James Poe, May 5, 1923 - Dec. 27, 2012, of Columbia

Monday, December 31, 2012 | 4:24 p.m. CST; updated 5:50 p.m. CST, Monday, December 31, 2012

Heaven got a little sweeter last Thursday, December 27th, 2012, when James Ralph Poe lost his battle with lung cancer. He was 89 years old.

Ralph passed away peacefully at his home, where he lived with his wife, Christine. They had just celebrated their 65th anniversary on December 11th, 2012.


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Ralph was the second of 8 children born to Thomas Poe & Alma (Hunt) Poe of Boone County on May 5, 1923. He was preceded in death by his brothers: Stanley, Roy, Sanford, Gip, and Kenneth. He is survived by his brother Vic and his sister Helen (Burr) of Columbia.

A WWII Veteran, Sergeant James Ralph Poe received a Purple Heart during The Battle of The Bulge. Ralph sustained multiple injuries from shrapnel to his eyes and upper body when enemy bombs hit the location where his Company K, 335th Regiment of the Army 84th Infantry Division was stationed. He was sent to a hospital in England for treatment and recovery. Shortly after leaving the hospital, the war ended.

After returning home to Columbia, Ralph soon met and married Christine Weldon on 12/11/1948 in Ashland, MO. Their surviving children include: Jeannie Poe, Kathy Rios, Debbie Poe, and Mike Poe. Their grandchildren include: Christie Smith, Jason Gibson, Shauna Rios, Cody Rios, Logan Poe, Jensen Poe, and 7 great grandchildren.

Ralph worked for The University of Missouri Agriculture Department for over 30 years and retired January 1st, 1986.

While working at the University, Ralph followed in his father’s footsteps and raised tobacco on the farm down South of Columbia. A Third generation tobacco farmer, Ralph, along with his brothers, family members and friends, raised tobacco for most of his life. He was 79 when he retired from farming.

The world lost a great man. Animals just naturally followed him and people just naturally loved him. When Ralph was younger, his nick name was “Happy.” A kinder, stronger, softer, and more humble man would be hard to find.

Our Father in Heaven said, “Well done my son, well done.” And then, He took him home.

Funeral services will be 1:00pm Saturday January 5, 2012 at Memorial Funeral Home 1217 Business Loop 70 West Columbia, MO 65202. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday January 4, 2013 from 4:00-7:00pm at the funeral home. Online tributes may be left at 

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