Springfield, MO

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Developer Jester dies after brief illness

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Bill Jester, developer of several area retail real estate ventures including Quail Creek Plaza and Jester Town and Country in Springfield, has died.

Jester died Wednesday morning at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, according to family friend Charlie Yocum. Jester died from complications following surgery.

Jester owned and/or developed several southwest Missouri properties, including New Sunshine Technology Center, French Quarter Plaza, Super Center Plaza and Eaglesgate subdivision in Springfield and Town Center Plaza in Republic.

After serving for eight years as a vice president with Southwest Baptist University, Jester founded Resource Development Inc. in 1979 as a consulting firm and expanded its scope into the real estate arena in the 1980s, according to The site does not mention his death. 

Like other developers, the economy had hit Jester’s projects hard in recent years, according to Springfield Business Journal coverage. New Sunshine Technology Center and Town Center Plaza went through debt restructuring in 2009, while French Quarter remains in bankruptcy proceedings as of Wednesday.

Jester, president of Resource Development Inc., told SBJ in April 2009 that a combination of increased regulatory pressure on banks and declining retail sales put many developers in tough financial straits during the recession of 2008 and 2009.

He said his company defaulted on loans when tenants fell behind on rent payments due to their own financial difficulties.

Funeral services for Jester are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Butler Funeral Home in Bolivar.

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