Farm Animals 05

William Francis Kearns

May 27, 1931 ~ January 25, 2022 (age 90)


William Francis Kearns, age 90, of Brookfield, passed peacefully on January 25, 2022.

William Francis, son of Grover William and Ica (Jones) Kearns, was born May 27, 1931, in Brookfield.  On May 3, 1953, he married Doris Jane Shanks.  In 1956, he and Doris became members of the Bear Branch United Methodist Church in Purdin, Missouri.

Francis was a satisfied man, he had his family, farm, cattle, tools, books, and movies.  He never took a vacation, he was content to stay at home.  He lived 88 years on a Century Farm where his father was born.  Upon his marriage he moved into a house on the farm and lived there 66 ½ years.  He never worked or lived off of the farm until October of 2019, when ill health forced him to move to Brookfield.  He was born at his aunt’s home in Brookfield and departed this life at McLarney Manor, just two blocks from the house where he was born.

He attended school in Shelby, Missouri graduating Salutatorian of the class of 1950; the last class to graduate from Shelby High School. 

As a young man he was very active in the Green Hills Softball League.  He served one term as President and one year as an A.S.A. registered umpire.  He played and managed the Bear Branch Church team, and later the Shelby softball team for many years.  He umpired many young girls and boys games at the Shelby ball field.

Francis liked to attend auctions and buy different styles of hammers, especially from friends and acquaintances.  He loved all kinds of tools and had a large collection of hammers.

He was an avid reader and had a vast collection of Western books and movies.  He was a loyal St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan all of his life.  As a member of Bear Branch United Methodist Church, he enjoyed the service, fellowship dinners, and Chocolate Pie!

Survivors include his wife Doris; one son, James Kearns and wife, Beth of Marceline; two grandsons, Aaron Sanders and wife, Alisa of Brookfield, and Mark Kearns and wife, Meredith of Kansas City; four great-grandchildren, MacKenzie Slater of Marceline, Hunter Sanders and Angelyna Sanders of Brookfield, and Maren Kearns of Kansas City; three sisters-in-law, Carol Kearns of Brookfield, Evelyn Franklin of Milan, and Linda Fay of Laclede; one brother-in-law, Steve Fay of Laclede; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

His parents; one sister, Dorothy Hollon; one brother, Junior Kearns; three brothers-in-law, Floyd Hollon, Junior Franklin, and John Edward Shanks preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be Friday, January 28, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at Bear Branch United Methodist Church in Purdin with Pastor Sue Lambert officiating.  Burial will be in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Brookfield.  Visitation will be Thursday, January 27, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Wright Funeral Home in Brookfield.

Memorials to Bear Branch United Methodist Church or St. Michael’s Cemetery may be left at or mailed to Wright Funeral Home, P.O. Box 496, Brookfield, MO 64628.

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Francis Kearns, please visit our tribute store.


January 27, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Wright Funeral Home
1201 West Helm
Brookfield, MO 646289

Funeral Service
January 28, 2022

1:00 PM
Bear Branch United Methodist Church (Purdin)

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