Friday, March 29, 2024

Billy Joe Cumpton, 67, of Adrian


Billy Joe Cumpton, 67 of Adrian, Missouri passed away unexpectedly Sunday, March 24, 2024 at his home in Adrian.  A Celebration of Life service will be held 5:00 pm Friday, April 26, 2024 at the Adrian Optimist Building in Adrian, Missouri.  Services under the direction of Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler (660-679-0009).  Memorial contributions may be made to the Adrian Optimist Club or the Altona Baptist Church.  Messages of condolence may be left for the family at


Billy Joe Cumpton, 67 of Adrian, Missouri passed away unexpectedly on March 24, 2024, at his home.  Billy was born July 24, 1956, in Butler, Missouri, to Harold Kenneth and Martha June (Vogeler) Cumpton.

Billy spent his school years at Ballard graduating in 1974. He formed lifelong friendships during these years.  Billy and his family attended 4-H horse shows and won several trophies.  Buddy the horse was instrumental in helping Billy and his family win those awards.  Billy worked on the family farm in the Ballard community.  His family went hunting for deer, coons, squirrels and enjoyed fishing and hunting for mushrooms.

As a young adult Billy accepted Jesus as his Savior, was baptized in a neighbor’s pond and became a member of Altona Baptist Church in rural Adrian.

After high school graduation Billy made two trips to California.  One to visit his brother, Harold who was stationed in Santa Ana, California, in the U.S. Marine Corp and one included a friend.  Billy often talked about these trips as one of the highlights of his life. He made a return trip to California after his retirement to visit someone he met in those early days.  Over the years, Billy worked at various jobs, including construction, Yellow Freight and as a real estate agent in Texas.

During a deer hunting trip in November, 1982, Billy fell from his tree stand and broke his back.  Although that accident confined him to a wheelchair, Billy led a full life.  He participated in wheel chair racing, basketball and baseball. One of his favorite experiences was traveling to Japan with the Kansas City Pioneers to play basketball.

 While participating in wheelchair sports he met his future boss.  Billy was hired to work in the management systems division and had several job titles in the 29+ years he worked for the federal government. He received multiple promotions and retired as IT Regional Director of Region 7 for HUD.  Once again Billy formed lasting friendships during these years that remained after he retired.

On June 29, 1996, Billy was united in marriage to Cheryl (Wix) Morrow. Billy and Cheryl went on many trips scuba diving and attending wheelchair sports activities.  They built a new home in 2005 on family land in rural Adrian in the Ballard community where they liked to feed and watch the wildlife and fish.  Billy and Cheryl spent time gardening, watching grandchildren in sports activities, as well as cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs and playing cards with family and friends.  He enjoyed planning and attending reunions for the Cumpton cousins and the Vogeler family.  Billy’s family was very important to him, and he also had a countless number of friends all across the nation.  He helped to plan the reunions for the Ballard High School Class of 1974 and was looking forward to the 50 year reunion.  One friend, who has only known Billy for a few years, made this comment about him: “Believe me when I tell you this man was the definition of if there is a will, there is a way. Billy was a true inspiration to me.  There was no quit in him!  He never let his disability slow him down.  He always found a way to enjoy life to the fullest.”

Billy never let the wheelchair keep him from adventure; he continued to hunt wildlife and mushrooms, fish and go camping with family and friends, target shooting, flying his drone and looking for wildlife with his thermal imaging scope.  The week before his passing he went on a spoonbill fishing trip with friends.  His latest passion was metal detecting, which was a hobby he’s dabbled in before his accident but had recently picked back up.  Billy was so excited when he found his first silver quarter.

Billy joined the Adrian Optimists, served as an officer and received several awards including New Member of the Year and Optimist of the Year.  He could often be seen helping with the gun shows and bingo.  Billy studied the Masonic degrees and passed to become a Master Mason in the Crescent Hill Lodge No. 368 AF & AM in Adrian, Missouri.

Billy was preceded in death by his grandparents, father Kenneth, aunts, uncles, cousins and father-in-law.  Surviving are his wife Cheryl; mother June Cumpton; sister Martha (Jim) Stocklaufer; brothers Harold (Sharon), Roger, Mikel (Patsy) and Dale (Leann); stepmother-in-law Linda Wix; stepdaughters, Kristen (Justin) Feola, Jill (Rod) Berry and stepson Bryan (Sheila) Morrow; grandchildren Tyler (Mikaela), Sydney, Collin, Chelsi and Josi Berry, Isabelle and Jocelyn Feola and great grandson Beckham; nephews and nieces, Steven (Brenda) Doody, Melissa (Anthony) Heider, Holly Ruth, Kyla (Tommy) Hackler, Jessica (Rusty) Campbell, Travis (Dana) Cumpton, Jamie (Zach) Skaggs, Melanie (Kevin) Branson, Ethan, Wyatt (Carly) and Wade (Katrina) Cumpton, numerous great nieces and nephews, cousins, aunt Bonnie Wilson and best friend Robert Hogue.