Nesta Vessell

December 2, 1925 ~ June 6, 2021

Nesta Marie (Wade) Vessell, who lived most of her life in Farmington, Mo., died Sunday, June 6, in Columbia, Mo., where she had lived near family in recent years. She was born December 2, 1925, the only daughter of Ralph H. Wade and Opal Beatrice (Harter) Wade. She attended St. Joseph Catholic School and Farmington Public Schools. She married Adrain Joseph (Joe) Vessell on May 18, 1946. They were together for more than 69 years until his death in 2015. She was also preceded in death by her brother, Norman Eugene Wade.

She was a devoted mother of eight children. Her eldest child, Charles Randal (Randy) Vessell, who had lived in Blackwater, Mo., with his wife, Fay, passed away in 2018. Her other children are Ronald Wade (Nancy) Vessell, Virginia Beach, Va.; JoAnn Vessell, Columbia, Mo.; Royce Lynn Vessell, St. Louis, Mo.; Roger Wayne (Joan) Vessell, Fayetteville, Ark.; Mary Kay (Katie) (Mike) Bradley, Columbia, Mo.; Patricia Marie Gibbons, Columbia, Mo.; and Rodney Joseph Vessell, Holts Summit, Mo.

She was known as “Nana” to her 16 grandchildren: Courtney Tsao, Aaron Smith, Allison Smith, Joseph Vessell, Rachel Pocta, Lauren Pinkston, Krista Vessell, Chad Vessell, Ryan Vessell, Brett Vessell, Alexa Grand, Daine Zimmer, Jenna Gibbons, Ashley Graves, Shelby Taylor and Kayla Grobe. She had 22 great-grandchildren.

Nesta treasured a special friendship for more than 60 years with Martha Redstrom-Plourd of Richmond, Va.

Nesta often recounted memories of working as a young woman at family auto dealerships and the St. Francois County Courthouse during World War II. After getting married, Nesta became a busy wife, mother and homemaker, and was the No. 1 fan of her children’s athletic and other extra-curricular activities. From 1960 through 1984 she attended countless high school and college basketball, football and baseball games, plus track and cross country meets. Years later, as her grandchildren came along, she was back in the stands cheering on the new generation.

Nesta was accomplished in her own sports. She loved tennis and swimming as a young girl. She played on the high school tennis team until World War II cut short her tennis career. One of the highlights of her life was traveling to New York City to watch the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament when she was in her 80s, hoping to watch her all-time favorite tennis player, Roger Federer (unfortunately, the match was rained out). After her children were grown, Nesta joined the competitive women’s bowling team, sponsored by Suburban Furniture, which played in numerous state, regional and national championship tournaments, earning both team and individual awards.

Nesta and Joe also enjoyed family vacations, visiting friends and relatives around the country, retirement trips to the beach, and many First State Bank Horizon Club trips. They liked to go to movies and play cards with a close group of friends. They shared their passion for cards by teaching the games to their children and grandchildren.

Nesta loved her family, her community of Farmington and St. Joseph Catholic Church.

After a private family funeral Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Friday, Nesta will be interred next to her husband at New Calvary Cemetery in Farmington. Officiating at the Mass will be Fr. Chris Cordes of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Columbia, along with Deacon Mike Burch, a longtime family friend. Memorials are suggested to St. Joseph Catholic School, Farmington.

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  1. JoAnn and family,

    So sorry to hear of your mother passing. She certainly lived a wonderful, full life. I have fond memories of staying over with you at your house and our days at St. Joe. You are in my prayers and may she rest in peace with your father.


    Lu Ann

  2. To the entire Vessell Family from the entire Wade Family we pass along our sincere sympathy for your loss. Our Family and Yours had many ties via all of the kids our parents had and our St Joe School and Church Days. We thought very highly of your parents–God Bless you all.
    Greg Wade on behalf of Cathy, Mary, Nancy, Greg and Dede and of Course our Father Leroy Wade.

  3. Dear Vessell Family, 
    What a wonderful life your mom had! My sincere sympathy on your loss but I am sure she is happy to be with your dad again. I have many memories of all of you and your parents from our St. Joe days. God bless.

  4. Patti and family, I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your Mother. You and your family have my deepest sympathy.

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