Nature 07

John Joseph Foreman

October 12, 1922 ~ November 25, 2020 (age 98)


John Joseph Foreman, age 98, of Columbia, MO formerly of Vandalia and Rensselaer, MO passed away at 7:50 am Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at his home.  

Private family services will be held Monday, November 30, 2020, at the Smith Funeral Home & Chapel of Hannibal. Pastor Nathan Markley will officiate.  Burial with full military honors provided by the Emmette J. Shields American Legion Post #55 will be at the Big Creek Cemetery in Rensselaer.

The funeral services will be live streamed on John’s memorial page at , click on John’s memorial page and below the obituary click on the live stream tab.  If you are unable to use the website, it may also be viewed on the Smith Funeral Home & Chapel facebook page.  The live stream will start shortly before 1:00 p.m.

John was born on October 12, 1922, in Rensselaer, MO, the son of Paul and Louise (Brown) Foreman.

He was united in marriage to Elizabeth Ann Herron on June 22, 1957, at the First Presbyterian Church in Vandalia, MO.

Survivors include his wife Elizabeth of the home; daughters, Mary Lou Patterson (Ron) of Merriam, KS, Katherine Resler (Les) of St. Louis, MO and Jane Foreman of Columbia, MO; grandchildren, Jennifer Onofrio (Alex), Katherine Ross, Aaron Patterson, Daniel Patterson (Chloe), Hannah Patterson, and Joshua Patterson; great granddaughter, Mackenzie;  brother, Dr. Phillip Foreman (Priscilla) of Hannibal, MO,  sister, Renee Holloway of Eldon, MO; sister-in-law, Ruth Foreman of Withers Mill, MO and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Foreman was preceded in death by seven brothers, George "Willie" Foreman, Calvin Foreman, Allen Foreman, Paul "Mac" Foreman, Robert Foreman, Benjamin Foreman, Thomas Foreman and two sisters, Mary Ruth Burris and Helen Grimstad. 

John graduated from Rensselaer High School in 1941, and went on to further his education at Chillicothe Business School and upon graduation he honorably served his country in the US Army during WWII while stationed in Korea.   After his service to his country, Mr. Foreman attended Hannibal-LaGrange college and graduated in 1950.  He later enrolled at the University of Missouri and during this time he was drafted into the US Army to honorably serve his country during the Korean Conflict as a Corporal receiving the Korean Service Medal and three Bronze Stars.  After his second tour of duty, John was able to finish his education at the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in Vocational Agriculture.  He later worked on his masters degree before being hired as a Soil Scientist with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior.

John's job as a Soil Scientist led him and his family across the United States living on various Indian Reservations including reservations in the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, Arizona, Florida and Colorado. He retired in 1980 and spent 40 years farming in Vandalia, MO before moving to Columbia.

Mr. Foreman was a member of Lions Club International, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion and was a committeeman of Audrain County for the Republican party.

Away from work, John enjoyed gardening and sharing the fruits of his labor with family and friends, farming, hunting, woodworking, singing with his amazing tenor voice, tinkering with just about anything and was known as a jack of all trades by many.  While living in Colorado he took up skiing and while living in Florida he enjoyed deep sea fishing. John's biggest pastime and love was that spent with his family.

Mr. Foreman was a lifelong member of the Big Creek Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Rensselaer, but no matter what town they visited or lived in, finding a church to attend was his first priority.

Pallbearers will be Daniel Patterson, Alex Onofrio, Ron Patterson and Les Resler.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Aaron Patterson and Joshua Patterson.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Big Creek Evangelical Presbyterian Church, in care of the Smith Funeral Home & Chapel.

Online condolences may be made to the family and video tribute viewed on John's memorial page at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Joseph Foreman, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service

Committal Service


Private Family Funeral Service
November 30, 2020

Smith Funeral Home & Chapel
2619 St. Mary's Ave.
Hannibal, MO 63401

Video is available for this event

Please note
The live stream of John's service will start shortly before 1:00 pm on Monday, November 30, 2020.


Big Creek Evangelical Presbyterian Church

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