Juanita Hargiss, 85, of Olathe, Kansas, passed away on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. Juanita was born on January 29, 1935 in Long Beach, California to Homer and Dorothy (Milstead) Hungerford. She was the only girl and oldest of three children in the family.
When Juanita was about six years old her parents went on an outing to buy new shoes for the children when they were both killed in an automobile accident. The children were separated with Juanita going to live with her maternal grandmother and the two younger boys going to live with their mother’s half-sister. For years the children had no contact with one another. In fact, the boys were not told that they had a sister until they were in their mid-teens. By that time, Juanita was married and living in Kansas City, MO so the boys took a bus trip from CA to be reunited with their big sister.
While living with her grandmother, she lived in several different states before settling in Weaubleau, MO. While there, Juanita worked with her grandmother who ran a small café. One day in the cafe, she waited on Darrell Hargiss, a young man from nearby Wheatland, MO. He thought Juanita was pretty cute so he asked her for a date. They were married March 17, 1951 when Juanita was 15 and Darrell was 19.
Darrell enlisted in the Air Force in San Antonio Texas. After a short time Juanita join him and worked at Woolworth. While in San Antonio, Juanita gave birth to their first born, Dennis.
Juanita and Darrell both went to work for Wilcox Electric. Juanita worked there for 30 years and Darrell for 36 years. Darrell also served as a Missionary Baptist Preacher in the Ozark region of Missouri. He preached the gospel out of the King James Bible wherever he went and Juanita and the kids followed.
Working full time and raising four children left Juanita little time for recreational activities. She did enjoy crafty projects such as ceramics in her home and she loved to cook.
When Darrell became ill, Juanita, with the help of her children, cared for him in their home. They were married for almost 60 years before he passed away in 2009.
Juanita is survived by her children, Dennis (Liliane) Hargiss, Terry (Teresa) Hargiss, Belinda (Thomas) Patton, Rhonda (Bill) Leeker; grandchildren, Aaron Hargiss, Brandi Leeker, Robert Butler, Briana Leeker, Michelle, Nancy, Renee, Laurie, and Rick; great-grandchildren, Hunter, Kalob, Joslyn, Colton, Aiden; her brother, Walt Hannan; one nephew, Tony (Edna) Hannan; and one niece, Kim Newcomb.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Darrell Hargiss; brother, Homer Hannan; and a grandson, Michael.
A graveside service will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 21, 2020, at Roundtree Cemetery in Flemington, Missouri.
The family requests that contributions in Juanita’s memory be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 3846 W 75th St. #4126, Prairie Village, KS 66208.
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