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This has been a emotional week for Webster County as we have all mourned the loss of Sgt. 1st Class Robert Wayne Pharris. Sgt. Pharris is the first Webster County casualty of this war that I am aware of and he was a resident of the south side of this county.
When word spread throughout the Ozarks that there would be protesting at his funeral, I was moved by the overwhelming response from residents everywhere. According to crowd estimates, there were some 4-5,000 people there to show their support for his family and not one protestor. I learned that they had been in the Seymour area and could not gather enough support for their cause and they left! That shows you what kind of community that we live in.
Nicholas and Sarah Inman joined Ryan Cooksey and John and Becky Ramsey at the service, which they described as touching and extremely moving. We were proud that our church family joined many congregations and citizens from across the county to help form the human shield for the service. Sgt. Pharris is an American hero and one that will not be forgotten in this area. Our community sends its heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family.
Lyndall Fraker, our state representative, came to the Elkland Independent Methodist Church on Sunday morning and presented Junior and me with a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives. Lyndall took the time to read the resolution and we appreciate from the bottom of our hearts his many kindnesses to our family. Our youngest son, Jay, and his son, Kaleb Inman, were in service with us, along with youngest daughter, Jeanette Evans.
We were sorry to miss the 22nd birthday dinner for Sarah Inman. Sarah celebrated her big day on Jan. 17. There was a dinner at Mr. Yen’s in Springfield with our family and we were unable to be there as we headed off to our lake home. Happy Birthday Sarah! Also, happy birthday to Lynn Grisham.
There was a nice article in the paper about Bette Durnford. Bette was a former south side resident and was a fond friend to many here. Her father was in the canning business along with Frank Hart for many years. Several remember members of her family and the profound influence that they had on the community. Bette was always proud to say that she was from Webster County. She lived a long life that was filled with so much happiness and adventure.
I wish to remind our Webster County readers that a senior in the county can apply for a medical alert necklace. These emergency devices are completely free to you and are being provided through a grant from the Webster County Senior Service Fund. They are being administered by the Elkland Independent Methodist Church and if you would like one, you will need to fill out an application. You can get an application by calling 429-7209 or 933-5378.
Many have asked if there is a monthly fee once these are installed. It is completely free and you can use it forever at no charge. Every Webster County resident pays a tax for seniors and this grant money has come from that tax. I hope you will take advantage of this while you can. There have been several applicants and they are going at a fast rate.
We heard a praise report at church on Sunday morning where a lady had already used it and it has helped save her life. You never know when you might need to get a hold of someone in your time of need. They qualify seniors for this application, as anyone 60 or older.
As I close this week, I look around and I realize yet again why I enjoy living in the Ozarks. This area is the best place to call home. We have so many great neighbors out there, who are always willing to lend a helping hand. Thank God that we live in this area and I would encourage you to come out this way in the near future.