Claude R. Blakeley, Jr. 76, Neosho, died Oct. 31, 2012, at Mercy Hospital, Joplin, following a short illness.

Claude R. Blakeley, Jr. 76, Neosho, died Oct. 31, 2012, at Mercy Hospital, Joplin, following a short illness. 

Claude was born July 1, 1936 in Newton County, the son of Claude R. Blakeley, Sr. and Gladys M. (Smith) Blakeley and was a lifelong area resident. Claude served in the U.S. Navy during Lebanon Crisis and served on the U.S.S. Saratoga.

He represented Southwest Missouri during his elected offices in the Missouri House of Representatives; Newton County Collector and Circuit Clerk. During his tenure in office, he also worked as a pilot for Teledyne and Leggett and Platt. He worked hard for the people he served and stood up for what he believed to be in the best interest of the citizens. His strong will allowed him to stand up for all of us and he was quite clear on his opinions and we loved and respected him for that. 

He was a loyal member of the Republican Party. He enjoyed flying and his time as a pilot. He had great adventures all of his life as an avid hunter and die-hard fisherman. He always loved his bird dogs and his friends have stated that they would “not want to be in a foxhole with anyone else.”

He was a lifelong member of the Diamond Christian Church. Our family will miss him greatly and have heavy hearts at this time. 

Claude married Sandy Ledford on Feb. 16, 1963, at Diamond, and she survives.  
Additional survivors include a daughter, Sheryl Blakeley, Springfield, Mo.; grandson, Alex Eakins, Springfield; and a brother, Bryant Blakeley and wife, Connie, Neosho.  
Services will be held on 10 a.m. Saturday at the Clark Funeral Home Chapel of Memories. Rev. Dr. Sara Chaney will officiate. Interment will follow in the Diamond Cemetery, Diamond, with full military honors. 

Friends may call at the Clark Funeral Home, Neosho on from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. today and the family will be at the family home. 

Contributions in memory of Claude may be made to the United Methodist Church or American Diabetes Association, c/o Clark Funeral Home, P.O. Box 66, Neosho. 

Online condolences may be made at 

Services under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.