William “Ben” Edmondson of Melrose, Kan., died Monday, Sept. 29, 2008, in Joplin, Mo., after an illness. He was 79.

He was born April 4, 1929, in West Twin Ranches to Hollie and Florence (Watson) Edmondson. He lived all of his life in the Melrose area.

He was a Korean War veteran of the Marine Corps.

He was a cabinet maker. He was a member of St. Paul Methodist Church in Chetopa, Kan. He became a member of Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1948 and later a member of the Senior Pro Rodeo Association.

He married Jamie Jackson on Dec. 14, 1990, in Melrose. She survives, of the home.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Micky Edmondson; his parents; two brothers, Chad and Ray, and one sister, Lavon.

Additional survivors include one son and his wife, Bennie “Joel” and Sharyl Edmondson of Eureka, Kan.; two stepsons and their wives, Miles and Rebecca Dickerson of Raytown, Mo., and Jeff and Selina Dickerson of Fredonia, Kan.; one daughter, Roxana Rogers-Lemon and husband Scott Lemon of Overland Park, Kan.; one brother, Dick Edmondson of Lawrence, Kan.; two sisters, Wanda Fry of rural Melrose and Sammie Jean Blundell of Enterprise, Miss., four grandchildren, eight stepgrandchildren and two stepgreat-grandchildren.

Services will be 2 p.m. Friday at Paul Thomas Funeral Home in Picher. The Rev. Steve Womack and the Rev. Dick Glascow will officiate. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Melrose.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.