American Veteran 01

Jesse Cletis "Skeets" Howdeshell

December 27, 1932 ~ September 15, 2020 (age 87)

Obituary Image


Jesse Cletis "Skeets" Howdeshell, passed away peacefully at his granddaughters’ home on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at the age of 87.

Skeets, or as some people referred to him as, “Jess or Cletis”, was the youngest child born to Frank and Annie Howdeshell (nee Askins) in Dillard, MO on December 27, 1932.  He attended a one-room grade school in Dillard, from which he graduated the eighth grade. In 1950, he met the love of his life, Loretta, whom he married on September 9, 1952. He joined the United States Navy in June 1952 and served four years until May 1956. After the Navy, he made a career in the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and retired from Schnuck Markets in 1995 after working there for nearly 40 years.   

He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend.  He followed the Assembly of God faith and the word of Jesus in all that he did. As a young man, he was a gifted baseball player who tried out for the St. Louis Brown’s.  Aside from his love of baseball, he also loved to play a game of horseshoes.  He liked to keep busy and was always a hardworking man, whether at home or at work.  Well into his 70’s, he could be found on his roof, climbing a tree or splitting wood.  He especially loved Grandma’s cooking and enjoyed his favorite snack of cornbread and milk.  But more than anything, he loved spending time with his family. In his final days, his oldest granddaughter, Kristi, lovingly brought him into her home on hospice and cared for him until the end.  He will be deeply missed by his friends, family and all who knew him.

He is survived by his wife, Loretta Howdeshell (nee Gibbs); one sister, Ithel Owen; loving father of, Stan (Lois) Howdeshell and Pam (Michael) Leffler; loving grandfather of, Kristi (Juston) Mulder, Isaac (Shirley) Howdeshell, Seth Howdeshell and Kathleen (Zach) Mills; and loving great-grandfather of three to Garret, Charlize and Weston.

He will be reunited in Heaven with his oldest daughter, Jeanne Mertz, his father and mother, Frank and Annie Howdeshell, two sisters, Hildred Setzer and Reba Brand, and one brother, Lee Howdeshell. 

The Family received friends from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville, Missouri.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. with Jesse’s nephew, Rev. Roger Strange, officiating. The obituary was read by his youngest granddaughter, Kathleen Mills and eulogy with sweet memories shared by granddaughter, Kristie Mulder. Special music of “I Can Only Imagine”, “Grandpa” and “Amazing Grace” will be played during the service.

Committal prayer and interment with Full Military honors by the U.S. Navy, VFW and Patriot Guard were in the New Dillard Cemetery at Dillard, Missouri.

Honored to be casket bearers were Michael Leffler, Juston Mulder, Garret Mulder, Roger Strange, Jake Barrows and Jerry Setzer with Honorary bearers of Isaac Howdeshell, Seth Howdeshell and Zachary Mills.

The Howdeshell Family was served by the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home of Steelville, MO.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jesse Cletis "Skeets" Howdeshell, please visit our floral store.


September 19, 2020

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Britton-Bennett Funeral Home
110 Cedar Street
Steelville, MO 65565

Funeral Service
September 19, 2020

2:00 PM
Britton-Bennett Funeral Home
110 Cedar Street
Steelville, MO 65565

Interment following funeral service

New Dillard Cemetery
Dillard Mill Road
Dillard, MO 65456

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