Cover photo for James R. Stapleton's Obituary
James R. Stapleton Profile Photo
1930 James 2020

James R. Stapleton

December 20, 1930 — March 23, 2020

James (Cake) R. Stapleton, 89, of Vandalia, MO passed away at 1:00 pm Monday, March 23, 2020, at Tri-County Care Center in Vandalia.  

Private family services will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at Waters Funeral Home, the services will be live streamed via our Facebook page for family and friends. Burial will follow at the Vandalia Cemetery.

James was born on December 20, 1930, in Vandalia, Missouri the son of George and Ida Mae (Hughs) Stapleton. He was united in marriage to JoAnn L. Shelton on May 27, 1951. They were married 57 years. She preceded him in death on July 20, 2008.

Survivors include his son, Lawrence R. Stapleton of Vandalia; daughter, Cindy L. Harris (Dominic) of Florissant; two brothers, Melvin Stapleton (Emma) and Leo Stapleton both of Columbia; granddaughter, Jennifer Desai (Spencer) of Wildwood; two grandsons, James Harris and Gabriel Harris both of Florissant; great-grandson, Estevan Lee of Wildwood; great-granddaughter, Brianne Lee of Wildwood; daughter-in-law, Beverly Stapleton of Vandalia and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; son, Steven R. Stapleton; brother, Robert Stapleton; and four sisters, Rosetta, Doris, Betty Jean, Tina.

James attended the Lincoln School in Vandalia. When James turned 18 he went to work for Harbison Walker Refractories where he was a bander for 54 years retiring in 2002. While working at Harbison Walker he was a shop steward for the union as well.

James was a Christian by faith and a member of the Second Christian Church in Vandalia where he was active in the Second Christian Church Men's Club.

James loved his job, when he wasn't working he could be found outside working on his garden, he was known for his green thumb. He loved growing vegetables and giving them to his neighbors. James enjoyed mowing the lawn and keeping his yard looking wonderful. He was fond of sports especially L.A. Dodgers baseball and Dallas Cowboys football. James coached numerous baseball teams in Vandalia including children's, men's softball and hardball teams over the years. He also enjoyed hunting but nothing meant more to him than his family and friends.

Pallbearers will be James Harris, Gabriel Harris, Estevan Lee, Wendell Wheeler, Aaron "Buddy" Cockrell and Larry Wheeler.

Honorary pallbearers are William Cockrell, Jamie Wheeler, Ronnie Green, William Wheeler, Walter "Pluck" Dixon and Art Wiser.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association Mid-Missouri 2609 East Broadway Suite 119, Columbia, MO, 65201 or Second Christian Church 1071 West Booker P.O. Box 157, Vandalia, MO, 63382, in care of Waters Funeral Home.

Due to the public gathering restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the funeral services for James are private. We, the family, understand that you may want to be with us during our time of loss, but for safety reasons, we understand your absence. Waters Funeral Home offers other options on their website, Facebook page, through condolences, sympathies, donations and flowers as an expression of your sympathy. Thank you for your concern and consideration.

Online condolences may be made to the family on James memorial page at 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James R. Stapleton, please visit our flower store.


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