Jerry Nance, 89


Jerry Nance, 88, of Odessa, MO joined Irma, his life partner and wife, in everlasting life. He passed peacefully at his home surrounded by friends and family.  

Visitation will be held Wednesday, June 19, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home, 306 South Second St., Odessa, MO 64076, 816-633-5524, Funeral service will be held Thursday, June 20, 2024, at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 100 W. Hwy 00, Odessa, MO 64076. Interment will follow at the Odessa City Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Missouri Campers on Mission, and Lafayette County Cancer Coalition,

Jerry was born and raised in Romance, Ozark County, MO, by his grandparents, Mary and Solomon Nance. He was proud to say he was from Romance. His mother, Gladys Watson Nance, passed during his birth. During the Great Depression, his father W. A. “Cap” Nance, traveled working various jobs to send money home. Jerry graduated from Gainesville, MO High School in 1953. Jerry’s aunt, Orpha Nance Branstetter, was an important, influential mother figure throughout her entire long life. 

In 1954, Jerry met Irma Butts, a 1953 Marshfield High School graduate. He moved to Kansas City and was employed at Aladdin Manufacturing. On April 13, 1957, Jerry and Irma were united in marriage. 

When Aladdin Manufacturing relocated to Odessa, MO, Jerry and Irma followed, immersing themselves in their new community. They initially attended Long Branch Baptist Church, where many members took them in as family and with whom they sustained life-long friendships. Jerry and Irma later became members of the Odessa First Baptist Church.

Jerry was drafted into the U.S. Army and completed training as a mechanic, graduating at the top of his class. He maintained and drove troop carriers in Germany during the building of the Berlin Wall. After military service he returned to Aladdin Manufacturing. However, he was drafted again, serving the remainder of his military service in Washington state. 

Jerry then returned to Aladdin Manufacturing, which later became Action Products. Jerry earned professional certifications in welding, electrical, machining, and other trades. He retired as Action Product’s industrial maintenance supervisor. 

Jerry was committed to his family, community, and God. His volunteer experiences included teaching electricity to Mighty Mo 4-H members, serving as President of the Odessa Pool Board, and driving the Odessa First Baptist Church bus for youth events nation-wide. Jerry was baptized and a very active member at the First Baptist Church.

After retiring, Jerry stayed active as an Odessa Clothes Closet Board Director. His favorite activities included repairing clocks, vacuums, Christmas trees and toys. He maintained the store, built shelving fixtures, and did not mind vacuuming. 

Jerry often served as a wagon master for Missouri Campers on Mission. His and Irma’s favorite yearly trip was to Baptist Hill Assembly Camp, Mount Vernon, MO. They also enjoyed serving at the Navajo Reservation in Arizona with the National Campers on Mission.

Jerry was a founding member of the national Maytag Collectors Club and served as president for six years. He also held leadership roles in the Lathrop Antique Engine Club and MO-KAN Antique Engine Club.

Working on the electrical crew for the Tri-State Engine and Tractor Association annual engine show in Portland, IN, was a highlight of his year. Tri-State honored him with the Spark Plug of the Year Award for Outstanding Service. 

Jerry’s passion was collecting, refurbishing and building Maytag and other antique engines in his basement or with friends and club members. He was renowned for his collection and knowledge of vintage Maytag lawn mowers and was featured in several publications throughout the years.

Survivors include a son, Steve Nance (Kathy); two daughters: Stacy Berry Burrus (Elvy); and Alisa Nance, Odessa, MO.

Grandchildren include Chris Berry (Kim), Amy Specker Hawkins (Jerry), Mindy Nance Webster (Andrew), Deric Berry (Lauren), Kendra Burrus Shephard (Mike), Logan Burrus (Leanne), Karley Nance (Beau Franklin), and Emily Burrus Yarsulik (Trent). 

Great-grandchildren include Anthony Hawkins (Ashley); Brenna Specker Nickels (Colby); Caleb and Zach Berry; Kaylyn and Chloie Hawkins; Ariel, Tayzie and Raiden Webster; Benson and Bayla Franklin; Andrea Warren (Dillon); Gavin Williams; Connor Shepherd; and Adalynn, Ella & Reese Ann Yarsulik. Great-great-grandchildren include Lucas and Asher Warren.

Other family and friends include Lodean (Dee) and Larry Garoutte, Springfield, MO; Jennifer Larson, Willard, MO; David Garoutte, Columbia, South America; Scott Prisk, Branson, MO; Cassidy Larson, Cassville, MO; Bonnie Roetta, Judy Hayes, DeEtta Butts and Sue Butts, Marshfield, MO; and Ruth Beamer and Marty Beamer, Odessa, MO.

In addition to his parents and wife, Jerry was preceded in death by a daughter in infancy, Rhonda Deann Nance; Fred Nance, cousin, and his wife Rachel; and great-granddaughter Macie Hawkins.


Paid obtiuary, printed as submitted. 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423