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David Gene “Bunkie” DeSpain, Sr., 78, St. Joseph, MO

David Gene “Bunkie” DeSpain, Sr., 78, St. Joseph, Missouri passed peacefully into Heaven on Thursday, January 16, 2014 surrounded by his family at home where he wanted to be.

David Gene “Bunkie” DeSpain, Sr., 78, St. Joseph, Missouri passed peacefully into Heaven on Thursday, January 16, 2014 surrounded by his family at home where he wanted to be.

David fell head over heels with Barbara Joanne (Slater) DeSpain, the love of his life and they shared 60 years together. She survives of the home.

In April 1952 at the age of 17, David enlisted in the Marine Corp. and proudly served his country during the Korean War. During his military career he received the National Defense Medal, United States Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Expert Rifleman Medal, Expert Marksman Medal, and a prestigious Presidential Unit Citation. He was honorably discharged in April 1955.

David attended NWMSU receiving degrees in business management and pre-law. David worked in the management profession until his retirement in 1988. He was a trouble shooter and innkeeper for the Holiday Inn Hotel chain for several years, was the first manager of the Bode Ice Arena, and the last manager for the Hotel Roubidoux. Upon his retirement, he opened the Collector’s Emporium which specialized in antiques and collectables with his son David Jr.

His hobbies included jewelry making, watching British mysteries, collecting stamps and coins, going to the casino, eating at Cracker Barrel, traveling, and holding hands with his wife. David loved the holidays and enjoyed having the responsibility of baking the pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving. He was teased about burning them and looked forward to it every year.

David loved his family and they were the most important thing to him. He made sure every day that they knew it. He had ways of making every family member feel special in their own individual way.

He would call his children and grandchildren on their birthdays to sing happy birthday and would do so in the worst out of tune singing voice he could. He never missed a birthday and even added some because he enjoyed it so much.

He enjoyed spending time with his family and highlighted that with adventures of hunting for the Keeblers and Goonie Rabbit with his grandchildren. David taught his family many life lessons one of which was to appreciate the importance of Pogiebait (junk food).

He was preceded in death by his parents, David Lewis and Reva Margaret (Sebille) DeSpain; two brothers, Alfred “Sonny” DeSpain and Richard “Dick” DeSpain; and son, Christopher Lee.

Survivors: wife; sons, David Gene Jr., Mark Scott, and Michael Charles (Leslie); daughters, Cynthia Susan Martin (Mike) and Elizabeth Anne White; twelve grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; great-great-granddaughter; his baby sister Audrey Marie Colwell; several nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Virginia DeSpain; brother-in-laws, Richard Slater (Janet) and John Forest; and his buddy, Admiral, his pug.

Services: 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory. Interment Helena Cemetery.  The family will receive friends 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Monday, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory, where friends may call after 5:00 P.M. Monday.  Flowers are appreciated and for those wishing to make a contribution, the family requests they be made to the Noyes Home.   Online guest book and obituary at www.meierhoffer.com.

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