Rance Alan Walls was born on Aug. 18, 1979, as the oldest child of Glen and Cleea (Hamilton) Walls. Rance departed this earth unexpectedly on Nov. 14, 2022. While Rance had a relatively short life of just 43 years, it was filled with lots of wonderful experiences. For those who didn’t know Rance personally, he was quiet; once you knew him, his quick laugh made everyone feel loved.
Rance was a fun-loving guy who loved playing sports. He excelled at playing football for the Cabool Bulldogs and had a passion for the game. Rance started varsity his freshman year and would go on to have First Team all SCA Conference honors his sophomore, junior and senior years. In his senior year, he earned the title, SCA Back of the Year, and is ranked 11th on the Missouri State High School Athletic Associations’ list of all-time tackles with 427 career tackles. He was an all-SCA Conference and State Qualifier in Shot Put and Discuss for the Cabool Track Team. Rance was on the first Cabool High School Baseball team his senior year, earning All SCA Conference Honors.
In 1998, Rance graduated from Cabool High School with honors and was recruited by Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar to play football. Rance immediately made an impact at SBU. He earned a starting inside linebacker position for the second game of the season and never gave it up. In the last game of his freshman year, Rance was named the MIAA Division 2 Player of the Week when he intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown.
While he loved the game of football, he had a greater love for his future wife, Elizabeth. After a highly successful freshman year of football at SBU, Rance shared with his father, “There’s more to life than football,” and transferred to Missouri State University to be with his future bride, Elizabeth.
Rance and Elizabeth were high school sweethearts and married on Dec. 31, 2002. In May 2003 they both graduated college and moved to Cabool where Rance served on the management team of WoodPro Cabinetry. In March of 2006, Rance and Elizabeth welcomed the blessing of their first child, Logan Alan. In January of 2009, Emma Elizabeth was born, adding another blessing to their family. Rance and Elizabeth believed their family was complete, but God had other plans.
With the urging of Cabool School Administrators, Rance decided to switch careers and use his Business Administration degree and his years of experience in business to teach and lead the FBLA Program. The career change grew his family to include the kids of Cabool. Rance was encouraged to join the Cabool Football Program and assumed coaching duties, adding more boys to their family. Elizabeth became the Cheer coach, adding more girls to their family. Mr. and Mrs. Walls became ingrained in the Cabool Schools community, always encouraging their kids at sporting events and club competitions like FBLA and FCCLA.
Rance was an outdoorsman from his early teen years and enjoyed nothing more than being dropped off at the “cabin at the farm” with some soda and snacks. With his .22 rifle in hand, Rance and his hunting buddy Casey Dixon would spend the day shooting and plinking.
Rance and his best man, Daniel Hood, were involved in the outdoor show, Hallowed Ground. This group of hunters would use their hunting platform to promote Christ by recording their hunts on DVD and Television. Rance and the Hallowed Ground team were honored as the Best New Hunting Show on The Sportsman’s Channel. Rance accepted the award on stage at the Las Vegas Shot Show. Rance decided to step away from the Hallowed Ground show to spend more time with his family and friends. Over the last several years, Rance began a new hobby, trapping, with friends Brian Thiele and Casey Dixon.
Rance enjoyed spending time at the beach with family, cruises, fishing trips to Canada, and camping trips to Montauk. Rance loved making memories with his kids and extended family. He was known for helping his mom, Cleea, move all types of things at her store, no matter how busy he was.
When Rance was 11 years old, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and participated in several youth ministry trips during his teen years. Rance and Elizabeth were charter members of Cabool Second Baptist Church and served faithfully in the youth program at CSBC for many years. Rance and Elizabeth taught Sunday School and were always willing to help with countless youth activities. This past year, Rance joined the Deacon in Training program at CSBC with plans to be ordained early in 2023.
Rance will be missed by his wife of almost 20 years, Elizabeth; son, Logan and daughter, Emma of the home; his parents, Glen and Cleea Walls of Cabool; parent in-laws, John and Kaye Hale of Cabool; sisters, Paige (Todd) Ferguson of Cabool and Crystal (Haley) Gatewood of Springfield; brother-in-law, Chris (Kelli) Hale of Newburg; nieces and nephews, Isaac and Adele Gatewood, Kaelyn Ferguson, MacAllister, Kyler, Elli, Emmett and Alli Kate Hale. He was also blessed with wonderful aunts, uncles and cousins and a host of friends and of course his Bulldog students and players.
Visitation will be from 5 – 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, at the Cabool Second Baptist Church. Celebration of life service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 at Cabool Second Baptist Church with Floyd Hutson and Daniel Hood officiating. Interment will be at the Cabool Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool, Mo. Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Rance Walls Memorial Education Fund, c/o the funeral home.