Willard Stout, age 83, of Joplin, passed away on Sunday February 15, 2009, at his home surrounded by his family, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Willard was born on February 15, 1926 near Bolivar, Mo., the son of the late James Walter and Mabel Jay Stout. He served in the United States Army and was a veteran of WWII. At the young age of eighteen he was in the 3rd Armored Tank Division of Patton’s Army. After returning from the war he married his sweetheart Betty Cossins on March 28, 1948 in Bolivar, Mo. In 1952 they moved to Joplin to work and raise their family. He worked for Empire District Electric Company, M.C. Jackson of Carthage, and Xerox Corporation, where he won several awards. In 1978 he and his wife Betty founded Pizza by Stout. He was very proud of the many times his restaurant was voted “Best Pizza” of Joplin. In 1982 and 1985 he was named by the MRA as Restaurateur of the Year. He served as president of the Missouri Restaurant Association in 1992 & 1993. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and anything that involved the outdoors, including his hobby as a Bee Keeper. He also enjoyed drinking morning coffee with his buddies. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren and was very proud of their accomplishments.
He is survived by his loving wife, Betty Stout, of Joplin; two daughters, Joy Stout- Monahan and husband Mike, of Joplin, and Cynthia Kay Stout-Agius, of Petaluma, Calif.; one brother, Loren M. Stout, Joplin; and four grandchildren, Casey Cusick, of Joplin, Stacey-Agius-Klemme, of Rohnert Park, Calif., Nicole Cusick, of Joplin. and Carly Agius, Rohnert Park, Calif.; and a great-granddaughter on the way, Anniston Grace Klemme. He was preceded in death by daughter Gayle Diane Stout in December of 2007.
Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Thursday at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Reverend Justin Monaghan will officiate. Burial will be Osborne Cemetery. The pallbearers will be Casey Cussick, Michael Monahan, Dick Ruestman, Larry Kloeppel, Bill Harding, and Richard Smith. The honorary pallbearers will be Stephen Di Pierdomenico, and Pedro Pantoja.
The family will receive friends 7-8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Joplin Humane Society in care of the mortuary.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Chapel.