- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
Our community was deeply saddened by the loss of a former resident last week. Earlene Oxley and her late husband, Ray, spent their married lives on a farm here at Almartha, raising six fine children and being good friends and neighbors to one and all. After Ray passed away, Earlene moved into Ava, but I’m sure she always considered this place her home.
She was a talented woman in many ways and could sew and grow just about anything. Earlene created dozens of beautiful quilts for all her children and grandchildren, and her flowers were always spectacular, especially her prized dahlias. When we had fundraisers in the early days of the Wasola Fire Department, Earlene’s delicious homemade cookies always fetched a high price. E.J. Hampton did a fine job of preaching the service on Monday at Clinkingbeard’s in Ava.
Sympathy is also extended to Janis Ray and all of her family in the loss of their brother, Russell Hill, of Caulfield. Russell was born when his folks lived at the Thomas home place between Wilhoit and Romance. His mother, the late Elva Thomas Hill, was one of 11 children of the late Kelly and Genevra Thomas, and Russell has many cousins and kin in this area.
One great blessing was that Russell was able to attend the Thomas family reunion that was held just the weekend before he passed away. The group gathered at Athel Jackson’s Jamboree building for a day of food and fellowship, and Alvis Thomas estimated that about 86 were in attendance. Russell had confided to his cousin, Steve Thomas, that he really hoped to be able to attend the reunion, and it was the last thing he was able to do.
Alvis’s sister, Gay Burke, of Raymore was also happy to be able to make the trip to the reunion. She, Alvis and their brother Alvin are the only three of the 11 siblings still living.
Laura and Bob Farewell have company this week; their friends, Jimmy and Kathy Grey, are visiting from Bakersfield, Calif., and are enjoying watching the trees turn into a tapestry of beautiful autumn color. And just a couple of weeks ago the Farewells had their son, Jedd, his wife, Lachelle, and children, Julia and Seth, visiting from Taft, Calif., where Jedd works for Chevron.
While visiting her grandparents, Julia celebrated her fifth birthday, a very special event for Grandma Laura who doesn’t get to host birthday parties for her grandchildren very often. This time she planned a princess party, and a highlight was playing “Pin the Jewel on the Tiara.” Two of Laura’s other children, sons Jacob and wife Alaina, and Jesse and wife Mary Ellen, who all live in Springfield, came down to the farm for the day. Another treat for Laura was taking the two little ones to Ava one day for ice cream cones at Ava Drug Store while Jedd and Lachelle headed to Branson for a “date.”
Julia Taber spent a few enjoyable days with Beth Peters and family in West Plains last week. One evening they were guests of Jim’s sister, Sherry Underwood, who cooked a delicious dinner for them. Sherry’s other guests were her mother, Nell Peters, nephew Andrew and Emily Peters and baby daughter Ava Jane, and niece Julie Gower and almost-3-year-old Ella Grace.
Congratulations to Beverly McGinnis on the arrival of her newest granddaughter, Brookland Vega McGinnis, baby daughter of Ryan and Tasha McGinnis. Brookland was born on her big brother Matthew’s third birthday, on Sept. 30. She also has a “big” sister, Rachel, one year old, who wants very much to hold the baby but seems to understand that she is a bit too small for that.
Karen Holt has had a successful fall turkey season, bagging a nice bird last week. Karen says it is more challenging to kill a turkey in the fall since they don’t do any of their calling at this time of year.
It was nice to visit with Ralph and Kay Thomas Johnson of West Plains last Friday. The Johnsons were spending some time at Kay’s home place where they have built a cabin. They were heading to Athel Jackson’s Jamboree, where Kay hoped to hear her uncle, Alvis Thomas, play music.
Happy birthday wishes this week to Bradley Thomas, who celebrates on Thursday, Oct. 14, and to Derek Alms, our son-in-law, whose birthday is Saturday, Oct. 16 – both fine young men!