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A. J. Vessell

COLUMBIA — Adrain Joseph (Joe) Vessell, who lived most of his life in Farmington, died Thursday, December 10, 2015, in Columbia, Missouri.

He was born December 29, 1924, in Crystal City, Missouri, the son of Joseph Kendrick and Anne (Edwards) Vessell. He was married on May 18, 1946, in Farmington, to Nesta Marie Wade, who survives at their home in Columbia.

As a student at Desloge High School, he was an award-winning multi-sport athlete. Following graduation he continued to participate in independent baseball, fast-pitch softball and basketball for many years. He was a successful volunteer basketball and baseball coach at St. Joseph High School in Farmington in the 1950’s and was a well-respected high school basketball referee in the southeast Missouri region for several decades. He remained an avid sports fan throughout his life.

Mr. Vessell began his employment career immediately following high school graduation at Merchants Dairy in Desloge, later to become Foremost Dairy. He was co-owner of Vess Beverages in Farmington, prior to beginning a long career at Farmington State Hospital, first as the Director of Activities and later as Unit Director. He retired in 1986. He was a longtime member of St. Joseph Catholic Church of Farmington and member of the Knights of Columbus.

He was preceded-in-death by his parents and four siblings: Ruth Mackenzie; Jean Owens; Ida Mae McKibbin and Paul Vessell.

Other survivors include eight children: Randy (and Fay) Vessell, of Blackwater, Missouri; Ron (and Nancy) Vessell, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; JoAnn Vessell, of Columbia, Missouri; Royce Vessell, of St. Louis, Missouri; Roger (and Joan) Vessell, of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Mary Kay “Katie” (and Mike) Bradley, of Columbia, Missouri. Patricia Gibbons, of Columbia, Missouri; Rodney Vessell, of Holts Summit, Missouri; as well as sixteen grandchildren: Courtney Tsao; Aaron Smith; Allison Smith; Joseph Vessell; Rachel Pocta; Lauren Pinkston; Krista O’Brien; Chad Vessell; Ryan Vessell; Brett Vessell; Alexa Vessel; Daine Zimmer; Jenna Gibbons; Ashley Graves; Shelby Vessell and Kayla Vessell. Also surviving are eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral Mass Monday, 11:00 a.m., December 14, 2015, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Farmington, with Fr. Rickey Valleroy and Deacon Mike Burch officiating. Interment at New Calvary Cemetery, Farmington, under the direction of Taylor Funeral & Cremation Service, Inc., Farmington. Memorials to: St. Joseph Catholic School, Farmington. Photo obituary and guestbook online at:



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