Cover photo for Jesse Paxton's Obituary
Jesse Paxton Profile Photo
1954 Jesse Earl Paxton 2024

Jesse Paxton

August 10, 1954 — April 8, 2024



           Jesse Earl Paxton, Mansfield native, farmer, landscaper, musician, theologian, mentor, son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, friend… Christian. Jesse was a Christian first and foremost and he went home to be with Jesus, his Savior he longed to see, on Monday afternoon, April 8, 2024.

Jesse Earl Paxton, born August 10, 1954, in Springfield, Missouri, to Earl Arthur and Edna (Hoover) Paxton.  He was preceded in death by his father, Earl Paxton and one nephew, Joshua Schultz. His immediate survivors are his beloved wife, Cheryl, daughter, Shari Stanbery and husband, Justin, of Diamond, Missouri, daughter, Dana and husband, Alex Fourman, of Mansfield, Missouri, along with his cherished granddaughter, Alexis Stanbery. Also surviving are his mom, Edna (Hoover) Paxton, and his four siblings - two brothers, Dan Paxton and his wife, Ella, of Springfield, Missouri, Mark Paxton and his wife, Vicky, of Sparta, Missouri, two sisters - Faith Schultz and her husband, Tom, of Olathe, Kansas, and Grace Jones and her husband, Randy, of Camden, Tennessee, a host of nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, church family, neighbors and friends also remain. Another special group of “adopted” children Jesse and Cheryl took in and loved over the years also survive. 

Jesse began working at a very young age. Just like Earl and Edna, Jesse worked hard all of his life – this work contributed to his reputation of “having muscles.” Although good people and hard workers, the Paxtons were poor most of his growing up years. He and his siblings were often on the receiving end of bullying in school. He may not have started the fights, but he certainly finished them!

As a young man, he began working for local farmers, Billy Clouse, Marion Fuge and Darrell Sparlin. He worked until he could buy a truck for himself at age 14, along with three cows to milk. Darrell Sparlin recognized Jesse’s potential and became the most positive influence in Jesse’s life, encouraging him in FFA. Darrell and his wife Peggy became the cheerleaders he needed to build his confidence enough to attend college in pursuit of an Agriculture degree. 

Jesse and his International hay truck made their way to Olathe, Kansas, where he worked his way through college at Mid-America Nazarene. He always joked that he “squeezed” two associate degrees into eight years. What he squeezed into those years was an Associate of Arts in Religious Education, an Associate of Science in Agricultural Business, and a certificate in Music Ministry, all while working full time and periodically coming home a semester here and there to work. Many times, he skipped Friday classes, drove to Mansfield to pick up his dad or brother, drove all night to South Dakota to pick up a load of hay, and drove back to Mansfield to sell it. He would make it back just in time for classes on Monday morning. His days of hauling hay and working wheat harvest from Kansas to South Dakota were fond memories. His love of farming, old trucks, and tractors only increased over time. Much to his chagrin, his daughters chose green and yellow instead of red. 

Jesse learned to sing in church from a young age with the encouragement of his mom. He sang in church choir and at youth camp. A highlight of his teen life was singing in the Janettes all four years of high school in their church district as well as at the General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene. He played his trombone in band and learned to love music. Through singing, he met the love of his life and best friend, Cheryl Mallary. A group of college students sang for a revival in Arkansas. Cheryl played the piano for Jesse’s solo. She knew it was love when she heard him sing. They were married on August 11, 1979, in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

While living in Olathe, Jesse and Cheryl welcomed Shari, their first baby girl, in January of 1984. Their second daughter, Dana, arrived after they moved back “home,” to Missouri in October of 1989. When asked if he wished he had some boys to help on the farm, his response was always “why? My girls can do anything those boys can do.” 

Jesse accepted the position of Grounds Supervisor at Evangel College, now University, in Springfield, Missouri, in 1985. He loved his job and remained there until his retirement in 2012. Although retired, the Evangel family remained a significant part of his life. Jesse was known for his creativity in landscape architecture, advice giving (whether solicited or not), spring tulips, fall mums, and creative critter trapping abilities. It was during this time he and his crew were amazed as Evangel received recognition as one of “The 50 Most Beautiful Christian College & University Campuses in the World.” He loved “his guys” and their families. It was not an uncommon sight to see a student worker or staff member in his office asking for advice – ending with prayer, a pat on the shoulder, and a “it will be ok, the Lord can do it.”

Edna always made sure her kids made it to church camp. Jesse made the most important decision in his life at a young age at camp, he asked Jesus to be his Savior. This decision completely changed the trajectory of his life. He was unashamed of his faith and made sure that his family and friends all knew how good God is, no matter what you’re facing. His life was marked by two major events. First, the tornado in 1990 that took their home and all of their earthly possessions – second, losing his sight in 2007. Jesse’s love for Jesus only increased during these times. Though God graciously restored some of his sight through surgery in 2012, he lived with pinpoint tunnel vision. That changed, once again, on Monday, April 8, 2024, when his eyes were made perfect. 

 Jesse and Cheryl served as music ministers in various churches throughout their marriage. Since 2000, he has been the song leader at Mt. Zion Church of God (Holiness) in Ava, Missouri. He joyfully carried out his love for this duty the day before his home-going. 

Jesse loved Jesus and his family. He made a promise to his wife and daughters that they would always hear him say “I love you” and “you’re special.” He kept his promise up through Monday when he left this earth. 

Jesse was often helping out a friend or laughing at his own jokes. 

He wanted everyone to know Jesus. If you don’t, you can! He often had this to say, “I hope I get a crown, not for me, but because that’s the only thing I would have to put at Jesus’ feet when I get there.” 

Memorial Donations can be made to the Foundation Christian School.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jesse Paxton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, April 14, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home - Mansfield

209 N Lincoln Ave, Mansfield, MO 65704

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Funeral Service

Monday, April 15, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Mt. Zion Church of God (Holiness)

13359 O'Bryan St, Findley Township, MO 65608

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