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WILLIAM J. CASON


1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
WILLIAM J. CASON Obituary
William J. Cason, 92, of Clinton, Missouri, former Missouri State Senator and longtime Clinton attorney, died January 4, 2017 at the Clinton Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. He was born October 1, 1924 in Higginsville, Mo., the son of William Jennings Bryan "J.B." Cason and Daisy Opal (Weaver) Cason. He served in the Missouri State Senate for 16 years, from 1960 through 1976. He served as Majority Floor Leader of the Senate and President Pro Tem of that body. He was responsible for the passage of much significant legislation which improved life for Missouri citizens. Mr. Cason introduced and sponsored the Open Meetings and Records law. This is commonly known as "The Sunshine Law". This bill requires open governmental meetings and records and has improved governmental operations on every level, from local school boards to the State Legislature. It has required transparency in governmental actions. As Senator, William J. Cason sponsored the Missouri Land Reclamation Bill. This legislation required mining companies to reclaim land after mining it, and to make efforts to heal the scars on the land. This has resulted in thousands of acres of Missouri lands now being in crops or pasture rather than coal dumps with ponds sometimes full of sulphurous water. Many people during hard times could not obtain medical care. Mr. Cason sponsored and obtained the passage of the bill that made Medicaid available to Missouri citizens, thereby affording health care to the disabled and poor. He later saw to additional funding so that dental services were made available to needy children. Missouri had no veteran's rights bill. As a veteran, Mr. Cason was sensitive to the needs of those who had served in the military. Veterans needed assistance in applying for and obtaining their veteran's benefits. Mr. Cason drafted and sponsored the legislation which established the Missouri Veterans Commission. Out-patient surgery is common now days but this was not always so. Mr. Cason drafted and sponsored the legislation that permitted it. These are some of the highlights of Mr. Cason's service to his state. He served in many other capacities. He was assistant prosecuting attorney and prosecuting attorney for Henry County. He was on the Clinton School Board. He was a life member of the American Legion. He served in many other capacities in support of his community and State. William J. Cason received numerous awards and honors. In 1997 he was honored by being named to the Academy of Missouri Squires, an organization limited to 100 prominent Missourians, such as Harry Truman, Thomas Hart Benton and Stan Musial. He received the coveted Harry S. Truman Award as the most outstanding legislator in Missouri. He twice received the St. Louis Globe-Democrat Award for being the most effective in debate and for meritorious public service. In his law practice he was known as a master of the language and a very effective advocate. He was honored by the Conservation Federation of Missouri in cooperation with the National Wildlife Foundation. He twice received honors from the Missouri Academy of General Practice. He was proud of receiving recognition by the Missouri Association for Retarded Children, Inc., the Cerebral Palsy Association of Missouri, the Missouri Hospital Association, The Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women's clubs and many other awards and recognitions. William J. Cason left the world a better place. He was a people person and in the end, spent his life in service to people of Missouri, whether in politics or service to his community or his practice of law. He won the respect of people. He found the best in others and recognized the humor in our human condition. Lives were made easier because of Bill Cason. What a great legacy. Mr. Cason practiced law in Clinton, Mo., for 61 years, retiring in 2012 from the firm Cason, Edgett, Mahan & Lutgen, LLC. On May 25, 1967, he married Lois Virginia Beaty Niemann in Clinton, Mo., and she survives of the home. He was a veteran of World War II where he had begun training as a bomber pilot with the Army Air Corps. He was a member of the Clinton Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, and was an Eagle Scout. In addition to his wife Lois, surviving are two sons, Brian A. Cason, M.D., San Francisco, California, and William W. Cason, Attorney At Law, Santa Fe, New Mexico; and three grandchildren, Lauren Cameron Cason, London, England, Ian Wilson Cason, Kansas City, Mo., and William Samuel Cason, Kansas City, Mo. He was preceded in death by his parents, one son, Patrick J. Cason on December 7, 2007; and one daughter, Candiss Anne Cason on October 9, 2016. Funeral services will be at 2:00 pm, January 7, 2017 at the Clinton Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Burial will be in the Englewood Cemetery, Clinton. The family suggests memorial contributions to C.A.R.E. (Clinton Animal Rescue Endeavor), or a in care of the Bradley & Hadley Funeral Home, 1410 E. DZF Road, Clinton, MO 64735. Condolences may be left at www.bradleyhadley.com
Published in Kansas City Star on Jan. 7, 2017
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