Bradley Wayne Eldridge, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away on December 1, 2023, in Kansas City, Kansas. He was born on January 8, 1969, in Jacksonville, Illinois. Bradley's untimely passing has left a void in the hearts of all who knew him.
Brad had an illustrious career as a diesel mechanic. He worked tirelessly at Gully Transportation before venturing out on his own to establish Mico Transportation and Mico Repair in Grain Valley, Missouri. His dedication to his craft and commitment to excellence earned him the trust and admiration of his clients.
A graduate of Lincoln High School, Brad valued education and always strived to learn new things. While his professional achievements were admirable, it was his warm and genuine personality that truly set him apart. Bradley never met a stranger; he had an extraordinary ability to connect with people and forge lasting friendships wherever he went. His ornery humor and magnetic presence would light up any room he entered. Above all else, Brad cherished his role as a father. He was an exceptional parent who loved his children unconditionally and supported them in every aspect of their lives. Their happiness meant the world to him, and he dedicated himself wholeheartedly to their well-being. In his spare time, Brad found solace in the great outdoors. He had a deep love for nature and sought refuge at his cabin in Mark Twain Forest. Whether it was canoeing along tranquil rivers or embarking on exhilarating off-road adventures with his four-wheeler, Brad found peace and joy in these outdoor pursuits. Brad was active in the Boy Scouts of America with Troop 605 and a member of Mic-o-say as Thundering Black Sky.
Brad is preceded in death by his parents; Wayne Eldridge and Phyllis Neff, and his grandmother; Lillie Peters. He is survived by his wife and love of his life; Carrie Eldridge, his children; Mike Eldridge (Sarah), Emily Eldridge (Nick), Jared Eldridge, Jake Dwyer, Tyler Dwyer, and Ryan Dwyer, his granddaughters; Malia Eldridge, Morgan Eldridge, and Tapanga Soberalski and her mother; Emilee, his very special aunt and uncle who cared for and loved him as his own; Donna and Steve Blanford, his pups; Oreo, Leo, and Moose, and his cats; Mogley and Freeway.
Brad's life will be celebrated through two meaningful events. The visitation will take place on December 8, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Speaks Suburban Chapel located at 18020 East 39th St S, Independence, MO 64055. This gathering will provide an opportunity for family and friends to share fond memories and offer support during this difficult time. The funeral service will be held the following day, December 9, 2023, starting at 10:00 AM. The family will have a private interment for Brad in Potosi, Missouri at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in Brad’s memory to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Larry Eugene Affolter, 71, of Independence, MO, passed away at the home on Tuesday, September 26, 2023. Larry was born on January 27, 1952, in Independence, MO. Larry played football as a tackle at Grain Valley High School where he graduated in 1970. He joined the Army National Guard as a Military Police Officer in 1971 and served until 1986 as a Staff Sargent. He then went on to work at Armco Steel Co. from 1972-2001. Larry attended the Police Academy at Blue River Community College in 2002 where he received his Class A license. He was a patrol officer and then became Chief of Police at Crystal Lakes, MO Police Department from 2003-2008. Larry also served as a security officer at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum from 2001-2017, where he met his wife, Nancy. They later married on December 27, 2008. After Larry and his wife Nancy moved to Lake Pomme De Terre, MO in 2010, he worked as a deputy for the Hickory County Sherriff’s department from 2010-2017, when he retired. Larry also worked security at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO.
Larry loved living at the lake for his eleven years of residence there, where he enjoyed activities like fishing, boating, hunting, and taking the kids and grandkids tubing. Larry loved his 1955 Mercury, which he and Nancy would take to frequent car shows around the area.
Larry is survived by his wife Nancy, and his 3 children, Larry Affolter (Heather), Stephanie Gilgour (Joe), Jonathan Affolter (Leslie), and 3 step-children, Stephanie Dilley (Lee), Stephen Myers (Janet), and Stacie Patton (Glen), his 14 grandchildren Brittany, Tanner, Grant, Genevieve, Lauren, James, Jordan, Rebekah, Alliesha, Sarah, Trevor, Kylie, McKenzie, and Kaitlyn, his 7 great-grandchildren, Brailyn, Felicity, Lyla, Henry, Karson, Nova, and Shepherd, and his two brothers, Denny Affolter (Patti), and Jimmy Affolter (Malinda).
Larry is preceded in death by his father Eugene Affolter, his mother Evelyn Coolidge, his stepfather Papa John Coolidge, and his great-grandson Braxton.
Larry’s Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 4:00PM at The Blue Springs Elks Lodge: 100 NE Brizendine Rd. Blue Springs, MO 64014. Park and enter on the lower level. Please feel free to wear your bright and colorful attire. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Diabetes Association.
Obituary submitted by the family.
Gerald Ray Harris, 69, of Odessa, Missouri passed away on Friday, December 9, 2022, at home.
Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Saturday, December 17, 2022, at the Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home, 306 S. 2nd St., Odessa, MO, 64076, 816-633-5524. Memorials are suggested to the Lafayette County Cancer Coalition. Memories of Gerald and condolences for his family may be left at www.LedfordFamilyFH.com or on our Facebook Page.
Gerald was born on December 19, 1952, in Independence, MO to George and Gladys (Smith) Harris. He graduated from Grain Valley High School in Grain Valley, MO. On February 14, 1985, Gerald was united in marriage to Melissa Janette Brandel in Independence. He retired in 2007 from Ford Motor Co. after 30 plus years of service. Gerald was a member of the U.A.W. Local 249 in Kansas City, MO. Gerald loved adventure and pushing the bar, he always enjoyed taking his kids to amusement parks, fishing, and enjoying some Bates City BBQ. Gerald loved spoiling his grandchildren who were the light of his life.
Gerald is survived by his wife, Melissa Harris of Odessa, MO; three children, Gerald Harris and wife Darla of Odessa, MO, Monica King and husband Gary of Grain Valley, MO, and Sarah Harris of Grain Valley, MO; six grandchildren, Theodore Harris, Hunter King, Dillon King, Kenzley Roark, Tabitha Harris, and Kash Roark; one great-grandson, Liam Harris; one brother, Glenn Harris and wife Joy of Tampa, Florida; and many relatives and friends.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Steve Harris.
We mournfully announce the passing of Dale Myard Eisele of Grain Valley, Missouri on October 22, 2022 after a protracted illness. Dale was born on June 22, 1958, to Leonard Eisele and Martha Ruff Eisele who preceded him in death.
Dale graduated from Valley Falls High School, attended Colby Community College, Kansas University, and in 1990 received a BA from the University of Missouri. He brought a high level of curiosity and attention to detail when working as a risk management insurance agent in Kansas City.
While Dale never married, he lived a full life before his illness. Dale was a passionate gardener, sharing fruits and vegetables with friends and neighbors. He loved 60’s rock and roll, gospel music and was an avid historian. He researched newspapers and called local historians to write a book featuring Missouri ghost towns.
Survivors include his brother James Eisele of Lawrence, Kansas, and sister, Maxine Eisele of St. Louis, Missouri, nephews Robert and Ryan Eisele, Nikolas Swider and niece, Aniela Swider.
Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. October 28, 2022, at Memorial Park Cemetery 1517 E. 15th St. Lawrence, KS. The family will greet friends at noon on Friday prior to graveside at Warren-McElwain Mortuary 120 W. 13th St. Lawrence, KS.
For more information or to post a condolence go to warrenmcelwain.com.
Valley News staff with expert assistance from Lori Arnold
A love story that began at marching band practice entered its next chapter over Thanksgiving weekend at the spot where it all began.
Cheyanne Arnold (GVHS 2017) and Andrew Craig (GVHS 2018) met for the first time as members of the Grain Valley Marching Eagles in 2014 on the 38 yard line during practice. Craig’s marching route on the field caused him to step on Arnold’s flag on the count of 1 as she was supposed to stand up from behind a box and begin her routine.
The band directors told Cheyanne she had to hit count 1. She finally told them, “I can’t! The freshman’s on my flag!” The freshman was Andrew Craig at the 38 yard line.
Craig surprised Arnold by proposing on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, on the spot on the 38 yard line where it all began.
Craig said he created an excuse to get Arnold out of the house by claiming he needed something from the grocery store. Once the couple headed out, their families headed over to the high school football field. As the couple left the store, Craig volunteered to drive and headed the opposite way toward the high school. Arnold was confused, but wasn’t really expecting a proposal, as she said both of their families had strongly suggested they wait until both graduated from college to become engaged.
“When we got to the field and I found the spot where it all began, I told her this spot started the best 8 years of my life, and it was the best mistake I ever made,” Craig said.
They began dating in December 2014 and have been together ever since. Arnold was a member of the Grain Valley Color Guard and Winter Guard. Craig played the trumpet in the Marching Eagles, pep, and concert bands.
The couple were members of the 2016 GV Marching Eagles who traveled to New York City to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and were asked to perform on Good Morning America.
Arnold graduated in 2017 and went on to K-State where she has obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture with an emphasis on Landscape Design and Greenhouse Management. She is currently employed by Ryan Lawn & Tree as a landscape designer. Andrew is a Senior at K-State and will be obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology in May 2022. The couple is planning a Fall 2022 wedding.
Stephen and Rose Brashears of Grain Valley will celebrate their 50th anniversary on September 4th.
They were married at North Cross United Methodist Church on September 4, 1971, and raised a family in Blue Springs. Stephen is retired from General Motors; Rose is retired from American Family Insurance.
They’ve provided unconditional love and support to their children Cory and Colin, son-in-law John, and granddaughters Sara and Kate (even when they didn’t deserve it).
Wishing you both a very happy anniversary!
James Guillemot, age 83, passed away on Tuesday August 17, 2021 at the Hilltop Grand Village in Wisconsin Rapids.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday September 5, 2021 from 1:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. at the Grain Valley Community Center. 713 Main Street, Grain Valley, MO.
Jim was born on December 21, 1938 in Lexington, MO to Pierre and Goldie Lee (Swafford) Guillemot. He married Helen Joyce Kelly on November 4, 1961 at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Higginsville, MO He graduated from Lexington High School and also attended Wentworth Military Academy.
Jim was an all-conference Missouri River Valley conference football player and a lifelong enthusiast of the sport. He was also the #1 tireless fan of anyone in his family and an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan. He was an enthusiastic supporter of his wife’s horse obsession and enjoyed attending and supporting horse shows. Jim had recently moved to Wisconsin Rapids to be closer to family. He was very much a dedicated family man and a loving husband.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Joyce Guillemot of Wisconsin Rapids; children: Russell Eugene (Kay) Guillemot of San Diego, CA, and Michael Kent (Teresa) Guillemot of Wisconsin Rapids; grandchildren: Matthew, Daniel, Bree (Steve) Cox, and Cori all of San Diego, CA, Thomas of Naperville, IL, and Samuel of Dubuque, IA; great grandchildren: Skyler, Tatum, Lennex Cox of San Diego, CA.
He is preceded in death by his brother, Pierre Guillemot Jr. and his parents Pierre and Goldie Guillemot.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Association.
Herman-Taylor Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Guillemot family.
Diana Lynn Johnston, 73, of Grain Valley, passed away after an extended illness on Thursday July 29, 2021 at St. Mary's Hospital. Memorial services will be held Friday August 6, 2021 at Royer Funeral Home 100 Royer Lane in Grain Valley, Missouri 64029. Visitation is from 6:00pm to 7:00pm and the Memorial Service will start at 7:00pm. Zoom video chat is available if you are unable to attend. Please contact family for details for zoom prior to 9:00pm Thursday August 5, 2021. (816)847-8333. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Grain Valley Assistance Council or Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Blue Springs, Missouri in Diana’s name. https://donate.jw.org
Virgil E. Clark, 69, of Richmond, died Friday, July 9, 2021, at Shirkey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Richmond.
Virgil was born on September 11, 1951, in Mt. Vernon, OR, the son of Virgil and Lotti Jean Wiley Clark. He was first united in marriage to Kathy Copenhaver of Odessa in 1970; they later divorced. He was then united in marriage to Susan J. Hofmann of Kansas City, KS, on July 9, 1983; they later divorced.
Survivors include: son, Chris Niemeyer of Sacramento, CA; three daughters: Jennifer (Glenn) Gillam of Grain Valley, Julie Houseman of Blue Springs, and Jill (Tim) Welty of Odessa; 9 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and numerous other relatives and friends also survive.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Virgil was reared and educated in Odessa, graduating from the Odessa High School. He loved fishing, hunting, sailing, and boating. Virgil enjoyed his job as a truck driver. He loved watching TV and enjoyed devotional listening to Shepard’s Chapel, daily.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Virgil Clark Memorial Fund. They can be left at or mailed to Thurman Funeral Home, 507 East Main Street-P.O. Box 190, Richmond, MO 64085.
Graveside service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Concord Baptist Cemetery, Bates City. Thurman Funeral Home in Richmond is in charge of arrangements. Please remember to share your memories of Virgil with the family by visiting www.thurmanfuneralhome.com.
Each semester, students at Missouri State University who attain academic excellence are named to the dean’s list.
For undergraduate students, criteria include enrollment in at least six credit hours during the summer semester and at least a 3.50 grade point average (on a 4.00 scale).