Beverly C. “Bev” Zerkel

December 26, 1936-January 31, 2018

Mrs. Beverly C. “Bev” Zerkel, 81, of Joplin, Missouri, departed this life on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, in the comfort of her home after a recent decline in health.   Bev entered this life on December 26, 1936, in Melrose Park, Illinois, the only child born to the late Omer and Kay (Vorhees) Snyder.

She moved with her family to Asbury, Missouri, in 1946 and later to Joplin in 1951.  On November 30, 1956, she was united in marriage to Lt. James Zerkel and to this union they raised six sons, Russ, Jim Jr., Brad, Brian, Kenny and Paul.  An infant daughter, Mary Ann passed at birth.  Bev was a devoted homemaker for several years while raising their sons, but she also worked in their family businesses, Snyder Construction and Snyder Bridge. Thirty-five years after graduating high school, Bev graduated Summa Cum Laude from Missouri Southern State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies.  While at MSSC she was Orientation Leader, member of Omicron Delta Gamma, The National Leadership Society and Alpha Chi Honor Society.  She also attended summer school through Southern’s international program at Oxford College.  Bev was an active member at the First United Methodist Church in Joplin, serving on several committees and member of the Tri-M Sunday School Class.  Bev was involved in numerous organizations including past president of the Missouri Southern Alumni Association and Lionbackers, board member and former treasurer of Life Choices, the ’54 Lunch Bunch “Girls” and the Joplin Bowling Association.  She enjoyed playing softball, racquetball, and was an avid bowler and bridge player.  She and Jim traveled extensively, many times in their Piper Seneca.  They visited all fifty states and fifty-two foreign countries.

Her parents, including Col. Travis Hoover, stepfather, and Goldie Snyder, stepmother, and one son, Brian Zerkel, preceded her in death.  Brian’s passing was the hardest thing she ever endured.

Bev is survived by her husband of sixty-one years, Jim Zerkel, Sr., of the home; five sons, Russell Zerkel and wife, Susan, of Joplin, Jim Zerkel, Jr. and wife, Debbie, of Joplin, Brad Zerkel of Independence, Missouri, Kenneth Zerkel of Webb City, Missouri and Paul Zerkel and wife, Julie, of Joplin; eight grandchildren, Kay, Kimberly, Kacey (Shawn), Oliver, Landon, James III, Sam and Katy; one great granddaughter, Evelyn; cousins Keith and Terry Snyder, Alan and Judy Priddy; extended family, Jerry and Sue Zerkel, Ron and Sharon Zerkel, Joyce Zerkel, Wayne Sauers and Larry Martin. Bev said her grandchildren were her greatest joy.

Funeral services for Mrs. Zerkel are 11:00 a.m. Monday, February 5, 2018, at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Bob Howard officiating.  Burial will follow at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery in Joplin.  Those honoring her life by serving as pallbearers are Oliver Zerkel, Landon Zerkel, Samuel Zerkel, James Zerkel, III, Shawn Kimbrough and Chris Dumm.  The family will receive friends on Sunday afternoon from 3-5:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary in Joplin, Missouri.  In lieu of flowers memorials are being directed to either First United Methodist Church or Our Redeemer Lutheran Church c/o the mortuary.  For on-line condolences please visit  Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of the Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary in Joplin, Missouri.

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