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Archive for December, 2012

A visitation memorial get-together for Jefferson Dickson Putnam, 69, West Plains, Missouri, will be held from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m., Saturday, January 12, 2013, in the Langston Street Chapel of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Mr. Putnam died at 3:05 p.m., Wednesday, December 26, 2012, at Ozarks Medical Center.

He was born May 3, 1943, at Montgomery, Alabama, to Dr. Dickson and Grace McGinnis Putnam. He attended West Plains High School and later graduated high school from Cascia Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1962. He also attended summer sessions at Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana with three years in the equestrian school featuring the famous Black Horse Troop that participated in the Presidential Inaugural Parade and went to St. Louis University for two years. On August 27, 1983, he was married to, as he always said, his soul mate, Saundra (Sandy) Reasons Hale. After having worked for Culligan for several years, he opened his own water treatment company, H2Ozarks, in Doniphan, Missouri. Jeff loved children of all ages and they all loved him. He also loved his dog, Tramp, computers and video games with all of his young friends that came to play and visit with him, old cars, photography, music, the Current River and Norfork Lake, fishing with his grandsons and most of all his family, friends and neighbors. He also loved airplanes and knew the history of most every plane built and as a young man had his pilot’s license. Jeff’s dazzling smile was ever present and could bring light to the darkest situation. And, his hugs were wonderful and could heal your heart. His kind, gentle nature and always wanting to make people laugh, brought joy to all who knew him. He never met a stranger. One of his favorite sayings was “no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should” from the Max Ehrmann poem Desiderata. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend to many and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. He will forever be in our hearts and memories.

He is survived by his loving wife, Sandy; his children, Jeff Putnam III and wife, Lisa, St. Louis, Missouri and their sons, J.D. IV and Lance; Tamara Putnam, Prairie Village, Kansas and her sons, Zane, Marcus and Dylan Meeks; Lisa Brassfield and husband, Jim West Plains, Missouri and their children, Preslee Sukow, Jacob Brassfield and Jamie Hollingshad, husband Zac; Brian Hale, Harrison, Arkansas and his children, Ashley and Evan Hale; his mother-in-law, Mae Reasons, West Plains, Missouri; father-in-law, T. J. Reasons, wife, Rita, Sparta, Missouri; brother-in-law, Tim Reasons, Orange, Texas; and three sisters, Michelle Tallent, husband, Jeff, Edmond, Oklahoma, Rosalie Putnam, Marina del Rey, California and Maria Jindra, husband, Jeffery, Colorado Springs, Colorado; and many nieces and nephews and their families.

His parents and brother-in-law, Jim Reasons, precede him in death.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. On line condolences may be expressed at

An Irish wake is being planned by Jeff and Tamara Putnam and their mother, Frances Watkins Wightman, to be held at a later date. For details on their plans, email

Graveside services for William Elbert Surritte, 84, Pottersville , Missouri, will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 31, 2012 at the Pottersville Cemetery under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Mr. Surritte died 3:15 p.m., Friday, December 28, 2012 at the Ozarks Medical Center. He was born October 7, 1928 at Mound City, Missouri to William L. Surritte and Stella Mae Callahan Surritte. On June 13, 1981, he was married at West Plains, Missouri to Gladys Irene Samples Langston who preceded him in death on September 22, 1998. Mr. Surritte was an antique dealer; he enjoyed woodworking, metal detecting, auctions, traveling and coin collecting. He was of the Baptist faith.

He is survived by his daughter, Dianna O’Connel, St. Joseph, Missouri; four step-children, Larry Langston and wife, Kathy, Vandalia, Missouri, Treena Caton and husband, Owen, Teresa Henry and Brenda Land and husband, Larry, all of West Plains, Missouri; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; one sister, Anna Terrell and husband, Raymond, Mission, Texas; and many friends.

His parents, wife, one daughter, Marcia Surritte, four brothers, Alfred, Hugh, Calvin and Homer Surritte and two sisters, Agnes Crossen and Sylvia Sands, precede him in death.

Visitation will be from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., Sunday, December 30th, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Pottersville Cemetery and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at

Ralph Morgan Crutchfield, 91, West Plains, Missouri, died at 2:40 p.m., Saturday, December 22, 2012, at Ozarks Medical Center.

He was born December 11, 1921, at Herbine, Arkansas, to George Henry Crutchfield and Bertha Maude Morgan Crutchfield. On March 19, 1946, he was married at Yuma, Arizona, to Genevieve Pearl Canedy, who preceded him in death on September 21, 2012. Mr. Crutchfield was a World War II Veteran having served in the United States Coast Guard on the USS LST 66 in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Campaign and South Pacific North Atlantic. He was on the first ship hit by a Japanese suicide plane in Leyte Philippine Island. He worked as a heavy equipment operator for the civil service and at the Ammunition Depot at Seal Beach, California. After retirement, he went into real estate.

He is survived by four children, Richard Crutchfield, wife, Marsha, Terry Crutchfield, wife, Nancy, Brenda Nichols, husband Frank and Karen Hubbell, husband, Wayne; eight grandchildren, Keri Licon, Kelli Christensen, husband, Justin, Chad Hubbell, wife, Angela, Cory Hubbell, wife, Elaine, Lisa Ramsey, husband, Marc, Jennifer Jensen, husband, Justin, Travis Crutchfield and Devin Crutchfield; eleven great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law, Charles Canedy, wife, Dorothy and Oren Canedy; sister-in-law, Doris Canedy; and many nieces and nephews.

His parents, wife, one sister, Nora Crutchfield, three brothers, Elbert, Wilbert (Toy) and Olen (Buddy) Crutchfield, precede him in death.

On line condolences may be expressed at Arrangements under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Chuck Wichern, 69, West Plains, Missouri died December 27, 2012 at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at Carter Funeral Home Chapel, West Plains.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Amyloidosis Foundation and can be left at the funeral home.

Celebration services for Leon Keller, Jr., 74, West Plains, Missouri, will be at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, December 30, 2012 in the Rose Chapel, Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, West Plains, Missouri, with Brother Freddie Howell officiating.

Leon passed on to heaven at 5:38 p.m., Thursday, December 27, 2012 at the Ozarks Medical Center surrounded by his family. He was born July 18, 1938 in Delta, Illinois the son of the late Leon Keller, Sr. and Ollie Marie Thompson Keller. Leon received his education in the Illinois education system. As a teenager, he won many top honors participating on the swim team in Granite City, Illinois. He was saved at an early age and baptized at the age of 12 at the Church of God and played the trumpet and guitar in churches. The love of God and music was a great part of his life and he played music on the sidewalks in Granite City. Leon worked at an early age riding a bicycle delivering telegrams in Granite City Illinois, helping his parents with his wages. He loved and honored his parents and helped them and highly esteemed his relationship with them. He also worked in the United States Postal Service for six years and the steel mills in Granite City. Leon served as a Private in the United States Army Corps, Military Justice, from October 1961 until June 1967. His family bought a farm near Caulfield, Missouri in 1956 and he lived there off and on until he built a new home in 1977 where he lived until moving to West Plains in 1996. In 1972, he began Keller Auction and Sales and began Keller’s Appliance; he sold and repaired appliances until retiring in 2001.

Leon was married to Sheila Collins Keller and leaves a great legacy of five children and their spouses. he held a special place in his heart for each of his seven grandchildren. They have learned about the most precious gifts of life from him; love for God, love of family, music and a love for his country. After retiring, he loved reading, doing puzzles, watching old movies and playing tetris with his grandchildren. He has passed this passion for life onto his grandchildren. He leaves them to carry the torch of life on. They include Sheila Keller (nearly 37 years of marriage), of the family home; his children, Robin Colbert and husband, Matthew, Caulfield, Missouri, Leon Keller, III and wife, Cynthia, Koshkonong, Missouri Elizabeth Keller Crites and husband, Bryan, Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Philip Keller and wife,Kayla, New Caney, Texas and Danielle Keller, Flint, Michigan; his grandchildren, Rachel and Abby Colbert,Caulfield, Missouri, Reece, Emery and Tessa Keller, Koshkonong, Missouri and Bryce and Braden Crites, Poplar Bluff, Missouri; his brother, Myron Keller, Caulfield, Missouri; his sisters, Mary Ann Clark, Viola, Arkansas, Pat Ehrhart, husband, Duard,Caulfield, Missouri, Martha Mize, Ledbetter, Kentucky and Charlene Giger, Caulfield, Missouri; his sisters-in-law, Judy Harden, husband, Bill, South Fork, Missouri, Ora Fulton, husband, Josh, Granite City, Illinois; brothers-in-law, Harold Collins, wife, Karen,West Plains, Missouri, Robert Collins, wife, Brenda, Centerview, Missouri, Sibley Collins, West Plains, Missouri, Joseph Collins, wife, Laurie, West Plains, Missouri; and numerous nieces and nephews all over the country and in foreign countries; and by a special uncle, Bob Thompson, wife, Louise, Illinois.

He was welcomed into heaven by his Saviour, his parents, Leon and Ollie M. Thompson Keller, Sr., his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Harold Collins and Ora Wheatley, two brothers-in-law, Jerry Mize and Kenneth Collins, a nephews, Harold Hutchins, a niece,Ada Shinohara and many uncles, aunts and cousins.

Visitation will be from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., Saturday, December 29th, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be at the Fowler Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital or Friends of the West Plains Public Library and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. On line condolences may be expressed at

Robert Scott Baily was born September 27, 1949, in Washington, DC, the son of George Bond Baily and Elizabeth Ammons Baily. He grew up in Silver Spring, MD, graduating from high school in 1968, where he was on the football team and also assisted first responders on the ambulance service. He was graduated from Elon College, North Carolina, with a degree in psychology.

A Naval ROTC participant, Mr. Baily was commissioned a naval officer upon his college graduation. He served six years in the Navy as a naval aviator, flying A6 fighter/bombers off the aircraft carriers John F. Kennedy and the Bonhomme Richard. After his military service, he began a thirty-five year career with the US Department of Agriculture, working with several different agencies, finally with the US Forest Service in the Washington office. After retiring from the Forest Service, he moved to Mountain Home, where he has resided since.

Scott is survived by his wife, April, of the home; daughter, Shannon Baily of Alexandria, VA; stepdaughter Kristine Chapman of Denver, CO; two brothers, George Baily of Silver Spring, MD and John (Cyndi) Baily of Quebec, Canada; niece, Brianna Baily of Washington, DC and nephew Connor Baily, Tampa, FL. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2013, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church with Father Jim McDonald officiating. Burial will be private under the direction of Conner-Hankins Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 511 Coley Drive, Mountain Home, AR 72653.

The online obituary notice and guestbook are available at

Austra Krumalis, 103, a resident of Jordan passed away Wednesday, December 26, 2012, at her residence.

Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, December 30, 2012, at the Hand Cemetery near Jordan. Burial will be immediately following under the direction of Conner-Hankins Funeral Home.

The online obituary and guestbook are available at

Edward Windes Griffin, 78, West Plains, Missouri, died at 7:00 p.m., Monday, December 24, 2012, at his home.

He was born March 4, 1934, at Fremont, Missouri, to Oris and Thelma Windes Griffin. Mr. Griffin was a veteran having served in the United States Army and was a truck driver.

He is survived by five children, Vivian Carnefix, Cassville, Missouri, Tammy Atkins, Winona, Missouri, Benny Griffin, West Plains, Missouri, Holly Atkins, Winona, Missouri and Amy Reed, Licking, Missouri; twelve grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and one sister, Patsy Appleford, State of Washington.

On line condolences may be expressed at Arrangements under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Funeral services for Bobbie Jack Joyce, 79, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, December 28, 2012, at First Baptist Church, West Plains, Missouri, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Mr. Joyce died at 1:15 p.m., Saturday, December 22, 2012, at West Vue Nursing Center.

He was born February 27, 1933, at Leota, Missouri, to Lige Hayden Joyce and Blanche Belle Eagleman Joyce. He graduated from Bakersfield High School and on October 23, 1993, was married at Lake Tahoe, Nevada to Patsy Winberry. Mr. Joyce was a veteran having served in the United States Army. At the age of 17, he began operating heavy equipment building highways in California. In 1959, his life career began when he became a used car dealer and owned and operated a business with his brother, Bill. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and Am Vets, and enjoyed hunting, boating, stock car racing, football, baseball and gardening; he was famous for the size of his tomatoes and was one of the best stock car drivers and bowlers in this area for several years. He was a loving husband, brother, father and grandfather and showed by example what it means to work hard, play hard and to help other people. He contributed greatly to the community and was generous to a fault and was loved by all that knew him. Mr. Joyce was of the Baptist faith and is now with Jesus.

His survived by his wife, Patsy Joyce, of the family home; three children, Rexanna Smith, husband, Keith, Jon Montgomery, wife, Bobbey, all of West Plains, Missouri, and Terry Montgomery, wife, Angela, Payson, Illinois; nine grandchildren, Brad Vannada, wife, Ashley, Doyle Smith, Patrick, Lauren and Logan Montgomery, Andrew and Zach Schutte, Walker and Tommy Burk; one great-grandchild, Kiera Vannada; one brother, Bill Joyce, wife, Mary Ann, West Plains, Missouri; one sister, Ruby Mushrush, West Plains, Missouri; nieces and nephews, Willis, Jack, Bobbie and Angie; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and a host of cousins and friends.

His parents, one brother-in-law, Willis Mushrush and one great-nephew, Bobbie Ryan Joyce, precede him in death.

Visitation will be from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., Thursday, December 27, 2012, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Amy Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association or Leukemia Foundation, and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. On line condolences may be expressed at

Graveside services for Alene Pauline “Polly” Russell, 71, Pottersville, Missouri, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 29, 2012, at New Liberty Cemetery, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Mrs. Russell died at 7:00 p.m., Sunday, December 23, 2012, at Ozarks Medical Center.

She was born August 24, 1941, at West Plains, Missouri, to Elder Augusta Raymond and Oda Ethel Drumright Downen. She graduated from West Plains High School with the Class of 1959. On October 1, 1961, she was married at West Plains, Missouri, to Alvin C. Russell and they were blessed with three sons, Alvin Jr., Kevin and Steven. Polly had several jobs that dealt with secretarial duties. She worked for the Internal Revenue Service as a tax examiner for seven years; the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the Department of Faculty Economics, Geography and Management; the Luke Air Force Base in the Tactical Command Wing and she worked for the Children’s Advocacy Program at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Polly was baptized into Pilgrim’s Rest Primitive Baptist Church at the age of fifteen years by Elder Ben Kimbrough and was later a member of First Pilgrim’s Rest Church, Pomona, Missouri, Pike’s Peak Primitive Baptist Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Lone Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church, Mesa, Arizona.

She is survived by her husband, Alvin C. Russell, Jr., of the family home; her three sons, Alvin Jr., Des Moines, Iowa, Kevin, Flagstaff, Arizona and Steven, Pomona, Missouri; nine grandchildren, Jeremy, Steven, Patricia, Justin, Katie, Christina, Rebecca, Jacob, Sarah; three great-grandchildren, Zoie, Zander and Helo; one sister, Lois Wigger, Sparta, Missouri; and one brother, Joe Downen, Mesa, Arizona.

Her parents, three brothers and two sisters, Junior Downen, Lee Downen, Ted Downen, Alice Smyth and Dorys Wilson, precede her in death.

Mrs. Russell will lie in state from 4:00 p.m., Friday until Noon Saturday at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. On line condolences may be expressed at