Eugene Finley was born Oct. 6, 1921, to Paul “Dad” and Alice (Wensel) Finley in Allerton, Iowa. Bob passed away on Feb. 20, 2013, at the Calvin Community Retirement Center in Des Moines where he had resided for the last six years.
After graduating school in Allerton, Bob attended Iowa State University until America was attacked in World War II. Bob enlisted in the United States Army and was assigned to the 226 Signal Operations Company where he was sent to the state of Oregon to learn the enemy’s languages. Bob became fluent in German, Italian and French and was sent to the Mediterranean and North African campaigns where he learned much about each culture while stationed in Tunis. As the enemy fell, Bob’s 226 Company advanced into Southern France and moved up to join the forces that ultimately led to the defeat of Germany.
While in the Mediterranean, Bob developed an interest in the variety of fish and marine wildlife and after the war, Bob returned to Washington State to continue his education and received his degree in marine biology. You could say that he was “hooked.” Bob began his career with the Iowa State Conservation Commission where he did lake studies. He was employed by the United States Government within the Department of Interior first and later the Department of Commerce where he developed a comprehensive educational program to increase fish consumption by the American public as well as enticing states to raise fish commercially.
Furthermore, Bob helped restaurants develop their menu selections and even shared his wealth of kitchen-tested recipes with most. He was featured often on various talk shows and TV giving demonstrations to schools, supermarkets and restaurants. It was also Bob’s duty to oversee the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries while employed in Chicago, monitoring the type and number of fish taken from the Great Lakes. He traveled often from his office in Chicago to Washington, D.C., and served luncheons to the ladies of the White House on various occasions. (Mrs. Agnew was his favorite). Bob retired from Federal Service on July 27, 1979, with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
In 1984, Bob was 69 years old and returned to Allerton to purchase the Morgan House and the Inn of the Six Toed Cat, restoring both to their former glory. Bob formed a lasting friendship with many of his friends who together helped him realize his dream of “giving back” and “gaining back” his memories of his beloved Allerton home. Bob’s life had been filled with such adventure that it is hard to believe it all could have happened. But his collection of pictures tell the story how this Iowa boy rubbed shoulders with the Rockefellers, Julia and Paul Child, presidents and vice presidents, governors, including Terry Branstad and the founders of such well known restaurants as Red Lobster and Long John Silvers. Bob served as a judge many times at the Iowa State Fair and once was asked to judge a tuna catch on the Fleischmann Yacht for the rich and famous of New England. He even was an announcer for the Llama Sales around the country.
His parents and his sister, Maxine Riley Staben, preceded Bob in death.
Survivors include his great- nieces, cousins and many friends.
“In such a SOUDOUVIOUS Occasion, I have had a GENTEEL SUFFICIENCY.” - Bob Finley.
Funeral services were held Feb. 23 at the Randolph-Black Funeral Home in Allerton with Rev. Ross Blount officiating.
Musical selections were “Suppertime” and “Won’t it be Wonderful There” by the Gaithers.
Casket bearers were Jack Jellison, Larry John Karaidos, Warren Lunsford, Shane Langloss, Draven Jellison, George Karaidos, Larry Chase and Jamie Jellison.
Interment was in the Allerton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Allerton Christian Church, the Allerton Old-Time Soda Fountain or the Round Barn.
Randolph-Black Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Vivian M. Karns, 88, passed away in Springfield, Mo., on Feb. 14, 2013. She was born to David and Velma (Welch) Nevitt on March 24, 1924, in Missouri. She was united in marriage to Eugene Karns on Aug. 9, 1947, in The Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua.
Vivian and her husband loved to spend time in their cabin in the Ozarks with their family. She loved boating and skiing and enjoyed bowling and golf. Her husband was a Shriner and Vivian was a member of the Eastern Star. She helped her husband in his real estate business and was a model. Her family said she was an excellent cook. Some of their favorites were her fried chicken, breaded tenderloin and her personal recipe of her famous chili. Vivian was a sweet loving person and will be dearly missed by her family and friends.
Vivian is survived by her children, Steve Karns and wife Sharon of Lineville, Pam Garton and husband Darrill, Appleton, Wis., Pat Karns and wife Kay of Nixa, Mo.; sister-in-law, Mary Nell Nevitt; seven grandchildren and 11 great- grandchildren.
Her parents; husband; brother, Grant Nevitt and sister, Ruth Schmitt, preceded her in death.
Funeral services were held Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Adams Funeral Home in Nixa.
Memorial donations may be made in lieu of flowers to The Shriners Hospital, 201 S. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63131.
Adams Funeral Home of Nixa was in charge of arrangements

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