SIKESTON - Willard Cline Ables, 87, a businessman and a contributor to local youth programs, died at 3:10 p.m. July 4, 2003.
Born Jan. 4, 1916, in Oran to the late Lawrence W. and Etta Pearl Moore Ables, he was a lifelong resident of Sikeston where he was a member of the First Baptist Church. An ordained Baptist minister, he spent most of his adult life in the building business and later served as physical facilities director for the Sikeston Public Schools.
In 1988 he was inducted into the Southeast Missouri Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1991 he was recognized by his selection to the Honors Board for significant contributions to youth programs in the community. He helped build the first Little League baseball field and coached nine Little League championship teams. Mr. Ables was also a top-rated high school baseball umpire.
On July 27, 1946, he married Nota Dover who survives of the home.
Also surviving are: one son and daughter-in-law, Don and Kay Ables of Dexter; three daughters and a son-in-law, Gretta Walton Catanese and Marilyn Jo Cavanaugh of Grand Blanc, Mich., and Marilyn and Dr. Bill Boyce of Sikeston; one sister, Alma Gail Henderson of Sikeston; and 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by four sisters, Norene Singleton, Mildred Parker, Pansy Limbaugh and Lawrencetta Anderson; one brother, Clennis Ables; and one great-grandson, Charles Zachary Cavanaugh.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. today at the McMikle Funeral Home in Charleston where services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Monday with the Rev. Tom Bray, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Edgewater, Fla., officiating.
Burial will follow in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Sikeston.
Pallbearers will be: Sonny Alcorn, Phil Barkett, Pete Burns, Jim Caskey, Steve Taylor and Dr. Doug Walton.
Honorary pallbearers will be: Roger Sherman, Ray Clinton, Elgin McMikle, Ben Chambers, Bud Lambert, Bob Mitchell, Rob Mitchell, Floyd Matthews, Joel Montgomery, Bill Litchford, Joe McCord, Jerry Masterson, Bill Priday, George Hale and Mike Taylor.
Memorial contributions may be made to:
1008 N. Main St.
Sikeston, MO 63801
St. Jude Children's
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105-9956