Vera Naomi Williams

Vera Naomi Williams, 103, of Richmond, died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at Shirkey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Richmond.

Vera was born March 16, 1915, in the Rockingham community of Ray County, to Jesse and Maggie (Mason) Early.

She married James Thomas “J.T.” Williams Jr. on May 1, 1937. He preceded her in death Aug. 18, 2005.

Survivors include: a daughter, Marcia Williams of Richmond; a son-in-law, Donald (Elaine) Wheeler; four grandchildren, Louann (Phil) Tummons of Overland Park, Kansas; Lori (David) Werth of Lee’s Summit; Kent (Stephanie) Wheeler of Hardin, and Darin (Aimee) Wheeler of Hardin; 10 great-grandchildren, Emily Tummons, Avery (Callie) Tummons, Darrell (Courtney) Werth, Dusty Werth (Rusty Richards), Dylan (Kayla) Werth, Grant (Ann) Wheeler, Spencer Wheeler, Chandler Wheeler, Zachary (Jessica) Wheeler and Taylor Wheeler; and six great-great-grandchildren, Emma Wheeler, Brooks Wheeler, Aria Werth, Nora Werth, Asher Werth, and Bentley Werth.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, two daughters and a son-in-law, Carol June Wheeler and Shirley (Lewis) Williams; three brothers, Lloyd Early, Clarence Early and Harold Early; and three sisters, Grace Miles, Ethel Hoover and Ruth Early.

Vera and her husband spent their working life on the farm. Their first eight years were spent on the Ira Thornton farm in Maysville, Missouri, and then they moved to the Rockingham community, where they purchased the farm they lived on until they retired to Richmond in 1991.

Vera was active in the community, serving causes that were important to her – her faith, educational opportunities and farming. She was a long-time member of the Rockingham Church of the Brethren, serving as moderator for the final 17 years of the church’s being. She was the only woman to hold this position. Vera served on the Ray County Board of Services for 20 years and was a seamstress for many years. Vera was most proud of being a wife, a mother and a farmer. She was often outside with the farm animals, driving the tractor, and farming with her husband.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to either Heifer International or Shirkey Hospice in Richmond. They can be left at or mailed to Thurman Funeral Home, 507 E. Main St. – P.O. Box 190, Richmond, MO 64085.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Thurman Funeral Home in Richmond. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the funeral home. Interment will follow in Wakenda Cemetery, north of Hardin. Online condolences may be left

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