Lesta Mae Blood, age 75, Joplin, Mo., passed away at 4:14 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, at her home, surrounded by her family, pets and loving husband.
Lesta was born July 27, 1942, in Pearl, Ill., to the late Russell Hurst and Mae Bell Carter Hurst and had lived in Joplin most of her life. Frank Nichols 'Nick' became her stepfather in 1958, and was the man she thought of as her 'real' father for the rest of her life.
Lesta had taken care of people her whole life, beginning in Illinois, caring for her younger brothers and sisters and carrying through her entire life. If it wasn't brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, it was the neighbor kids, parents, stray animals and her own babies! She was a tremendously devoted wife and the proud mother of three children. Mike is a gifted singer and Lesta absolutely loved going to his musical performances. She adored her daughters, Darlene 'Dody', was the oldest and was raised to be a strong, capable woman, just like her mother. Rebecca was the baby of the family and was Lesta's best friend from the moment she came into this world.
After all the kids went to school, Lesta went to work at the first Walmart in town. She was proud to be the head cashier at Walmart #59. During her time there, she trained several young folks who would go on to have careers as Walmart managers.
She and her husband, Vernace, raised their children as members of the Assembly of God Church, in Duenweg. During their time there, both Lesta and Vernace were active in Youth Leadership, Bible school, Christmas programs and served as hosts for many events.
Lesta met Vernace at a dance and were married six months later on March 8, 1958, in Carthage. They were madly in love for every day of their nearly 60 years together. Vern built Lesta her very first home in 1962. They raised their kids there and lived a lifetime of love and laughter.
Survivors include her husband, Vernace; two daughters, Darlene (Dody) Walker and husband, Richard, Joplin, Rebecca Shouse, Joplin; a son, Michael Blood and wife, Kathy, Joplin; mother, Mae Nichols; father, Frank Nichols; sister, Marie Royster and husband, George; two brothers, Russell Hurst and wife, Georgia, Leroy Hurst and wife, Roberta; grandchildren, Eric Felker and wife, Autumn Bjugstad, Brandi Shoemaker and husband, Brock, Alicia Knell and husband, Ryan, Kristin Walker, Adam Blood and fiancé, Shea, Teylor Shouse and fiancé, Ethan; 10 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Lesta was preceded in death by a brother, Paul Hurst, and a sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Dan Smith.
Memorial services are planned for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Parker Mortuary Chapel. Rev. Doug Wilkerson will officiate. The family will receive friends following the service at the chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, in care of Parker Mortuary.
Arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary.
Published on January 20, 2018