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Obituaries
David Edward Sinclair

BARNHART -- David Edward Sinclair of Barnhart entered into eternal rest February 10, 2019, at Scenic View Nursing Center in Herculaneum, Missouri, at the age of 56. He was born on April 20, 1962, at Festus, Missouri.

Prior to his illness, David had been a building plan estimator for the Jefferson County Lumber Company. He was a graduate of Windsor High School, Jefferson College and UMSL, where he earned his BA degree in Business Administration. He enjoyed sports, particularly football and basketball and he liked playing golf, but most of all he loved being a Dad. David was a member of Faith Baptist Church of Festus.

David is survived by his loving family, parents, Lonnie and Darlene Sinclair of Barnhart, Missouri; son, Jordan Sinclair of St Louis, Missouri; daughter, Brittany (John) Kitners of Festus, Missouri; sisters, Debra (Larry) Kohler of Barnhart, Missouri and Sue (Traci Reach) Sinclair of Metamora, Illinois; and a granddaughter, Bailey Kitners.

Memorial Gathering is scheduled from 10-11 a.m., Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Faith Baptist Church, 11835 County Road CC in Festus, Missouri. A Memorial Service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Bismarck, Missouri, at a later date. Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Building Fund at Faith Baptist Church of Festus, Missouri. Arrangements are under the direction of the Mahn Twin City Chapel of Festus, Missouri. Share your condolences and read obituary online at mahnfuneralhome.com.


National
AP
The Valentine's Day dilemma

Every year, millions of couples wrestle with Cupid over the best way to show their true feelings about Valentine's Day and the person they love. Some think that it should be a national holiday, and others think it should be ignored or at least altered for those who are not in relationships. Millions all over the country now celebrate it as "Quirky Alone Day," and this alternative is only gaining in popularity.

That being said, for millions of people in loving relationships, celebrating Valentine's Day is a must. And for many people, that means doing it in a major way. But can all these expectations rob the holiday of joy? It's no fun when you feel like you have to do something the way your partner wants it or risk triggering a tantrum. For this holiday to bring joy, taking any action has to come from the heart, whether it be writing a card, offering breakfast in bed or flowers, going out for dinner or buying an expensive gift.

Some couples can't afford the up-priced menus and flowers (roses are at least triple the usual rate), and others just don't like the idea of being told when to be romantic. Most people aren't light switches and can't be turned on by a holiday that has gotten greater scrutiny over the past decade or so. And these couples are recreating Valentine's Day.

My almost-a-daughter and her husband are of that mind. They don't go out on Valentine's Day and don't buy flowers or cards, although they might make some for each other with the kids and do a little celebration just for themselves. For this family, doing-up Cupid's cotillion just seems like a waste of money. So, they will save their money for their regular date night and have a little extra cash to enjoy it with.

They are being practical while still allowing the spirit of the day to flow through their lives, rather than take it over. There are many levels to celebrating any holiday, and how you do it is totally up to you. That's right, you can make up your own holiday and plan it any way you want.

There are millions of traditionalists out there who enjoy and want to celebrate the day of love in any and every way they can. If it's something you enjoy and can afford, then the sky's the limit. And if you don't have a lot to spend right now, you don't have to stop celebrating, but you can get creative and be mindful about what you're spending.

For us, the day will begin as it always does — I will bring her tea in bed. I got a card at Trader Joe's and a little gift, and we will go out to dinner, but at a place that doesn't have a prefix menu and where they know our names. We will have a glass of champagne, and I will invite her to order whatever she wants. And that will be our perfect Valentine's evening out.

Acknowledging Valentine's Day in some way, shape or form is important to many of us. If you're in a relationship, I strongly urge you to talk about what works for you and your partner. Come up with compromises and alternatives that fit your lifestyle. I actually think that doing it your own way is the most romantic way of celebrating your love.

Combining a conversation with your celebration will only make you closer and help you manage any expectations and avoid hurting feelings. It can be a fun day — enjoy!

___

Dr. Barton Goldsmith is a psychotherapist. Follow him on Twitter @BartonGoldsmith.


Advice
Sense & Sensitivity

DEAR HARRIETTE: My son is a sophomore in high school. He is a great student and generally a good kid. I discovered the other day that he has been smoking weed after finding one of those vape pens in his jacket pocket.

Now, I am no prude. When I was in high school, my friends and I tried it, too. But as a parent, I need to discourage this behavior. I want my kid to continue to be a good student and not to get distracted. Smoking weed can easily distract him from his studies -- not to mention, it is not legal in our state yet. What can I say to him that he will listen to? -- No More Weed

DEAR NO MORE WEED: Sit down with your son and tell him that you want to share your concerns -- without judgment. Be honest. Tell him that you know that he has been smoking weed -- or at least vaping the oil version of it. Make it clear that you do not think this is a healthy or safe choice for him, especially since he is a good student who needs to focus on his studies. Point out that many people who smoke weed get distracted and often spend less time on their homework. Ask him if he thinks that the consequences are worth it. You should also tell him that you tried weed when you were a teenager. Experimenting is normal, but you want to encourage your son to be mindful of what he might try, let alone continue to use.

Tell him you know that you cannot control his actions, even though you can create consequences if he does things that you do not allow. Make it clear that your intention is to protect and guide him to smart decisions based on all that you have learned. You can also encourage your son to do his own research so that he can understand for himself the pros and cons of his actions.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a fairly large apartment building that, unfortunately, has thin walls. Over the past few months, I have heard my across-the-hall neighbors argue on a regular basis. It is disturbing and disruptive for us, because we can hear every word. Worse, though, the other night it sounded like the couple got into a physical fight. It sounded awful and violent. I heard it, but I didn't know what to do. I hope nobody got hurt, but I'm not sure when to call the police. I don't want to be that nosy neighbor who possibly gets somebody arrested, but I'm worried for these people. And I'm tired of having to listen to them. -- Violent Neighbors

DEAR VIOLENT NEIGHBORS: If you believe you hear or witness a crime, it is your duty to report it to the authorities. That includes calling the police if you believe that your neighbors are physically fighting. You can submit your complaint anonymously if that will make you feel more comfortable. But think about it for a moment -- you would be sick with grief if you didn't speak up and either person ended up terribly hurt or even dead. Report it, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

DEAR HARRIETTE: Now that the weather is so cold, I am worried about my mom, who is old and lives by herself. The other day, when it was well below freezing, she told me that her heat wasn't working well. I have invited her to stay with me for a few weeks -- until the cold blows over, just to be safe -- but she says she wants to stay home. I am not asking her to move in with me permanently. I know she values her independence, but I don't feel like I can care for her properly when we are not in the same house during this period. I have a husband and young children to make sure I get to school, so I cannot move in with her. What should I do? -- Mom in Need

DEAR MOM IN NEED: You are experiencing that moment in a parent-child relationship when roles reverse, and it can be extremely challenging and emotional. Your responsibility now is to require your mother to do something for her health that she doesn't prefer. You should bring her to your home during this cold spell. Let her know that you must do this for her, even if she doesn't like it.

Remind her of your childhood, when she made you wear thermals or extra layers during the winter. What about times when she wouldn't let you go outside and play with your friends for fear of frostbite? Bring up whatever else you remember that will illustrate for her some decision she made when you were a child and needed her guidance. Tell her that it is your turn now to care for her, and you will not allow her stubbornness to lead to her freezing in her own home. She has to come with you -- short-term -- until the weather breaks. Then, pack her bag and go.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am the parent who is proud that my children follow my directions and make smart choices, at least most of the time. So what I am now seeing is a bit disturbing. In this ice-cold weather, I told my teenage daughter to add a sweater layer to her clothing so that she would be warm enough when she went to school. Pretty direct, right? I reminded her three times because I know that she doesn't think about outerwear the way that adults do.

As my daughter was walking out the door to go to school, I asked to see the sweater layer. She rushed to her room for a moment, zipping up her coat. I asked again to see the sweater. She then pulled out a wrinkly sweatshirt from her jacket that was clearly not on her body. I made her put it on and then asked why she thought it was OK to lie to me and not do what she was told. She shrugged. This disturbs me on so many levels. What can I do to get her to follow such a basic direction? -- Teenage Defiance

DEAR TEENAGE DEFIANCE: This is why you check and double-check your teenager's behavior. What she says may not be what she has done. In your daughter's case, she needs to know that if she lies to you again, she gets a privilege taken away. That could be that she has to come home directly after school without hanging out with friends, or when she's at home, you restrict her mobile devices.

By losing what she values most, she may start to get the message that you mean business. You can also continue to remind her why you make the requirements that you do. Wearing warm clothes in the winter is a basic function of being a healthy human being. That goes for cool teenagers, too!

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going out with a really nice guy for about a year. He spends the night at my house occasionally. I like that part, but what I hate is that his feet stink. When he takes off his shoes, the room fills with the smell of dirty socks. It's gross. I now light candles when I think he's going to come over, but that feels like a ridiculous mask for the funk. I need to tell him. What should I say? -- Stinky Feet

DEAR STINKY FEET: I may run the risk of sounding sexist here, but I am going to tell you something that I learned early on that seems to be true for many men before they get into long-term relationships. In the spirit of being well-balanced, I will add that perhaps it is true for single women, too. I don't know.

Here it is: Many men have to be taught to be more sensitive to grooming and hygiene at the beginning of relationships. If they live alone or with other guys as roommates, they might not wash their clothes regularly, or they wear socks multiple times before washing. Generally, bachelors may not be as fastidious as men in relationships.

Enter a partner. This is you. If you want your guy to pay closer attention to his dirty socks, tell him. Be kind and use humor. Let him know that his socks are more fragrant than the dinner on the table or whatever else has an obvious aroma. Ask him when he last washed those socks. You don't necessarily have to offer to wash them, but you may need to point him in the direction of more careful grooming. Let him know you want him to be clean for you. If you suggest it in an enticing way rather than a judgmental one, the smell may go away!

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend speaks Spanish and English. His family is from Mexico, and his parents speak Spanish only. Whenever we are together with his family, he serves as translator. I know virtually no Spanish, and they about as much English. I feel terrible about this. I want to be able to communicate with them directly. We smile a lot and certain messages get across, but no real language is happening. I feel like I should take a Spanish class, but I doubt it would teach me everyday Spanish. Plus, I don't know if we are going to stay together. Is it worth it to invest in learning another language? -- Learning Spanish

DEAR LEARNING SPANISH: Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, so it will not be a waste for you to learn it. It certainly will endear you to his family for trying.

You are right that a basic Spanish class will teach you grammatically correct speech versus the vernacular, but it is a start. You can ask your boyfriend to help you with sayings that are particular to his family and community. This can be a lot of fun for the two of you and will surely make him feel happy that you care that much.

You can also take a course or search online for support. One site you may want to visit is Fluentu.com, which has sections dedicated to slang.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106


Advice
Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I both got divorced about the same time, but his took much longer to become final. It is finally over, so we have begun talking seriously about marriage and starting a family.

During one of our conversations, he mentioned that his ex-wife doesn't intend to change back to her maiden name. I was shocked because she took advantage of him financially and was emotionally abusive all during their marriage. They had no kids, so it has nothing to do with her wanting to share the same name with them. They were married only a few years, so she isn't well established under that name, either.

When I asked him why she wasn't changing it, he told me she said his family was always nicer to her than her own. I suggested he ask her to adopt another last name of her choosing if she doesn't want to go back to her maiden name rather than be falsely associated with a family she is no longer a part of (or welcome in). He won't consider taking on my last name, so I'm thinking about keeping my own maiden name after our marriage until she changes hers. Am I overreacting, or are two "Mrs." too many? -- SOON TO MARRY IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR SOON TO MARRY: You are overreacting. When a man has divorced, his ex can retain his last name if she wishes. Some do it because they think it may be to their advantage socially to be associated with the family. I have heard of others doing it because they didn't like their maiden name.

Please keep in mind that after your wedding you will -- if you wish -- become "Mrs. John Smith." The ex can use the last name, but will have to use HER OWN first name with it (Ms. Jane Smith) without reference to your husband.

Of course, if you wish to keep your maiden name, you are free to do it -- many women do. But if you make that decision, please do it for any other reason than because of the one you put in your letter to me.

DEAR ABBY: My mother used to go nuts anytime the cameras came out. No matter the setting, the celebration or how lovely she looked, Mom would fling her hand up and yell, "Get that thing out of my face!" even when other family members were in the shot. One day, in exasperation, I finally told her, "Ya know, Mom, someday the only pictures your descendants will have of you will be of an angry, scowling woman."

Abby, please remind your readers we aren't trying to persecute them when we want a picture. We just want to hold, share and save photos of the people we love the most, and the kindness and love in their eyes shouldn't be obscured by their hands. -- FINALLY GOT THROUGH TO MOM

DEAR FINALLY: Although we live in a self-promoting and selfie culture, many individuals feel the way your mother does -- like a deer in the headlights when a camera is aimed their way. That said, the point you made was valid, and I am pleased that she listened. It is for that reason I'm printing your letter.

DEAR ABBY: After two years of dating, my boyfriend and I recently got engaged. We're in our 30s and grew up in the same town. It will be a second marriage for both of us. We were each previously married close to 10 years. I have four children; he has none.

He loves my children like they are his own, and they love him. His family was nice to me at the beginning, thinking that it wouldn't last. I know they aren't fond of the fact I have four kids, and they think he should find a woman who doesn't have any.

We have been very happy together, but when we got engaged, his family got very upset because he didn't ask them how they felt or tell them he was going to do it. I think they would have discouraged it immediately.

I feel awful because he's very close with his family. He always backs me 100 percent, but I don't want to tear them apart. I don't want him to not want to see them. He's very family oriented, and it breaks my heart that he wants all of us to be close. They aren't outright rude, but they make me feel uncomfortable, like I'm not good enough for their son/brother.

All of a sudden, his brothers/sister and their spouses have stopped talking to me. They have deleted me on social media. We have never gotten into an argument or anything, so I'm at a loss. Should I marry him? -- GETTING THE COLD SHOULDER

DEAR GETTING: This is something you and your fiance must decide together with your eyes wide open. You say his family hasn't been outright rude, but I beg to differ. Making people feel uncomfortable, giving them the silent treatment and unfriending them is rude.

These appear to be extremely controlling people. You need to decide if you can coexist with in-laws like this, and your fiance needs to decide which family is more important -- the one he will form with you and your children, or the one he was born into. He may not be able to have both. You have my sympathy.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a sophomore college student who has finally settled in with a group of friends I love and really connect with. However, one girl in our group throws full-on temper tantrums where she cries, storms off or exerts negative energy to the point that it ruins the night for the rest of us. These fits of temper seem to be caused by anything and everything, and have reached a point where my friends and I feel anxious being around her. What do we do? And how do we deal with someone who cries at the tiniest of perceived "slights"? -- EXHAUSTED IN COLLEGE

DEAR EXHAUSTED: The behavior you have described isn't normal. The girl appears to be extremely fragile emotionally. Whoever is closest to her should point out to her privately that all of you are concerned that her outbursts may be a sign of depression, and suggest she talk to someone at the student health center about them.

DEAR ABBY: A dear friend and her husband were at a Broadway theater production. Because of a spinal cord injury, she uses either a walker or wheelchair. During intermission, when she went into the ladies room, the line was quite long. Not one woman offered to let her move ahead. What's the protocol? I thought each person in there should have deferred to her.

I had tickets the same night, and when I saw her in line I walked up and asked her if I could intervene to move her in faster, but she said she didn't want to bother anyone. I stayed with her and didn't speak up because I didn't want to embarrass her. I would appreciate your view on this. -- TRYING TO HELP

DEAR TRYING TO HELP: My view is that someone with an obvious disability should be offered the next available stall, and if the person uses a walker or a wheelchair, the handicap stall should be offered to her.

DEAR ABBY: Something happened at work that has me traumatized. I work at a retirement house for a convent. The nuns are sweet, kind and easy to get along with. But last week while I was using the bathroom, a nun decided to be a Peeping Tom while I was on the toilet. She laughed at me in a taunting manner saying, "I can see you!" I screamed at her to stop, but she just kept looking and laughing at me. When she finally left, I was in shock.

I reported the nun to my supervisor as soon as I could, but later in the day I was still so humiliated and upset that I ended up having an anxiety attack. I can't stop thinking about it. It left me feeling disgusted with the nun and with myself.

I want to report her to the police, but I don't want drama at work. This is my only source of income. I need my job in order to provide for my kids, but I no longer feel comfortable working in a place where there are perverted nuns who don't respect people's privacy.

What do I do? I'm confused and angry, spending my days in my home crying and contemplating whether to file a police report. Please give me some advice. -- TRAUMATIZED IN THE EAST

DEAR TRAUMATIZED: I hope you realize that the behavior the retired nun exhibited is that of a 4-year-old. She may suffer from dementia. While the woman may have had good judgment in her younger years, clearly she does not now. It may be the reason she is living in that retirement community.

I'm curious about how your supervisor reacted when you told her what happened. If you cannot move beyond the trauma, talk to the director of the home and ask for counseling so you can regain some perspective. Filing a police report may not be the way to go.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are getting ready to retire. We are both employed and will have continued access to health insurance through our employers in retirement. My insurance covers her even if I predecease her, unless she remarries.

My wife now says she wants to carry her own health insurance because she feels she might want to remarry sometime after my death. Her new interest about remarrying bothers me, and I feel somewhat guilty about that.

What has me depressed is the question of who she would want to be buried beside -- her new husband or me. We have been married for 38 years, and the possibility of having a final resting place without her seems very lonely and like I am being rejected. It almost feels like a divorce. These are thoughts and feelings I can neither shake off nor rationalize. Your thoughts? -- LIFE GOES ON

DEAR LIFE GOES ON: Your wife is trying to keep her options open, which, although it isn't sentimental, makes sense. There are no guarantees that if you predecease her, she will be swept off her feet, so you may be worrying needlessly. If you haven't told her how you feel, it might put your mind at ease if you do.

DEAR ABBY: My husband invited his good friend (an artist) to stay with us for two nights because he is coming to our city to give a speech. He accepted.

We tried to contact him two weeks ago, one week ago, three days ago, yesterday and this morning to find out what time he'll arrive so we can plan our schedule and prepare the food. He still hasn't gotten back to us. I had planned to go to church and a concert afterward. My husband doesn't want me to leave.

I am very frustrated about the man's lack of consideration. My husband considers him a good friend, but after the way we are being treated, I'm not convinced. -- STILL WAITING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR STILL WAITING: I don't blame you for being miffed. Good friends don't treat each other so rudely. They answer their messages and show up when they're expected. Unless the man was in the hospital, solitary confinement or dead, there's no excuse for his poor manners. Because your husband considers him a good friend, he should have stayed home to welcome "the artist" and let you off the hook.

DEAR ABBY: My husband of 10 years is in the process of retiring from the military and is now re-evaluating "procedures" and "policies" of everything -- including our marriage. I'm trying to respect his needs in an effort to help him make sense of things. However, there are times when I feel some of his new rules are hurtful or harmful and need to be negotiated or evaluated. (By the way, in general, I do not encourage or support the idea of "rules" in marriage aside from fidelity; communication should be the rule in my opinion, but I digress.)

His latest rule is that I need to be covered when getting ready in the morning ("It's not proper to be so comfortable naked, and if you respect me, you would do as I ask"). He said he thinks I look amazing now, but then he added: "Think about when you are your grandmother's age; you won't be pleasant to look at."

As his partner, I feel we should make each other feel comfortable in the buff, and it's harmful to ask our partner to cover up for any reason in the sanctity of our home. We have no children and live alone, and I have always gotten ready in the mornings this way, behind closed doors, where no one but my husband can see me. Abby, can you guide us to resolution on this matter? -- NOTHING TO HIDE IN GEORGIA

DEAR NOTHING: As a military man, your husband is used to rules and structure, which are necessary in that environment. This, however, is civilian life. Before allowing him to make any more rules or institute a change in dress code (undress code), allow me to "guide" you directly to the office of a licensed marriage counselor because, unless there is something you have omitted from your letter, your husband is a mile off base.

DEAR ABBY: Recently my middle sister started dating my younger sister's ex-boyfriend. My younger sister dated this guy in college (10 years ago) and really cared for him. It ended when she found out he had cheated on her. Younger sister is now married and has a small child.

Middle sister started dating this ex a few months ago and really likes him. He has been over to see my parents, and they are supportive of the relationship. The problem is, no one wants to tell my younger sister for fear of her being mad.

I talk to her almost daily. I'm afraid that once she finds out, which is bound to happen, she will be more upset with me (and my parents) for hiding it from her than the fact that they're dating. Should I tell her or is it not my place?

I don't want to feel like I am lying or hiding anything anymore, but I also feel like my middle sister should admit it, which she said she isn't ready to do because she doesn't want to say anything unless this turns into something serious. What should I do? -- CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE

DEAR CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: From where I sit, you have sized the situation up accurately. Your younger sister will be mortified when she realizes that everyone knew her sister has been dating the ex for months and it was kept from her. Talk to your middle sister. Insist that the sneaking around stop, because it could cause a permanent breach in the family.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 17-year-old girl and recently came out to my parents, who are stuck in the "it's just a phase" mindset. I used to be able to talk with my mom about everything, but now when I talk about my sexuality, she gets quiet and dismissive. It's frustrating. I understand I'm still young and learning things about myself, but I feel like I don't have their support as much as I used to. Help! -- NEEDS SUPPORT IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR NEEDS SUPPORT: What your mother may not realize is that children usually know they are gay long before they find the courage to talk about it. Young people who receive negative messages about what it means to be gay are -- not surprisingly -- less likely to be open about their sexuality because they don't want to disappoint or be negatively judged.

You might be able to talk more effectively with your parents if you contact PFLAG and get some information. This is an organization whose mission is to help LGBTQ people and their families build bridges of understanding. The website is pflag.org.

DEAR ABBY: I have a problem saying no. I live 45 minutes from work, and because I'm a friendly person, people constantly ask me to give them rides. Today, two co-workers who live nowhere near me asked for rides home. (I already gave one a lift to work.) Another asked me to take him to the grocery store. I like being helpful, but this happens all the time and it's too much. Tonight I'll be more than an hour late getting home.

I was raised with a strong sense of moral obligation and good manners, but I'm tired and just want to go home. I feel guilty for even thinking this. What do I do? -- YES-GIRL IN THE EAST

DEAR YES-GIRL: You should not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Saying no does not make you a bad person.

There are ways to get the message across without seeming heartless. One would be to tell the truth -- that you are too tired, you have something else planned or you don't want to be an hour late getting home. While it may seem uncomfortable in the beginning, with practice you will find it empowering.

DEAR ABBY: My middle-aged younger sister is 12 months into a midlife crisis. She has divorced her husband and abdicated her role as a mother, preferring instead to be a buddy to her teenage sons. She has started sleeping around, smoking pot and drinking -- a lot. Needless to say, our family is very concerned.

This behavior is nothing like her. When she does take our calls, she lies about what she's doing. We have caught her doing it, and so far we have just held our tongues. I'm unsure whether confronting her about her behavior would help or hurt her.

I love my sister and always will, but I have lost a lot of respect for her, and our relationship has been damaged. Should I tell her I know she is acting reckless and being dishonest? -- HELPING OR HURTING IN THE SOUTH

DEAR HELPING OR HURTING: Yes! By remaining silent you are enabling her to continue.

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Ken," decided to have his mother move in with us without first asking me how I felt about it. I don't want to be insensitive. I know she has nowhere else to go. The problem is, she's the most domineering person I have ever known. If she enters a room and doesn't like a picture, she'll move it or get rid of it without asking.

When I tried to warn my husband that this wouldn't be easy, his response was, "You just don't like my mother." I do like her, but I don't know that I can live with her. I feel like my marriage is hanging by a thread. Any advice? -- SERIOUSLY STRESSED-OUT

DEAR SERIOUSLY STRESSED: Your mother-in-law is acting like YOUR house is HER house. Set her straight. And if your husband tells you, "You just don't like my mother," tell him that it isn't that you don't like her; it's that you don't like the way she's acting and you will no longer tolerate it.

DEAR ABBY: When is it appropriate to correct someone's spelling and/or punctuation errors? Our pastor writes a message in our church's monthly newsletter and invariably makes several grammar or spelling mistakes. The church secretary also makes mistakes in our weekly bulletin and never catches the pastor's errors. In addition, the day care personnel at our church make mistakes in the written lessons for the children.

I have offered to proofread for our pastor and secretary, but they never take me up on my offer. I grew up in a time when accuracy mattered, but nowadays many folks think that if one can make oneself understood, that is good enough. I'm interested in what you would advise. -- FUSSY WRITER IN MARYLAND

DEAR WRITER: You were kind to volunteer to edit the bulletins and newsletters, but you can't force the pastor and church secretary to accept your generous offer. However, because young children model the behavior of the adults around them, my advice to the parents would be to remove theirs from any program in which the day care personnel are so poorly educated they can't use proper English.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for 22 years. We've been together for 26. We've had our ups and downs, and separated for three months back in 2008, but we went to marriage counseling and got back together.

I have recently realized that my husband is an accomplished liar and has been from day one. To top it off, he lies about stupid things, which makes me wonder what important things he's lying about. When I express my feelings about this, he swears he will never lie again, blah blah blah -- and damn if I don't catch him again! Is this marriage doomed because he can't stop lying? And how do I trust anything he ever says to me? -- UNTRUSTING IN MARYLAND

DEAR UNTRUSTING: Successful marriages are based on trust and communication. Yours is in serious trouble.

Most people who lie do so because they are trying to make themselves look better or are not proud of whatever it is they are attempting to cover up. However, those who lie about "stupid" things may be compulsive liars who can't control the impulse. If your spouse falls into this category, a licensed mental health professional may be able to help him overcome his problem, but there are no guarantees.

DEAR ABBY: My elderly mother, my daughter, her boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Las Vegas. Because of the costs involved, we are considering sharing a room with two queen beds. The plan would be for me and my mother to share one bed, and my daughter and her boyfriend to share the other.

My wife thinks this is weird -- that my mother and I should share a bed. I explained that it will be a queen bed, and I don't understand why she thinks it is strange. This will save us around $1,000 that a second room would cost. What do you think? -- RALPH IN OHIO

DEAR RALPH: Is saving the money more important to you than privacy, comfort and propriety? Your wife may have been thinking along those lines when she suggested the "boys" sleep with the boys and the "girls" sleep together. Before rendering an opinion, I'd have to know what your daughter, her boyfriend and your mother think about this arrangement, because unless you all agree, it might make more sense to request a cot or bring an air mattress with you.

P.S. If one of you gets lucky in Vegas, maybe you can afford a second room.

DEAR ABBY: After years of nagging about thank-you notes, this is how I'm encouraging my younger family members to acknowledge gifts: We have the child create a big thank-you note or draw a picture, hold it with a big smile along with the gift and take a photo, which we send electronically.

We made a rule that they can't play with the gift until the thank-you is done, and even little folks understand it. It's fun and immediate. They usually get a quick note of appreciation back, and the giver gets a keepsake of the occasion. -- NEW AGE GRANDMA

DEAR GRANDMA: That's a wonderful idea, not only because it utilizes technology, but also because it requires SOME effort on the part of the little ones. Good for you.

DEAR ABBY: My 25-year-old niece still lives at home. She works full time and attends college online. She's a hard worker who doesn't do drugs or engage in risky behavior.

I pay her a bonus for every A she earns, and I also pay for her health insurance. While I gladly pay the college bonuses, I have misgivings about continuing to pay for her health insurance, even though I can afford it. She doesn't make much money at her job, but she goes out to restaurants and bars often, attends concerts and takes trips out of state three or four times a year.

When I was her age, I also went to college, worked a low-paying job and lived with my mother. Although I went out with friends often, I never wasted money on those other things -- especially vacations. Should I continue paying her health insurance for her? I don't know if I'm being judgmental or enabling irresponsible behavior. -- PROTECTIVE IN HOUSTON

DEAR PROTECTIVE: You are obviously a generous person, but yes, you are being judgmental. Your niece is working, studying and living a clean and healthy life. You had a social life when you were your niece's age; you should not begrudge her having hers.

Going to restaurants, bars and concerts is normal for a young woman her age. However, if you prefer not to subsidize the vacations because you feel they are excessive, discuss your feelings with her before deciding what to do.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have lived like nomads for the last few years. We have bought, sold and moved many times for all sorts of silly reasons. Our 5-year-old daughter finally started school, yet we don't feel at home here. We now realize buying and selling may not be for us, so we are renting, but we still aren't happy.

We moved here to be close to my oldest and dearest friend, whose kids are now grown, and to my sister, who hardly talks to us or sees us. My husband's sister and her husband's family love us and treat us well. They have suggested we should move by them. They have kids our daughter's age. The only issue is possibly not finding a good home or school. Private school could be an option.

Would another move be bad? Should we make a final move before our daughter gets vested in school and friends? It would put us within walking distance to several families we spend a lot of time with and who love us very much. We are afraid of judgment from everyone. Please help us sort it out. -- HOPEFUL NOMADS IN ILLINOIS

DEAR NOMADS: Forget about the judgments. You will survive them. The older your daughter becomes, the more difficult moving away from the people she knows will be for her. If you are going to move to an environment more compatible for you, your husband and your daughter, the time to do it is now, so her education and social relationships will not be as disrupted as they would be when she is older.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a widowed senior who has been dating a very kind man, "Ben," for three years. He's retired; I am not. He does things for and with me, and we enjoy traveling together.

The problem is, Ben usually starts drinking about 3 p.m. at the neighborhood bar. I'm welcome to join him, but I prefer to work at my job or volunteer in the community. By the grace of God, Ben has made it home safely every night, but I'm afraid he will eventually hurt someone.

My son came home for a month because of a job change, and tonight he found Ben passed out in the front yard. I told my son I was sorry, and he said not to be, but he does not want his family -- my grandchildren -- around when Ben is like this.

I am so embarrassed. I would miss this relationship, but I'm wondering if you think I should end it. -- MISSING THE GOOD IN HIM

DEAR MISSING THE GOOD: It must have been clear to you for some time that Ben has a serious drinking problem that needs to be addressed. Whether you should end the relationship depends upon whether he is willing to admit that he has a problem and is willing to do something about it.

Because Ben's drinking is now affecting you and, by extension, your family, it's time to confront him and give him a choice -- get help or find another lady friend. There are Alcoholics Anonymous groups worldwide and in almost every community. Steer Ben in that direction, and while you're at it, locate the nearest Al-Anon group for yourself. You will find it both sympathetic and helpful. These groups are as close as your phone directory or your computer. Visit al-anon.org.

DEAR ABBY: I recently utilized a national ancestry company to determine my heritage. I also provided kits to my adult children thinking it would be a fun exercise we all could share. Unfortunately, my good deed came with unexpected consequences.

According to the results, my youngest son isn't related to me. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, my ex-wife had an affair 25 years ago.

What do I do now? Should I confront my ex to verify the affair and learn the identity of my son's father? How do we tell my son? Should we? How do we handle our families? Keep it a secret? I would appreciate your guidance. -- UNKNOWN FAMILY TREE

DEAR UNKNOWN: Before making accusations or announcements, it is important that you determine the accuracy of the test to make absolutely sure the results are conclusive. If a second test verifies the first, your son should be informed because he has a right to know his familial medical history -- and HE should talk to his mother about who his biological father is.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069


Obituaries
Richard Wayne Barnes

DESLOGE -- Richard Wayne Barnes, 74, of Columbia, formerly of Desloge, passed away on Sunday, February 10, 2019, at University Hospital in Columbia. Wayne was born on March 6, 1944, to the late Herschel Ivern and Dorothy Mae (Marshall) Barnes in St. Louis. He was united in marriage to Connie Sue (Clay) Barnes on June 16, 1967, at Leadington Free Will Baptist Church. Wayne proudly served his country in The United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War (1963 – 1967). He spent 33 years working with Missouri Natural Gas Company in Festus and Farmington and retired in 2002. Prior to moving to Columbia in 2018, he and Connie were active members of the Leadington Free Will Baptist Church. They attended Rejoice Free Will Baptist Church in Columbia, Missouri. Wayne was diagnosed with leukemia in 2016 and approached his treatment and subsequent challenges with courage, strong faith in God, optimism, and determination. Although complications from leukemia took his physical body, Wayne won his battle. His kind, loving spirit lives through those who knew and loved him.

In addition to his parents, Wayne was preceded in death by his sister, Judy Barnes; and brother-in-law, David “Sonny” Bates.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Connie, of Columbia; his son, Shawn and wife Courtney Barnes, granddaughters, Rory and Collynn, of Columbia; sisters, Marilyn Bates and Carolyn Roussin, both of Farmington; sister-in-law, Cathy Davis and her husband Roy, of Farmington; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

Aside from being a loving husband and father, Wayne cherished his role of grandfather most of all. Rory and Collynn Barnes were a source of immense joy and laughter for him. He left a beautiful, indelible mark with “his girls,” whom will miss time spent with their PawPaw, but have memories to last their lifetimes.

Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2019, at C.Z. Boyer & Son Funeral Home in Desloge. Visitation will resume at 9 a.m. until service time of 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at C.Z. Boyer & Son Chapel with Rev. Cody Alley officiating. Interment will follow at Hillview Memorial Gardens in Farmington. In lieu of flowers, Wayne’s family suggest memorial contributions to the Leadington Free Will Baptist Church Building Fund or Kate’s Heart (https://www.katesheart.org/). View obituary and share condolences online at www.czboyer.com.


Obituaries
Shane Miquel Littlejohn

FARMINGTON -- Shane Miquel Littlejohn of Farmington, passed away February 7, 2019, in Farmington at the age of 39. He was born October 20, 1979, at Festus, Missouri.

Shane graduated from Farmington High School in 1999. He was employed in the construction industry and enjoyed carpentry projects in his spare time. Shane loved the peacefulness of the country where he liked to fish and drive around the countryside on his four wheeler. He had a good heart and was known to generously help others who were in need.

Survivors include his foster parents, Vicki and Dwaine Pinkston, siblings, Megan Crowell, Kortney Nichols and Alex Pinkston; his aunt and uncle, Kathy and Tom Donze and a host of cousins and good friends.

Arrangements for a memorial gathering and service are pending under the direction of Cozean Memorial Chapel. Share your condolences at cozeanfuneralhome.com.


Obituaries
Mitchell Horton

BISMARCK -- Mitchell Horton, 49, of Leadwood was born February 2, 1970, to the Late Ralph Erving and Norma (Horton) Armsby. He passed away February 8, 2019, in Farmington, Missouri.

Mitchell is survived by his mother, Norma Armsby; sons, Cameron and Connor Horton; daughter, Cailee Horton; ex-wife, Laura McClain; brothers, William Armsby, Micheal, Bobby, and Richard Horton; and sister, Debra Moore.

A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. until time of funeral service at 1 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, 2019, ln the Coplin Family Funeral Home Chapel of Bismarck, with Rev. Mike Barton Officiating.


Obituaries
Jo Annette 'Joey' Govreau

DESLOGE -- Joey Govreau, 65, of Farmington, passed away February 10, 2019, at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She was born June 21, 1953, to the late Cledith and Elaine (Deremo) Reeder. Joey taught elementary school in Viburnum for seventeen years and taught Sunday school at the First Baptist Church of Viburnum. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Park Hills.

She is survived by the love of her life, Joe Govreau, who she married, June 21, 1975; children, Allison Menley of Farmington, Joshua Govreau and wife Natalie of Cape Girardeau; five grandchildren, Gracie and Tatum Govreau, Abbey, Britney, and Kensey Menley; brother, Larry Reeder and wife Dianne of Farmington; a number of nieces and nephews also survive.

Visitation will be held at C.Z. Boyer and Son Funeral Home in Desloge, Wednesday, February 13, 2019, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. The visitation will resume at First Baptist Church in Park Hills, Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 10 a.m. until service at 11 a.m. Reverend Josh Wilson will be officiating. Interment will follow at St. Francois Memorial Park in Bonne Terre. Memorials may be directed to First Baptist Church of Park Hills or Diabetes Association. Please view full obituary and share condolences online at www.czboyer.com.