Debo Funeral Home & Summit Memorial Park

10920 Old Hwy Us 54 N, Holts Summit, MO


John Richard "Bill" Cave

Born May 18, 1924

John Richard "Bill" Cave passed away August 12, 2019 at the Missouri Veterans Home in Mexico, MO. Bill was born May 18, 1924 in the Dixie, Missouri community, the 10th of 14 children born to Marcellus and Beulah (Corley) Cave.

Bill served in the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII. In 1945, he fought on the front lines in the Battle of Iwo Jima, returning to the island 50 years later to commemorate the pivotal battle.

After his discharge, Bill went to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company as a lineman and later an installer/repairman while continuing to play baseball, a lifelong passion. Bill was married to Wilma Faye Gathright in 1950. They had two children, Rodney Kent and Rita Faye.

After retiring from Southwestern Bell in 1983 with 36 years of service, Bill added gardening to his long list of interests which included beekeeping, hunting, trapping and fishing.

In 1991, Bill married Mary Ellen Anderson and together they expanded Bill’s love of gardening, becoming a popular local source of fresh produce at the Fulton Farmers Market.

A life-long member of Dixie Christian Church, Bill enjoyed life to the fullest and everyone who knew him has at least one favorite "Bill Cave" story. While in his eighties, Bill participated for several years in the Polar Bear Challenge at the Lake of the Ozarks in support of the Special Olympics.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Faye, his sisters Hattie Locke, Edna Schreen, Mary Margaret Cave, and Rubye Starks, and brothers Adrian Cave, William (Tom) Cave, Woodrow Cave, and Marcellus Cave.

Bill is survived by his wife Mary Ellen Cave of Tebbetts; his son Rodney (Alison) Cave of Edmond, OK and daughter Rita (Arnie) Cave Shreffler of Nixa, MO; step-daughter Kathy (Tom) Meritt of Nixa, MO, step-son Stephen (Pam) Anderson of Springfield, MO; grandchildren Nicholas and Matthew Cave, Andrew and Mary Shreffler, Mallonee Meritt Basham, Travis Meritt, Matt Anderson, and Sarah Anderson Walker; great grandchildren Michael Shreffler and Josephine Basham; sisters Katy Wilson of Albuquerque, NM, Helen Leet of Lexington, KY, Jean Dozier of Dallas, TX, and Beulah Belle McCubbin of Clark, MO; brother Andy Ray Cave of New Bloomfield, MO, and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 16, 2019 at Debo Funeral Home in Fulton. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Callaway Memorial Gardens in Fulton. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Thursday, August 15, 2019, at Debo Funeral Home in Fulton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Dixie Christian Church or the Special Olympics both in care of Debo Funeral Home, 833 Court Street, Fulton, Missouri 65251.

online condolences may be made at www.debofuneralhome.com


  • Dixie Christian Church or Special Olympics


  • Visitation Thursday, August 15, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, August 16, 2019
  • Burial with Military Honors Friday, August 16, 2019


John Richard "Bill" Cave

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jared Thornhill

August 14, 2019

I can still see Bill doing a flip off grandmas diving board.

Jared Thornhill

August 14, 2019

I can still see him doing flips off grandmas diving board.

dana thompson

August 13, 2019

one of the best great uncles i had when i was growing up lots good memories with him and all the fish fries we did together he was a great man all way around rip uncle bill,

love you

dana thompson