John Launius, son of the late E.Y. Launius and Gertrude Penigar Launius, was born on Jan. 31, 1921, in Essex and died at the Missouri Southern Healthcare in Dexter on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008, at the age of 87.
John served in the European Theater during World War II as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and navigator of a B-17. He worked with the Red Cross while a POW/internee in Switzerland. After the war, Launius was a basketball coach at Morehouse High School and taught agriculture to veterans under the "G.I. Bill" in Bloomfield while expanding his family farm, raising livestock as well as crops. For several years, he was a farm manager for Doane Agricultural Service and later started his own business, Launius Farm Management. He was of the Methodist faith, a member of the Elks, American Legion, and a resident of Bloomfield.
On Aug. 24, 1972, he was united in marriage to Therma Harget in Bernie. Mrs. Launius survives of the home in Bloomfield.
Besides his wife, other survivors include one son, Raymond Webber of Dexter; four daughters, Anne Berbline of Sikeston, Cathy Kirby of Dexter, Mary Ann Armour of Poplar Bluff, and Theresa Lynn Bown of Bernie; 11 grandchildren, Mark Pratt, Mandy Pratt, Katie Pratt, Jonathan Berbline and Neil Berbline, all of Stikeston, Chris Berbline of Olive Branch, Ill., Shelly Francis of Atlanta, Ga., Denise Brown of Bloomfield, Dennis Brown of Cape Girardeau, Tina Burns of Evansville, Ind., Tara Webber of Dexter and Matt Webber of Clarksville, Tenn.; and eight great-grandchildren.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons, James L. Webber and Jeffery B. Webber; two sisters, Janet Kidd and Onos Louise Launius.
Visitation was held from 5-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, 2008, at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter.
Graveside services were conducted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield with Rev. Mike Coleman officiating.
Interment followed immediately after graveside services with full military honors.