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Joe Neese, Jr., 87, died March 31, 2011. He was born July 4, 1923, eight miles south of Memphis, MO. He was the only child of Joseph Presley and Beatrice Irene (Mendenhall) Neese.

Joe attended Fort Donaldson Grade School and Memphis High School, graduating in the class of ’41.

Joe served in the Army’s 32nd Infantry (Red Arrow) Division in the Pacific theatre from 1944-46. He saw action in New Guinea, the Philippines, and in the occupation of Japan. He was part of a recon unit and attained the rank of Platoon Sergeant. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement.

At the end of the war, he returned to Scotland County on February 14, 1946, to his first love of farming and the love of his life, Jacquelyn Padgett. They were married in Memphis, MO on June 2, 1946. They raised crops, cattle, hogs, and sheep, as well as two children, Robert David and Mary Susan.

Joe chose to follow Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord as a boy and attended Antioch and Edinburgh churches. For over 60 years, Joe was a faithful member of the Rutledge Christian, and later the Rutledge New Testament church, where he served in many capacities, including a deacon and elder.

Joe served on the Rutledge School Board, the F.H.A. board, and as a board member and President of the Northeast Missouri Angus Association. He was a life member of the American Angus Association and also served on the state board of the Missouri Angus Association. Beginning in the 1960’s, he developed a herd of registered Angus cattle, which was his pride and joy. He continued to be actively involved and worked on the farm past his 85th birthday.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, daughter, Susan, wife, Jacquelyn, brothers-in-law, Clifford and Dick Padgett, and sisters-in-law, Mary Evelyn (Padgett) Childers and Pauline Padgett.

Joe is survived by one son, Robert David, and his wife, Angela, of Rutledge; three grandchildren, Jessica and husband Jack Goodwin of Topeka, KS, Vanessa of St. Louis, MO, and Michael of Los Angeles, CA; three great grandchildren, Brennon, Savannah, and Addisyn Goodwin of Topeka. Also surviving are sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, J.P. Childers of Memphis, Legene Padgett of Memphis, Barbara (Padgett) and Roger Briggs of Rushville, IL, and Hazel Padgett of Ozark, MO, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Funeral services were Monday, April 4, 2011, at the First Baptist Church in Memphis with the Reverends Charles Hammack and Jim Brown officiating. Music was provided by pianist, Pam Blaine; guitarist, Jim Brown and vocalist, Angela Neese. Nathan Briggs delivered the eulogy.

Burial followed the service in Memphis Cemetery. Casket bearers were John Cole, Leroy Huff, Garth Lloyd, Darrell Monroe, Daryl Navo, Glen Oberholtzer, Jim Washeck and Richard Wood. Graveside military honors were accorded.

Memorials may be made to the Scotland County Cancer Fund, the Christian Aid Ministries or the Campus Crusade for Christ Storyrunners and may be left at or mailed to Memphis Funeral Home, 378 South Market Street, Memphis, MO. 63555. Online condolences for the Neese family may be made by logging on

Arrangements are under the direction of Memphis Funeral Home.