Rev. Don G. Sturgess, 92, of Higginsville, died March 22nd at the Meyer Care Center.
He was born December 24, 1927 in Kansas City, MO to Joseph and Pearleath (Jolley) Sturgess.
Don went work, at TWA as a Cargo Handler and a short time later to Senior Ground Agent, at the young age of 16. He served in the United State Army for 18 months at Fort Sam Houston in a medical unit. Following his military service, he returned to Kansas City where he delivered newspapers for the Kansas City Star. He also worked at Morton Salt Company, where he eventually became Assistant Office Manager and Supervisor of Billing and Accounts. He went on to complete an associate's degree from Kansas City Junior College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kansas City (now UMKC).
He married Cecil Joan Shumate on May 28, 1949 in Kansas City. She preceded him in death in 1992. Their first stop was Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he completed his
Master's Degree in Theology.
While in seminary he pastored rural churches in Kentucky and Indiana, After graduation in 1958, their young family returned to Missouri to be closer to their parents. They settled in Plattsburg, where he had accepted the call to serve the First Presbyterian Church there. At this time, he began selling apartments for Vista del Rio, then owned by Northwest Missouri Presbytery. He also drove a school bus, becoming skilled at handling the different types of busses. He enjoyed the kids, and it got him up on week days.
After 12 and a half years at Plattsburg, the family moved to Higginsville, Missouri, in January 1971. He served as a minister for the First Presbyterian Church of Higginsville and for the Corder Presbyterian Church simultaneously for 22 years. After retiring as Pastor Emeritus from those pulpits, he served various small churches in Lafayette and Johnson counties as guest minister or pulpit supply.
Beginning in 1974, he shared with others the development of John Knox Village East, a life care retirement village. He acted as Executive Administrator of the project and Nursing Home Administrator from 1974 to 1988. He moved to the Village in 1995.
He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge.
He is survived by:
Sons: John Sturgess of Independence, MO
Rev. Mark Sturgess of Seal Beach, CA
Daughter: Lynne Huff of Winfield, MO
Special Friend: Pam Workman of Independence, MO
16 Great Grandchildren
7 Great Great Grandchildren
Visitation and memorial services will be held at a later date.
Memorials are suggested to the Higginsville Food Pantry