Leo Wayne McGruder

March 20, 1952 - November 13, 2012

Leo Wayne McGruder, 60, of Jefferson City, departed this life on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at St. Mary's Heath Center. He was born March 20, 1952, in Jefferson City, the son of Paul Edward and Helen Louise (McGruder) Ferguson. A graduate of Lincoln Laboratory High School in Jefferson City, Leo excelled in basketball. He attended Lincoln University where he played basketball as a freshman. On March 18, 1994, he was united in marriage to Carla Jean Boyce, who preceded him in death on January 20, 2008. Leo was baptized at an early age and was of the Baptist faith. Known to many as "Reverend McGruder", he enjoyed preaching at various churches in and around the Jefferson City and Springfield, Missouri areas. He enjoyed singing religious music, too. He was a licensed electrician and talented handyman. His hobbies included detailing cars, restoring older vehicles and barbeque competitions. He was proud of his service as a mentor to several area youths in Springfield and Jefferson City. Leo is survived by his mother: Helen Ferguson of Jefferson City; his aunts: Nadine Smith of Jefferson City and Marie Thompson of Kansas City; his children: Damon (Tiffance) Simmons (Damon's mother is Brenda Shepard) of Gary, Indiana, Leo McGruder Jr. of Springfield and Leandra (Lukas) Hulett of Lincoln, Nebraska (their mother and former wife is Cosandra Watson); his grandchildren: Da'mya, Da'ria, twins Damon II and Da'jae, and Johonna, a new granddaughter and a new great-grandchild are due to arrive before long; his sisters: Ellen Ferguson, Janice Ferguson and Saundra (Tyronne) Allen, all of Jefferson City; his brothers: Michael (Sylvia) Ferguson of Holts Summit and Paul Lee (Pam) Ferguson of Jefferson City; cousins: Maria Smith (Charlie) Hurst of Cleveland, Ohio and Larry Smith of Lincoln, Nebraska; former wife: Lenny Christian; nieces, nephews, a great-niece and great-nephews, other relatives and friends. Along with his wife Carla, Leo was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Da'aja; his father, Paul Ferguson; his aunt, Jessie Ferguson; his uncles, William Smith, Leon Ferguson; a niece and a nephew. Graveside services will be held in Springfield, Missouri and are private for the family. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 West Main Street, Jefferson City, MO 65109. (573) 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at

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