STANBERRY, Mo. - Ralph O. Pierce, 89, Stanberry, passed away Saturday, June 8, 2019, from an accident at his home near Stanberry.

He was born March 14, 1930, on the Henry Wise Smith family farm one mile north of Alanthus Grove, Missouri, the son of Oliver and Neva (Newman) Pierce.

On May 26, 1950, he married Waunitha Johnson in Maryville, Missouri. She survives of the home.

Ralph was a 1948 graduate of Stanberry High School where he currently still holds the record in the 100 meter dash.

He attended Northwest Missouri State Teacher's College and majored in Agriculture and Industrial Art where he was captain of the track team and inducted into the Northwest Missouri State University's Hall of Fame.

Ralph taught high school shop class and also served as a coach and athletic director. He taught for 15 years in southwest Iowa then continued his career for 20 years in Stanberry. Ralph continued his love for running and ran in the New York and the Boston Marathons.

He won the Smithville Triathlon for his age group in his 60's. He also enjoyed woodworking and built dozens of sets of cabinets. He had a love for researching his family history and doing genealogy.

Ralph was a member of the Alanthus Grove Church of Christ and later attended the Albany Church of Christ. He served on the Pineview Manor Board and the Stanberry Chamber of Commerce.

He was preceded in death by: his parents; and a sister, Donna Skidmore.

Survivors in addition to his wife, of nearly 70 years, Waunitha, are: four sons, Chris (Linda) Pierce, Warrensburg, Missouri, Mark (Brenda) Pierce, Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Dan (Shirley) Pierce, Columbia, Missouri, and Bob (Tonya) Pierce, Stanberry; grandchildren, Nakia and May Pierce, Jessica (Ruben) Oyervides, Kristen (Andrew) Camp, Justin Pierce, Stacy (Ryan) Calhoun, Brent (Andrea) Pierce, Trevor Luke; great-grandchildren, Logan, Merrick, Aria and Kyran Oyervides, Rae, Capri, Ezra and Cedar Camp, Bryce Jennings, Avery Calhoun and Olivia, Everly and Jaelyn Pierce; brother, Garnett (Mary) Pierce and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral Services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, at the Alanthus Grove Church of Christ, Alanthus Grove, Missouri, under the direction of Roberson Funeral Home, Stanberry.

Burial will follow in the High Ridge Cemetery, Stanberry.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, at the Roberson Funeral Home, Stanberry.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Jennings Cemetery and/or Black Oak School Museum in care of Roberson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 153, Stanberry, MO 64489.

Online condolences may be left at www.robersonfuneralhome.com. As published in the St. Joseph News-Press.