On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, John Phillip Sullender passed away at the age of 77. John was born November 21, 1941 to John Sullender (1901-1978) and Eva Lillian (Ashlock Montgomery) Sullender (1915-1984) of St. Joseph, MO.
John is survived by: sister, Linda Clark of Whitesville, MO; brother, Ralph (Nita) Sullender of Dearborn, MO; Evelyn (Gary) Edwards of Elkland, MO. John went to school in Savannah, MO. He joined the United States Navy in 1960. Upon return from service, he married Linda Lee (Knadler) Sullender (1944-1992) in 1964. He and Linda and the family were members of the First Baptist Church of Savannah, MO. He is survived by their children: Carl (Kim) Sullender; Allen Sullender, Sheri Sullender (John Thornton); Nicole (Frank) Partridge; as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren and extended family.
Thank you for the kind care from Shady Lawn and Ascera Care Hospice.
Services will be held at10:30AM Tuesday, April 16 at Heaton-Bowman-Smith Savannah Chapel, Savannah, MO. Interment following at Savannah Cemetery. Visitation will be held 6:00-8:00PM Monday, April 15, at our chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Boy Scouts of America or to the America Legion, Dick Munkres Legion Post #287.
A History Provided by Linda Rose Clark
As little children we were referred to as John Phillip, Linda Rose and Ralph. Due to family interference, Ralph had no middle name. When Evelyn was born, she was Evelyn Marie. She was also the only child Mother allowed to have a nickname, which I will not divulge under threat of great bodily harm.
John, Linda, and Ralph began their church life at the King Hill Baptist Church, King Hill Avenue, St. Joseph, MO. This is where their maternal grandparents attended church; their names were Boyd and Mercedes Montgomery. Their paternal grandmother attended the Brookdale Presbyterian Church.
All the grandparents were very active in their churches, teaching Sunday School classes, singing in the choir and Grandpa Montgomery was foreman of the deacons at King Hill Baptist. After a time, we no longer attended King Hill Baptist Church. This was when Evelyn was a baby.
When we did begin attending church again, we went to the Hyde Park Methodist Church. It was here John became active in Boy Scouts.
The Moore Community, where we lived, also had a 4H Club. He especially enjoyed the Roller Skating parties at Skateland in St. Joseph.
John and Daddy were very good skaters; Ralph and Linda were not so good. Evelyn was too little to skate much, so Daddy packed her around.
There was a man in the Moore Community who had a huge peony farm. His name was Lisenby. The peonies were pink, white and dark red.
John wanted a Schwinn bicycle, so he got a job at the peony farm. The peonies had to be cut a certain length and be in "bud stage." Then they were placed in a cooler and kept there until Memorial Day when they were sold.
Mr. Lisenby liked the way John worked and he hired him every spring. But the most important thing was the money he earned the first year.
Soon, he was in Bill's Bike Shop in the Valley and he brought a new, fancy. shiny, Schwinn bicycle. It was the best money could buy at the time.
We moved to Cosby when there was six weeks left in John's 8th grade term. Up until that time, John had only attended the Moore Elementary School for all eight grades. We never went to kindergarten. It was private and you had to pay to go.
The first Sunday after we moved to Cosby, Daddy took us back to Hyde Park Methodist Church so that we could receive our three year perfect attendance pins.
John always worked on the hay crew. He was always one of the first boys called. He also worked at St. Joseph Country Club as a golf caddy. He made it a point to learn how to pronounce the golfers' names. The golf pro was good help at this. Some of the names were real hard to pronounce. It really pleased them that the caddy could say their names correctly.
In the wintertime, Mother took John and Ralph to Country Club Village and they made plenty of money scooping driveways and sidewalks. John always spent his money on clothes. Not sure what Ralph spent his money on.
John left high school in the Spring of 1959. He was 1 1/2 credits short of graduating. He got his GED while in the Navy.
He joined the Navy and was in the Bay of Tonkien Gulf when Grandma Sullender died. Due to the communications blackout, John did not learn about her death until six weeks later. She was his favorite grandma and he was her favorite grandchild.
One story I should have told earlier was the year we got caught in a blizzard. We were at school in Savannah. Evelyn was in elementary school in Helena and she was stranded there.
John, Ralph, and I very foolishly refused to get off at the Avenue City store. We got off the bus at our corner and began the one mile trek to our house. It was bitter cold and the wind was blowing out of the north at gale force.
The snow was so heavy. John and Ralph walked ahead of Linda and broke a track. Linda had been sick and begged them to stop and let her sit down. John refused and continued to wade through the snow which was chest deep by then.
Linda begged them to stop again and John insisted they go on. Then they heard a very weak "woof." They looked at each other and said, "Spot!"
They kept wading through the snow and found their dog spot in the driveway. He was thoroughly encased in snow and ice. John put his arms under Spot's belly and we went to the house intent on saving our dog, Spot. Mother sure was shocked to see us as we looked like walking snowmen.
When Spot was given to us, he was a little, white dog with lots of spots. He was only supposed to get as big as a cocker spaniel. When he got through growing, he could stand on his hind feet, rest his front feet on John's shoulders and look him straight in the eye.
He also outgrew all his spots and was snow white. When people would ask why we named him Spot, we would answer, "Because there ain't a spot on him."
He was our constant companion, protector and playmate. He lived another five years after the snowstorm