James E. "Jim" Little

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James E. "Jim" Little

After a courageous battle with cancer and Alzheimer's, Mr. James E. "Jim" Little, age 84, of Springfield, Mo., passed away Sunday evening, November 11, 2012 in Springfield, Mo. Jim was born on July 3, 1928 in Clever, Mo., to Howard M. and Grace Earline (Wade) Little.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Jackie Kerr; and his father in law and mother in law, Kenneth and Leah Felker.

Surviving Jim are his wife of 25 years, Carolyn Little; a daughter and son in law, Cindy and Ron Murphy, Clever; a son and daughter in law, Marty and Julie Little, Nixa, a son, Monty Little, Rogers, Ark., a son and daughter in law, Joey and Claudia Little, Clever, and a son and daughter in law, Yancey and Wendi Little, Nixa; a step daughter and son in law, Diana and Wes Weeks, Shawnee, Kansas; a stepson and daughter in law, Tony and Stacy Vienhage, Springfield; Jim's grandchildren, who were his pride and joy, Ryan, Taylor, Madison, Dawson, Harper, Cade, and Kannon Little, triplets, Chelsie Brooks, Chance and Zack Phillips, Bryce, Blake and Bailey Atagi, Carter and Evan Vienhage, Laura Bingham and Charley Boyd, and Joe Dillstrom; four special great grandchildren, Krislynn and Kloi Little, and Chase and Chesney Brooks; a sister in law and brother in law, Cindy and Dave Samford, and their sons, Kyle and Kory, Springfield; plus a host of nieces and nephews (including Stacey Kerr and Lacey Flood); and many cousins and friends.

Jim grew up in the Clever United Methodist Church where his membership remains. For the past several years, he has attended Wesley United Methodist Church in Springfield with his wife, Carolyn, who is a member.

Jim is well-known locally, nationally, and internationally for his years in men's fast pitch softball. He played and coached local teams from 1958 and throughout the sixties and seventies and again in the early nineties leading several teams to place in the ASA (Amateur Softball Association) National Tournaments. In 1993, his team, which included his four sons, placed third in the National Tournament in Decatur, Ill. He was selected twice to coach the men's fast pitch team in the U.S. Pan American Games (in Caracas, Venezuela in 1983 and in Indianapolis in 1987), and in 1993, he was selected as manager-coach for Springfield's "Sister City" softball exchange program with Isesaka, Japan.

Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday evening, November 14, 2012 in Meadors Funeral Home, in Clever. Funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, November 15, 2012 in the Clever United Methodist Church, with Dr. Bruce Baxter, the Pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church, officiating. Burial will follow in Pope Cemetery, Clever. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the Clever United Methodist Church, Wesley United Methodist Church, or the Springfield ASA, in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be shared at www.meadorsfuneralhome.com

Published in the News-Leader from Nov. 13 to Nov. 15, 2012
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