In Loving Memory…

Carolyn F. Spradling

Carolyn Frances Watkins was born on November 13, 1941 to Earl and Frances Watkins in St. Louis, Missouri. During her childhood she lived in Clinton, Missouri then moved to Smithton, Missouri where she graduated high school in 1959.  After graduation, Carolyn attended Central Missouri Teachers College (now UCM). She passed away Friday May 15, 2020 at Bothwell Regional Medical Center.  Carolyn is preceded in death by her parents, brother John Watkins, late husband Jack Birdsong, great granddaughter Mya Gerken and Inky aka “Dolly Dog”.

Carolyn and children were active in the Sedalia community. She served on the Sedalia Parks Board, active in the AAU Track Club and Bowling League, Past President of the Sedalia Elk Ladies Club, Bridge player, volunteer, and a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church. In her early career Carolyn worked for the Lamm, Barnett, Crawford, Barnes, and Fritz firm then for Vocational Rehabilitation where she met (through mutual friends) and married Chester Spradling. Carolyn moved with Chester to Rolla, Missouri and worked for Phelps County as a deputy clerk. After a while, Chester finally gave in and moved back to Sedalia so she could be closer to her family. Back home, she worked until retirement as a deputy clerk for the Pettis County Circuit Court. After retirement, they moved to Branson for seven years until Chester finally gave in again and moved her back home to Sedalia.

Carolyn loved being “Mema”. Mema was very creative, an avid reader, drove convertibles, and loved 50’s music. If it could be painted, she painted it! If it was soft, she bought it! She was a very supportive and attentive grandmother and great grandmother, attending events, hosting birthday dinners, playing pranks and always ready to shop or decorate. All of this on top of being a 25-year breast cancer survivor.

Carolyn leaves behind her husband, Chester of 32 years; children Jeff (Mary Ann) Birdsong of Georgetown, KY, Lorrie (Steve) Keenum of Houstonia, Amy (Wes) Dunkin of Sedalia, Jennie (Chris) Rodewald of Sedalia; her beloved grandchildren Lindsay (Abe) Rafat, Laura, and Landon Birdsong; Blaire (Jay) Birdsong Johnson, Jackie (Dennis) Gerken, and Haley Lee; Alicia (Bryce) Johnson and Alix (Tyler) Norton; and Sarah, Joseph, and Hannah Rodewald; great-grandchildren Neeli Johnson, Makai, Malise, and Maizah Lee; sister-in-law Diane Watkins, nephew Matt (Kate) Watkins and great-niece Grace Watkins.

Due to current restrictions, the family is having private graveside service on Saturday May 23, 2020. Flowers will be accepted on behalf of the family by Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to the First United Methodist Church or the Sedalia Community Center fund in care of Heckart Funeral Home.


  1. John and Kay Hicks

    So sorry for your loss. You and yours are in my prayer’s.

  2. My condolences to the family. Sounds like lots of wonderful memories made for you all to cherish.

  3. Janet Fairchild Roberts

    I am very sorry for your loss. I remember Carolyn as a volunteer for many years. So energetic and sweet.

  4. Kevin and Sheri Webb

    So sorry. We are praying for you!!
    Kevin and Sheri Webb and family

  5. Tony and Valerie Corpe and family

    I’ve got so many memories! I can still see her driving by in that cute little red car. I’ll miss her in my chair. She was certainly a beautiful gift. My condolences to your family on this tremendous loss. You will all be in our prayers.

  6. Stephan and Bobby Carter and Kids

    Haley, Makai, Malise, and Maizah, (and all the family) we are so sorry for your loss. Our deepest condolences in the loss of your Mema.

  7. So sorry for your loss. Your Mom was a very special lady

  8. Shelley McMullin Miller

    So sorry to hear this news. May your fond memories bring you comfort. Prayers for all the family.

  9. Debbie Bredehoeft

    So sorry for your families loss. Prayers that God may comfort you all.

    Kevin and Debbie Bredehoeft

  10. Betty Plummer

    Carolyn was so sweet! I am so sorry for the family’s loss. Chester I am praying for you to have strength at this sad time.

  11. Krista Corbett

    I am so sorry to hear of Carolyn’s passing. No doubt, she has looked Jesus in the eye. She was a good one. I sure thought the world of her!

  12. Love and prayers to her family. Her love of life shows through her children and grandchildren. Peace to you!

  13. Troy and Cathy Smith

    Blaire, Jay and Neeli – we are so sorry for the loss of your “Mema”! She touched many lives in all of her many wonderful activities! I know you, your family and and all who knew her will miss her! You all will be in our thoughts and prayers as you experience this sad time!

  14. Debbie Foster

    So sorry for your loss. She was a sweetheart. I know how she loved her family. Sending prayers during this tough time.

    Debbie Foster

  15. Susan Mcmannama

    My thoughts and prayers for all your family. We spoke a few times at church and Jackie’s and Dennis wedding. She was an amazing lady, and so proud of her family. She will be missed by many. Susan Gerken- McMannama.

  16. April & Renette

    Please know I am thinking of you all. She was a staple in the community, and that certainly is something to be proud of. Losing a parent is never easy. But hang onto the memories. Those are the best. Godspeed….and much love.

  17. Becky Pummill

    So sorry for your loss.

  18. Bridges Family

    We are so sorry for your loss. We are praying for your family. She have been part of our family for many years. She will be truly missed. Love you all.

  19. Debbie & Ray Murray

    So very sorry to hear this. May all the wonderful memories of her bring some comfort. Prayers and love to her family.

  20. Condolence from the Rollins family.

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. She was special!

  22. Prayers and love to you and your family! We all have memories of fun times together. Carolyn will be missed!

  23. Charla Smith Flaherty

    Prayers to some of my best and fondest friends and family! Love y’all 💓

  24. I was so sad to hear of Carolyn’s passing. She was a sweet and wonderful person who will be greatly missed. God bless your entire family.

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