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Obituaries

Wynna Faye Elbert known as community activist, community mother

Ms. Elbert recognized that in order to make a change, she had to get involved. She co-founded several civic groups and raised 27 children.

Lou Kontras was a pioneering entreprenuer

Lou Kontras ran a gas station, a car wash, several laundromats and a motorcycle rental service. Mr. Kontras died Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014. He was 87.

David Burgess was a jokester, art lover

David Burgess was notorious for hanging spoons from his nose during formal dinners, his family said. Mr. Burgess died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. He was 58.

Community activist Wynna Faye Elbert dies

Wynna Elbert, the longtime host of KOPN's "Straight Talk" program, co-founded several organizations to preserve Columbia's African-American heritage. She died Sunday. She was 69 years old.

Polly Anna Dunavant was a prolific painter

Polly Anna Dunavant attended a one-room schoolhouse before graduating from Hickman High School. Mrs. Dunavant died Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. She was 87.

Joy Eugene Whitener devoted his life to teaching

Joy Eugene Whitener began his career teaching in one-room schools and ended it as a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri—St. Louis. Whitener died Friday, Feb. 7. He was 94 years old. 

Kenneth W. Hegstad served in the Navy, loved to fly

Kenneth W. Hegstad served his country during World War II and loved to take his children flying. Mr. Hegstad of Columbia died Tuesday Feb. 4, 2014. He was 89 years old.

Winifred Horner raised 4 children, wrote 9 books

Winifred Bryan Horner — who had a doctorate in English language, literature and linguistics — had earned her master's degree while her youngest child was 4 years old. Dr. Horner died Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. She was 91 years old.

Mary Kathryn Dowling traveled the world while raising her family

Mary Kathryn Dowling worked as a nurse at the Missouri State School and Hospital for more than 20 years. Mrs. Dowling died Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. She was 78 years old.

Billy Tennyson was a carpenter, Korean War veteran

Billy Tennyson's friends and family said he was always there for them. Mr. Tennyson died Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. He was 80 years old.

Terry Lynn Thornsberry loved golf, working in information technology

Terry Lynn Thornsberry of Columbia died Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. He was 63.

MU graduate Richard Eugene Wilson was an electrical engineer

Richard Eugene Wilson of Glen Burnie, Md., died Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. He was 58. He was an MU graduate and an electrical engineer.

Vietnam veteran James Homer Parker loved to fish

James Homer Parker of Columbia died Tuesday, Jan. 21. He was 70 years old. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War and was an avid fisherman.

Steve 'Murk' Graves was a passionate hunter, fisherman

Steve Graves of Sturgeon died Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. He was 61 years old.

Randall Carl "Moose" Mueller worked as letter carrier, served in National Guard

Randall Carl "Moose" Mueller of Centralia died Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. He was 82.

William Robinson volunteered with the AARP to help others file taxes

William Robinson, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years and worked at MU for 25 years, died Saturday. He was 80.

Bill Harris enjoyed time at country club, traveling with his wife

William "Bill" Harris of Columbia died Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at Lenoir Woods in Columbia. He was 88.

A.J. Boren was a close friend, mentor

A.J. Boren's friends remember a dedicated mentor and a loyal friend. Mr. Boren died Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. He was 22 years old.

Betty Jean Smith dedicated her life to family, friends

Betty Jean Smith died Sunday, Jan. 19. She was 50 years old.

Mary Belle Turner was a lifelong educator

Mary Belle Turner died Monday, Jan. 20. She was 89.

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