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Earl was a very gifted storyteller, and good friend to all William Earl Hargis, 96, Springfield, Mo., longtime horseman, and friend of many, went peacefully to rest, Jan. 25, 2009, with a satisfied mind, in his Springfield home.
He was born Dec. 9, 1912 in Ozark County, Mo., to Sam and Rose McDowell Hargis. His childhood days were spent on the farm, located on the Little Northfork River. Many of his fondest memories were during this time, where he and his father were together, hunting, and farming. Telling stories about those times always brought a smile to his face as he remembered them. Earl was a very gifted storyteller, with so many to tell. He was a good friend to all that knew him. He was a member the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, to earn money to send home to his mother and father, who was a Baptist preacher.
On Feb. 17, 1938, he married Pauline Fay Nash, and they made their home in Douglas County, Mo., where he farmed and raised foxhounds that were sold and shipped all over the United States, as well as Europe. He also worked at Kraft Foods Company, in Ava.
Moving to Springfield in 1954, he continued employment with Kraft, retiring in 1975. Retirement years were spent riding Fox Trotting horses, and raising beagle hounds and cattle. He was one of the earliest members of the Cross Country Trail Ride, in Eminence, Mo., and would continue to make the ride for some 35 years. He was also a longtime Missouri Fox Trotter Horse Association member. His last old mare, “June”, lived to the age of 45, and died in December 2008.
He was the last survivor of a family of 15. Gone before him were his parents and infant daughter; sisters Mrs. Ora Humbyrd, Mrs. Ester Connelly, Mrs. Nellie Jennings, Mrs. Effie Hodges, Mrs. Belle Wilson, Mrs. Beulah Kyle, and Mrs. Julia Jenkins; and brothers Oren, Bob, Alvia, Monroe, and Almon.
He is survived by his wife, Pauline, and daughter, Earline and Paul Dixon, of Fayetteville, Ark., and son, Curt and Johnelle, of Springfield; four grandchildren, Jim Polsom, Jon Polsom, Kendell Waltz, and Kate Hargis; and nine great-grandchildren; as well as several nieces, nephews and many friends.
Funeral services for Earl will be Thursday, Jan. 29, at 2 p.m. in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, in Ava, Mo. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. to service time, in the funeral home. Officiating will be Rev. Russell Sanders and Rev. Tom Johnson. Burial will be in the Ava Cemetery.
A special thank you to Mary Jones, for the loving care given to him, and the staff of the Southwest Missouri Center on Aging, where memorials can be accepted. Online condolences may be made to www.clinkingbeardfuneralhome. com.