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Jesse Gene “Skip” Ward

Skip was born March 1 1935 and raised on a farm West of Bethany, to Frank and Wilhelmina (Hill) Ward and passed away Saturday, April 3, 2021 at his home in Bethany, Missouri.

He grew up on the family’s livestock farm with his sisters Bette and Barbara and brother, Bill. He attended school in Bethany, graduating with many a friend in the class of ’54.

Skip spent most of his career working for MODOT as a construction inspector, overseeing varying state highway projects from the construction of I-35 from Cameron to the State line to bridges over many of NW Missouri’s rivers.

In the 70’s and 80’s he owned and operated “Skip’s Place” in Bethany, where he never met a stranger, and truly enjoyed helping folks select their favorite beverage, or discuss their next rifle purchase. Many outdoor adventures and lifelong friendships began at Skip’s place.

His true enjoyment was the time he spent hunting with friends and family. From the early years, chasing his favorite pointer ‘Slick’ in pursuit of quail and pheasant, across NW Mo. to the later years tracking coyotes with his team of dogs lead by this beloved ‘July’ hound.  Yet his most favorite adventures were his yearly excursions to Colorado, Elk hunting. For over 35 years he never missed this camping and hunting ritual, his appaloosa ‘Bill’ was a favorite companion on these trips. They covered many a mile up and over the Continental Divide around Walden.

In 1955, Skip married Helen Bell and they had 3 children, Richard (who passed early in life), Randy and Lisa, both of Topeka, during their 25 years together. In 1984, Skip and Betty Templeton married and they enjoyed 37 years together until his passing. Skip spent many hours over the years with his grandson, Ian of Lawrence, Kansas, showing him how to hunt and fish, raise hounds and chickens and finding the secrets to getting the best out of life.

It was often said, by many that knew him, that he enjoyed life much more than most and always cherishing the chance to share a story over a cold drink or warm cup of coffee. If you knew Skip your life was better for it. He often helped many of us enjoy each day the way it should be.

Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday at Roberson Funeral Home, Bethany, MO. Burial will follow in White Oak Cemetery, New Hampton, MO. The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the White Oak Cemetery in care of Roberson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 46, Bethany, MO 64424. Online condolences may be left at www.robersonfuneralhome.com.

After the services, a celebration of life will be held at Lips to Hips, Bethany, MO where friends and family can share stories and memories. Please feel free to stop in and help celebrate a life well lived.

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