Mr. John L. Hearne, age 92 years, of Jefferson City, Mo., died Sunday, May 6, 2018 at his home.
John was born October 4, 1925 in Columbia, Mo. the son of Cannon C. and Emily Franklin Hearne. He was married on June 15, 1947 in Columbia, Mo. to Jacqueline Wollenman who preceded him in death on December 16, 2012.
John graduated from University High School in Columbia. He was a 1947 graduate of the University of Missouri and a 1950 graduate from the University of Missouri School of Law. He played football for the University of Missouri Tigers football team. He was a lifelong fan of Missouri football and basketball, travelling to games when he could, and watching on television when he could not. He particularly enjoyed sharing those games with his family, and he worked hard to pass on his love of all things “Mizzou” rah.
John practiced law for over 60 years. His office was across the street from the Cole County Courthouse for more than a half century. Through his practice he helped many people, always putting his clients and ethics above profit. He also mentored many lawyers and judges. He was a man of strong character and principle. John loved the power of ideas. He and a small band of conservatives revived the Republican Party in Cole County in the sixties. He helped run a conservative bookstore called The Freedom Center to help teach people about the importance of the free discussion of ideas. He also began a tradition of hosting lunches at his law office for anyone who wanted to join in the free and sometimes raucous discussion of politics, law, religion, sports or any other subject that arose. That tradition continues to this day. He was a gentleman and a scholar.
Anyone who knew John Hearne recognized that his actions exemplified the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He passionately loved the same woman for over 70 years. After she became ill, he took care of her with love and tenderness for over 20 years.
He participated in all kinds of community activities including six years on the Jefferson City School Board and Chairman of the Cole County Republican Committee. His life will be remembered because of how he treated all with kindness and respect. He changed people’s lives. He showed his family and friends and those he encountered how to live a life of meaning. He was a member of Wesley Methodist Church and later in life the Community Christian Church.
Survivors include: two children, Sarah Grace Hearne Steelman, and her husband David of Rolla, Mo.; Thomas Hearne, and his wife LeeAnn of Springfield, Mo., and one sister, Mary Francis Hill of Placerville, California; eleven grandchildren, Sarah Hearne Bennett, Andrew Hearne, Jeffrey Scott Hearne, Hannah Hearne, Samuel John Steelman, Joseph Dorman Steelman, Michael David Steelman, Jonah Hearne, Amanda Steelman, Thomas Roach, and Katherine Roach; and eleven great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of sixty-four years, Jacqueline, one son, Jeff Hearne in 1996, and one brother, William Hearne in 2012.
Visitation will be at Freeman Mortuary from 11:30 am until 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2018.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 pm Friday, May 11, 2018 in the Freeman Chapel with Tim Cook, Pastor of Greentree Christian Church in Rolla, officiating. Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the ALS Association.