Vernon Lee Stice, 75, of Carl Junction, Mo., went home to be with the Lord on Friday, March 10, 2017, at Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Mo.
Vernon was born on March 10, 1942, in Downing, Mo., to Otho Loral Stice and Vera Lewis Stice Smith. Vernon grew up in Downing and graduated from Downing High School.
After graduating, Vernon married his high school sweetheart, Leona Verlee Tague, on September 3, 1960, in Gorin, Mo., and they were happily married for 56 years.
He joined the U.S. Army in 1960 and served 3 years in active military service. Vernon spent time stationed in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks then returned to the mainland to serve at Ft. Knox, Ky., where he received his active service discharge.
As a civilian, Vernon trained at Quincy Illinois Tech to earn his qualification as an automobile mechanic. While residing in Downing, he was an active member of the Downing Christian Church. He owned and operated Stice Garage for over 29 years as well as serving as City Water Commissioner.
He joined the U.S. Army Reserves from 1975 to 2002, retiring as a 1st Sgt E-8. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation, and Good Conduct medals. He served as a volunteer Fire Chief, fireman and First Responder for the Downing Fire Department and was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 46 years and as Worshipful Master for 3 terms. He later closed the garage and relocated with his wife to Carl Junction.
Vernon was a member of the Park Plaza Christian Church, Joplin. He served as Elder, Deacon, and teacher. He was employed until retirement in 2004 with the U.S. Department of Defense in Joplin. He was also a member and past president of the Carl Junction Lions Club. Vernon's greatest interests were his family, his church family, and working in his woodworking shop.
Vernon was preceded in death by his mother, father, and stepfather, Clifton C. Smith, Downing, 'whom he also called Dad', and sister-in-law, Barbara Stice.
Vernon is survived by his loving wife, Leona, of Carl Junction; two sons and a daughter, Tony Stice and wife, Pam, Newton, Iowa, Randy Stice, Carl Junction, and Vicki Speer, and husband, Kevin, Lake Ozark, Mo.; step-mother, Virginia Stice; brothers and sister, Loral E. Stice, James S. Stice, Robert C. Stice, Larry F. Smith, and Judy J. Agee, and several half brothers and sisters; eleven grandchildren, Veronica and Melanie Stice, Drew Stice, Natasha Stice Barker, Tayler Stice, Trevor Stice, Connor Stice, and Noah Stice, Amy Speer Starkweather, Joseph Speer, Kylie Speer Nebel; five great-grandchildren, Logan, Benjamin, Lennox, Karston, and Kallee; many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations can be made to Koinonia Christian Campus Ministry of Joplin, the Downing Fire Department, or the Downing Christian Church.
Memorial service will be held at Park Plaza Christian Church in Joplin on Saturday, March 18, at 2 p.m. A second memorial service will be held at the Downing Christian Church in Downing on Saturday, March 25, at 2 p.m. Graveside ceremony with military honors will be at the Downing Cemetery.
Published on  March 12, 2017