Samuel Allen McCoun

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Samuel Allen McCoun, 82, died on Jan. 15, 2015, at Willow Lane Center, in Butler, Mo. Sam was the oldest son, born to Elmer Joseph McCoun and Helen Josephine Landsmon McCoun on Dec. 25, 1932, in Sprague, Mo. Sam rode a horse to school at New Home, Mo., then later graduated from eighth grade at the school of Sprague. His family moved to Rich Hill, and he graduated from Rich Hill High School in 1950.

Sam proudly served in the U.S. Navy Seabees from 1950-54. His tour included time in Korea, Guam, and the Philippines. He was a firefighter and heavy equipment operator.

On July 29, 1955, Sam was united in marriage to Bessie Fay Landon. They have two daughters, Connie Sue and Carol Ann. He was a devoted husband and loving parent.

He and Fay moved to their farm north of Rich Hill and lived there until October 2012, when his health began to fail he became a resident at Willow Lane Care Center, in Butler. He raised Hereford cattle and also kept horses for the girls. Sam loved his dogs and enjoyed coon hunting with his hounds. He worked at planting and grafting pecan trees around the farm. He had also rebuilt the pond and had stocked it with catfish. He also enjoyed the daily visits to Cooper's Garage in Rich Hill.

Sam was a pipeline heavy equipment operator for union Local 101 I.O.U.E. He worked for Cecil Heckadon at Rich Hill, Brohann Construction, Pleasanton, Kan., and Snyder Construction, building 71 Highway, and later traveled to several states working on pipelines until his retirement in 1994. After retirement he continued his career and love of moving dirt as the motor grader operator for the township.

Sam took delight in his grandchildren and their activities. He and Fay often took in the events in at the fairs and shows when the kids were showing rabbits, horses, or cattle. They attended sporting events when they could and listened to the games on the radio when their health prevented them from getting out.

Later as the great-grandchildren came along, Sam enjoyed their visits and spending time with them whenever he could. There was a sparkle in his eye when he was holding "Miss Muffit" or "Little Ladybug."

Sam was a member of Local 101 International Union of Operating Engineers; he was a member and past Master of the Richards Masonic Lodge, the Kansas City Scottish Rite, and the Ararat Shine. He was active in the Rich Hill VFW and American Legion. He was a member of the Double Branch Christian Church.

Survivors include his wife, Fay, of Butler; daughters, Carol Freer, of Joplin, Mo., and Connie Schaller, Butler; grandchildren, Renner Schaller and Melanie, of Fair Grove, Mo., Christopher Schaller and Maggie, Butler, Mo., Kimberly Ward and Monte, Joplin, Mo., and Samantha Freer, Carthage, Mo. He is also survived by his brother, Donald McCoun and Irene, Kansas City, Mo.; and a large number of nieces and nephews, many dear friends, as well as the staff at Willow Lane Center.

Sam was preceded in death by his parents; brother, John McCoun; sister, Ruby McCoun; and grandson, Bryon Schaller.

It was his wish that memorial contributions be made to the Shriners Hospital Burn Unit in care of Heuser Funeral Home, P.O. Box 42, Rich Hill, MO 64779.