James A. McClendon, age 83, of Liberal, Missouri, passed away Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at Mercy Hospital in Joplin.
Jim was born January 12, 1932 on the family farm, to Aubrey and Margaret (Curless) McClendon. He graduated from Liberal High School and taught school in Oskaloosa for a year before being called to military duty. Jim served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Korea for two years. Returning home, he earned a B.S. in Accounting and Economics at Pittsburg State University.
In addition to farming, Jim was an accountant for Western Insurance in Fort Scott, Kansas in the 1960’s and had owned and operated a tire and auto shop in Liberal for more than 40 years.
Always active in his church and community, Jim served as Chairman of Disciples Christian Church committee and board member of St. Louis Christian Children’s Home and National Benevolence Association. His pride and concern for his country motivated Jim’s interest and involvement in politics on local and national levels. He was active in the Republican Party, having attended three national conventions, shaking hands with Presidents Nixon, Ford, George W. Bush, and Reagan. Jim had served as chairman of Barton County and Missouri State Republican Committees as well as president of Ozark Township Board. He was a member of the Barton County Ambulance Board, Ethanol Committee, and Arma American Legion. He and Leota enjoyed the fellowship of their SNPJ (Polka) friends and the many trips they took across the country.
On July 1, 1984, Jim married Leota (Carpenter) Readinger and she survives, of the home. Also surviving are three sons, Mark McClendon, Liberal, Randall (Betsy) Readinger and Loren (Julie) Readinger, all of Fort Scott; two daughters, Debra (Larry) Martin, Fort Scott, and Lisa (Ron) Butts, Liberal; a sister, Jean Lambert, Marshall, Virginia; a nephew, Rocky Barnes, Seattle, Washington; his former wife, Greta Frank, Pittsburg; ten grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Lynn McClendon; and a niece, Debbie Reuter.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday at Daniel Funeral Home where the family will receive friends from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. Thursday.
Burial with full military honors will be in Barton City Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Liberal High School D.O.G.S. Scholarship, Barton City Cemetery, or charity of the donor’s choice, in care of the funeral home.
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