Stearl Lee Estes, 68, Neosho, went to be with the Lord April 8, 2013, after a short illness.
Stearl was born Feb. 16, 1945, to Earl and Norma Jean Estes.
One of his greatest joys was riding his motorcycle. He rode more than a million miles, most of them with close friend Richard Matters. The two rode the lower 48 states and part of Canada together. Stearl was a member of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association for several years.
Stearl spent many hours happily building dirt bikes for his grandsons, Andy and Cody, and watching them learn to ride.
Another great joy in Stearl's life was his dog Coco. The two could be seen riding around the square almost every day, and guarding the corner in front of their apartment building the rest of the time. They were the "mayors" of the corner.
Stearl is survived by his lifelong friend, Phyllis Thurman; daughter Sheila Estes and her partner Paula Lawless, Centerton, Ark.; two sons, Jeffrey Estes, Neosho and Dustin Estes, Joplin; two grandsons, Andrew and Cody Thompson, both of Joplin; a granddaughter, Holli Estes, Goodman; son-in-law Bill Thompson, Neosho; and three sisters, Violet Mahaffey, Neosho; Pauline Artamenko, Ritchey; and Barbara Jean Alvarez, Eudora, Kan.
Stearl was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Winfield Estes.
Services and the scattering of ashes will be announced at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 2833 East Battlefield Road, Suite 100, Springfield, Mo. 65804.