In Memory – Wava Lee (Morris) Kinser, 1956-1958 Kiltie

*Whenever possible, the obituaries of Kiltie Alumni will be posted. It is important to remember those who marched before us.*

Wava Kinser


Wava L. Kinser, 76, Rogersville passed away Saturday, October 15, 2016 in Mercy Villa.

She was born July 20, 1940 in Springfield, Missouri, the only daughter of the late Homer Morris and wife Vi and Bela Melvin and husband Harold. She was united in marriage on December 16, 1961 to Larry K. Kinser.

Wava was owner, along with her husband Larry, in the family owned business, Kinser Kustoms Woodworking for many years. She then accepted the position of secretary at Harmony Baptist Church where she served for 24 years before retiring in 2012. She was a member of Harmony Baptist Church and enjoyed working in the yard, flower gardening and attending family sporting events, especially all of Kristina’s volleyball games. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and will be missed by her family and many friends.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Larry; a son, Steve Russell and Janet, Springfield; a daughter, Jan Mooney and husband Randy, Rogersville; a granddaughter, Kristina Simon and husband Chad, Ozark; two great-granddaughters, Annabelle and Adalynn; two brothers, Don Melvin and wife Donna; and Terry Morris; and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 18, 2016 in J.D. Lee and Sons Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Smith Cemetery, Rogersville.

Visitation will be held from 1 – 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 18, 2016 before the services in the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers the family requested memorial donations be made to Harmony Baptist Church, in memory of Wava’s twenty-four years of service, 5105 S. State Highway 125, Rogersville, MO 65742.

Online condolences may be made at

Published in the News-Leader on Oct. 17, 2016

In Memory – Martha Lou (Powell) Mitchell, 1940-1942 Kiltie

*Whenever possible, the obituaries of Kiltie Alumni will be posted. It is important to remember those who marched before us.*

snl096466-1_20180825Martha Mitchell

Springfield – Martha Lou Powell Mitchell, 93, passed away on August 21, 2018. On a cool November day in 1924, a beautiful, blue-eyed baby girl was born to Dr. George M. and Ruth Bray Powell. Martha Lou grew up in Springfield, MO, participating in a full social life, developing a love of the violin and classical music and being Kiltie at Central High School. She followed the medical tradition in her family, graduating from St. John’s School of Nursing as Class President in 1946. On May 31, 1947, she married the love of her life, William Benson Mitchell, III at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Springfield. With Bill’s work for International Harvester, they moved several times around the country with their children, Glenn and Linda. Martha Lou said, “I must be part Gypsy, I love the moves.” (What girl doesn’t want a new house every 3-4 years?!) With each move she first found the church, the library, and then the school. Martha Lou was a proud member of the Altar Guild at each church she attended as well as her favorite philanthropic PEO group. Her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will remember her as a happy and loving Grandmother who love to entertain, cook, read books, and play games with them on the floor. She loved being a nurse and working in surgery. (Yes, her kitchen drawers were set up like a surgical Mayo tray so she could reach for a utensil without looking). We will remember “Grandmother’s famous eggs and oatmeal” and “Chicken and noodles.”


                  Martha Lou Powell – Kiltie Drummer – June 1, 1942                    Photo courtesy of Linda Bland.

Martha Lou was preceded in death by her husband, William B. Mitchell; her son, Glenn W. Mitchell; her brother, Dr. E.M. “Mac” Powell; and sister, Mary Ann Powell Earhart. Her best buddy Rudy was waiting on her at the Rainbow Bridge.

Those left to remember her with a smile are her daughter, Linda Mitchell Bland; grandchildren Amie Bland and Abie and Raymond (Moe) Colley. She cherished her great-grandchildren William, Madeline, and Emily Colley and Claire Arguelles-Bland. We are happy she was able to spend time with her first great-great grandchild, J.W. Colley. Martha Lou is also survived by her daughter-in-law Susan Krasnow-Mitchell, nephews and nieces Walter and Stephany Powell, Carey and Minami Powell, Stephen and Beatrice Earhart, and Robyn Powell.

Services for Martha Lou will be held on Saturday, September 1, 2018 at 2:00 PM at Christ Episcopal Church with a visitation at 1:00 PM at the church before the service. Interment will be at Eastlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, it was Martha Lou’s wish for any donations to be made to the Central High School Kilties, attn: Angie Brown, 423 East Central, Springfield, MO 65802.

We would like to thank Heart to Heart Hospice (Melissa and Dustin), TruCare Living, and Dogwood Trails Assisted Living for the wonderful care Martha Lou received as this chapter of her life closed.

Published in the News-Leader from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28, 2018

In Memory – Judith (Wadkins) Blankenship, 1960-1961 Kiltie

*Whenever possible, the obituaries of Kiltie Alumni will be posted. It is important to remember those who marched before us.*

Judith Ann Blankenship Obituary

Judith Ann Blankenship

Ozark – Judith Ann Wadkins Blankenship was born to Forrest (Puffy) and Maxine (Faught) Wadkins on July 17, 1943 in Springfield, MO and passed away at Cox Hospital, Saturday, May 5, 2018.

A graduate of Central High School, Judi was a drummer in the Kilties Drum & Bugle Corps. Dale and Judi were married on September 28, 1985 and were members of Fremont Hills Baptist Church. Judi worked in the manufacturing industry and retired from General Electric-Springfield after 23 years.

Judi’s life was filled by many interests and hobbies which included her church family, her love of her Boston terriers, flower gardening and travel.

Judi is survived by her husband, Dale Blankenship; sister, Jane Adams and husband Don; brother, Jim Wadkins; two nephews, Jim and Michelle Wadkins and family and Joe and Tammy Wadkins and family; step-son, Jack Blankenship and step-granddaughter, Alisa Blankenship; along with several cousins, nieces and nephews; extended family, Ellen Henderson, Sandy and Ron Craven, Nancy and Nick Heavrin and families, and many friends. Preceding her in death were her parents, Forrest and Maxine Wadkins.

Services will be under the direction of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the funeral home. Visitation will precede from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the funeral home. Interment will be in Missouri Veterans Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, it is asked that contributions in Judi’s memory be made to Fremont Hills Baptist Church, Building Fund, P.O. Box 1453, Nixa, MO 65714.

Published in the News-Leader from May 8 to May 9, 2018

2018-2019 Kiltie Drum & Bugle Corps

Ms. Angelique Brown

Majorette – Tiernae Legendre
Assistant Majorette – Alissa German

Captain and Twirler – Alissa German
Assistant Captain, Kiltie Banner, Assistant Twirler – Stormy Walter
Twirler – Olivia Conway
American Flag – Kayla Collins-Henson
Kiltie Flag – Journi Flowers
Banner – Kennedy Delp
Banner – Shae Hutchinson

Captain – Kayla Lick
Assistant Captain – Sophia Gentle
Trumpet – Alandra Hutchens
Trumpet – Alexandra Skinner
Trumpet – Abby Mitchell
Trumpet – Dein Gentry

Captain – Janelle Treat
Assistant Captain – Krista Jackson
Bagpipe – Susan Moore
Bagpipe – Summer Vitzthum
Bagpipe – Melody Christian
Bagpipe – Molly Smith

Captain – Antaneia Mathews
Assistant Captain – Lexi Goforth
Tenor – Cheyanne Twitchel
Tenor – Angelea Bound
Tenor – Ashley Magnan
Tenor – Gabriella Watson
Tenor – Taniya Thompson
Tenor – Hailey Norman
Tenor – Alair Robles-Smith
Tenor – Bree Jackson
Tenor – Savannah Hyden

Captain – Jensyn Langguth
Assistant Captain – Lamarianah Morris
Snare – Olivia Shelton
Snare – Oshi Griffen
Snare – Allana Wilmoth
Snare – Raven McCann
Snare – Jacqlynn Lewis
Snare – Tynieze Edwards
Snare – Adeline Cummins
Snare – Lanneashia Morris

Captain and Cymbals – Danielle Estay
Assistant Captain and Cymbals – Emily Kelley
Bass – Landry Dawson

Baby Kilties
Sophia Conway
Vivian Donnell

Logan Lawrence
Dolin Ituarte
Shelbi Ahearn

In Memory – Bette (Smith) Manary, 1943-1944 Kiltie

*Whenever possible, the obituaries of Kiltie Alumni will be posted. It is important to remember those who marched before us.*


Bette Rae Manary

Bette Rae Manary, 90, of Springfield, passed away Sept. 21, 2017. She was born October 5, 1926 to Lela Smith.

She graduated from Springfield High School where she was a Kiltie and attended Business College. She worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for many years. She met and married the love of her life Joe Manary, to which they celebrated 52 years of

marriage before his passing in 2000. She was a lifelong member of First and Calvary Presbyterian Church. Nothing brought Bette more joy in life than spending time with her family.

Bette was preceded in death by her mother and husband.

She is survived by her daughters Kathy Manary and Karen Latham, grandchildren Cassidi Manary, Caylin Manary and Carson Latham, great-granddaughter Maila, and many other family and close friends.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Graveside Service will be held on Monday, Sept. 25 at 11:00 am at Hazelwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Rescue One, 1944 E. Grand, Springfield, MO 65804.

Published in the News-Leader on Sept. 22, 2017

In Memory – Ruth (Kaufman) Palmer, 1934-1935 Scotch Lassie

*Whenever possible, the obituaries of Kiltie Alumni will be posted. It is important to remember those who marched before us.*

snl085281-1_20170916Ruth Palmer

Ruth Kaufman Palmer, age 99, a lifelong Springfield resident, died on September 12, 2017, at Stonecrest Assisted Living Facility in Kansas City, following a short illness. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, well-known singer, successful realtor, volunteer, church and community leader, and friend to many. She lived her 99 years filled with a zest for life, with a passion for her family, music, the arts, real estate, animals, and dark chocolate! To know her was to love her! But she had been in declining health in the past few years, due to painful arthritis and heart disease.

Ruth was born in Springfield to Frank and Grace (Watkins) Kaufman of Marshfield, MO, on Sept 3, 1918. Her family moved to Springfield when she was 1-year old. She grew up on a dairy farm on Hwy 13/I-44 where Lowes is now located, during the hard times of the Great Depression and severe drought years.

Her parents stressed education and wanted to take advantage of the Springfield Public schools and colleges. She attended a 1 room county school (Ritter) in first grade and walked a mile in any weather. Later she moved to Springfield schools, played the cello in Jr. High, played the trumpet in the Kiltie Drum Corps and was very active in music and theater in high school. She graduated from Springfield Senior High (CHS) in 1935. She attended State Teacher’s College (MSU) where she majored in English and Music and was a member of the Merry Go Round social club that later became Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.

During college, she worked part time at the Gillioz Box Office as a cashier. While in college she met the love of her life, Leon Palmer of Morrisville. They married when he graduated from Officer’s Training School in November 1942. They were together for 3 years stationed in TX, LA, and CA, before he was sent overseas to Germany and the Philippines until the war ended in Europe and Japan.

They were married for 16 years when he died suddenly at the age of 43 of leukemia, in 1959, and she was left with 2 small children to raise. She then began her successful career as a real estate agent in 1963 that lasted for 46 years. She started her career in the Dorrel Hanks Co. as the only woman. He was reluctant to hire her because it was not a career for women, or so she was told. But Ruth proved him wrong and she soon became a true trailblazer for women in the real estate industry. During her career, she became a consistent million-dollar producer, working for Jones and Co, Carol Jones Real Estate Co, House of Brokers, and Murney and Associates. She retired with Murney and Associates at the age of 90. She was honored by the Springfield Board of Realtors in 2015 with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Music filled Ruth’s heart her entire life. She began her singing career at the age of 5 when she sang her first solo in church. That singing spanned over 80 years, until she developed throat problems which caused her to retire from singing at age 85.

During her musical career, she had the privilege of performing for three presidents when they visited Springfield (Truman, Nixon and Reagan). She also sang for General Matthew Ridgeway. She was a charter member and soloist of the Civic-Aires, where she was featured on their record “Little Children”, and later she was a featured soloist with the Mid-America Singers, and performed with them three times at Carnegie Hall in New York. She sang at hundreds of weddings and funerals throughout her life, as well as with the Springfield Symphony and Little Theater. She became a charter member of the Springfield Symphony, playing the cello until she started college. One of the highlights of her life was the role of Mother Superior in the Little Theater’s production of the “Sound of Music” in 1969. Ruth’s closing song was “Climb Every Mountain” and every night she would hit the challenging high Bb for the finale!

She and Cliff Patterson, an Irish tenor, were a favorite duo throughout the city, being featured at the Heer’s Singing Tower at Christmas time, and on the hour-long “Memory” show in the 50’s on KY3, with Joe Slattery as MC. She also performed with well-known tenor Russell Newport throughout the area.

She became a member of First and Calvary Presbyterian Church in 1941, where she was contralto soloist with the Chancel Choir for 58 years. She was one of the first of three women to be elected to the Board of Deacons, and later served as an Elder. She was also a long-time member of the Binnie Clemens Guild.

Ruth was also very active in community work with SMMA, Contemporary Art Group, Little Theater, and served on several boards of these organizations, including the Board of Directors for Mo State University Foundation. She also enjoyed her ladies’ bridge group for over 60 years, and her Murney Girls’ Luncheon Group after her retirement.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband, Leon Palmer, a brother, Ralph Kaufman, and a sister Mary Whitney. She is survived by her children, Cindy Chesher (Gary), of Kansas City, and Rick (Donna) Palmer, of Queen City, AZ, 4 beautiful grandchildren, Allison (John) Nelson, David (Jihan) Chesher, Jessica (Jamie) Bower, and Kathryn Palmer, and felt such pride and joy living long enough to enjoy her 4 great-grandchildren, Mia and Collin Nelson, Lillian Chesher, and Joshua Bower. She is also survived by her very special nieces and nephews, John Whitney, Laurel Whitney, Steve Whitney, Mike Palmer, and their families. She also leaves behind her precious kitty PK, and a special friend, Denise Hendricks Riehlman, of St. Louis. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Mary Elizabeth Young for the extra care and love she gave to Ruth, as well as a thank you to the wonderful care she received through Hospice Compassus, both in Springfield and in Kansas City.

Visitation will be from 5:00pm-7:00pm on Wednesday, Sept 20, 2017 at the Gorman-Scharpf Brentwood Chapel. Memorial services will be held on Thursday, Sept 21, 2017 at 10:00am, at First and Calvary Presbyterian Church, with Dr. Andrew Chaney officiating. A reception will follow in the atrium at the church. Interment will be at Hazelwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First and Calvary Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, Binnie Clemons Guild, Springfield Little Theater, or a charity of your choice. We ask you to celebrate Ruth’s life by wearing her favorite colors of purple, hot pink, orange, or lime green.

Ruth had an amazing life, and in her words was able to ‘climb every mountain and follow her dreams!’ Now she has gone on to join the celestial choir of angels to help them reach that high Bb. And Leon is saying “what took you so long?!”

Published in the News-Leader on Sept. 17, 2017

In Memory ~ Shirley (Casteel) Garner, 1957-1959 Kiltie

*Whenever possible, the obituaries of Kiltie Alumni will be posted. It is important to remember those who marched before us.*

Shirley J. Garner

Shirley J. Garner (Casteel) went to be with the Lord, Sunday, August 20, 2017. Her favorite Bible verse was Psalm 91. She graduated from Central High School with Honors, in 1959. She was a member of the Kilties. She worked at Silver Dollar City as a supervisor (Woodcarvers Shop) for many years.

She was a loving daughter, mother, and grandmother (Mema). She was preceded in death by her father Jack Casteel. She is survived by her mother Elberta Casteel, daughters; Cindy Schneider -husband Kerry and Lisa Ege. Her sister Sandra Dalton-husband Jerry, brothers David Casteel-wife Jill and Terry Casteel. Granddaughter: Rhianna Sutula-husband Matt. Grandson, Austin Schneider, and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Cox Health foundation, American Cancer Society, or to the Humane Society.

Published in the News-Leader on Aug. 27, 2017

In Memory – Mary Jean (Brooks) Brock, 1940-41 Kiltie

*Whenever possible, the obituaries of Kiltie Alumni will be posted. It is important to remember those who marched before us.*


Mary Jean Brock

Mary Jean Brooks Brock died Saturday, May 13, 2017 in Springfield, MO where she was born and lived for a full and happy 93 years.

The only child of May Mote Brooks and Andrew Johnson Brooks, she was born on April 4, 1924. She lived on North Broadway in Springfield in a typical depression era household with grandparents, parents and aunts until she was 12 years old. Every weekend, she and her parents would travel to Marshfield, MO to visit her paternal grandmother, Martha Johnson Brooks, widow of Mary Jean’s grandfather who died days before she was born, Dr. Andrew Johnson Brooks. Although she never knew him, Mrs. Brock held lifelong pride for Dr. Brooks who graduated from what is now Washington University Medical School and who saw patients in his Marshfield office and traveled on horseback to others who could not come into town.

Mrs. Brock attended Central High School, then Springfield Senior High School, where she was a proud member and drum captain of the Kiltie Drum Corp and where at age 16 she met her true love, Phillip C. Brock. She attended Southwest Missouri State, now Missouri State University.

She and Mr. Brock were married in 1944. Together they and their four children were the center of a large extended family of grandparents, great-grandparents and great-aunts and uncles, all of whom lived in Springfield and were the beneficiaries of fun, happy holiday events hosted by Mrs. Brock.

Mrs. Brock was a longtime member of Campbell Avenue Methodist Church where she and Mr. Brock were married on September 24, 1944. She and Mr. Brock were among the first 50 members of Twin Oaks Country Club, founding members of Le Soirre Dance Club and members of numerous private bridge and supper clubs in Springfield.

Preceded in death by her husband of 69 1/2 years, Mrs. Brock is survived by her four children, Sherry, Sandy, Sunday and Stephen, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Survivors include Sherry Brock Delo (Jack) of St. Louis and their daughters Stacey Brooks Delo Madway (Gabe) and children, Rory and Toby; Carrice Brock Delo McKenna (Mark), and children, Finnegan and Tucker, all of San Francisco, CA; Sandra Jean Brock and daughters Amy Anderson Simmons (Marshal), and children Riley Jean and Brock; Billie Jean Anderson Woods (John), and children Embrey and Violet, all of Kansas City; Sunday Brock Molen (Ron) of Hilton Head, SC and children, Matthew Roberts (Paige) of Kansas City, and Marne Molen Hartman (Andy), and children Madelyn Brooks and Cooper of Toledo, OH; Stephen Brock, Springfield, and children Christopher (Sonja) and children, Lilly and Hadley; and Lauren Brock Merritt (Matt) all of Dallas, TX.

The Brock children extend warm and thankful gratitude to Hall 200 staff at Elfindale Manor for the exceptional care and attention given to their mother.

Services will be held at 2:30 pm at Gorman-Scharpf on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Following the service a celebration of life will be held at the home of the son. Burial will be private at Eastlawn Cemetery

Published in the News-Leader from May 15 to May 17, 2017