January 13, 2020

LAMAR- Services were held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at the Lamar United Methodist Church for Beth (Mary Elizabeth) Smith Rader (AKA Grandma Beth), 90, Lamar, who died Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. Lee Howard officiated. Burial was in the Barton City Cemetery.

Arrangements were under the direction of Konantz Warden Funeral Home.

Survivors include a brother, Howard Smith and wife Joanna, Joplin; three daughters, Barba Parrish and husband Ron, Lamar, Ann Ditty and husband Mike, Lee’s Summit and Cyndy Johnson and husband Rick, Lamar; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by six brothers and sisters, Irma Mae Ledford, Marie Howard, Reed Smith, Marlyn Sauerwein, Sue Williams and Baby Jim Smith.

Mrs. Rader was born Aug. 11, 1929, in Liberal, to Ralph and Verla Smith. She was a 1947 graduate of Liberal High School. She also attended Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan. For 16 years she worked tireless to achieve a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, while managing her household, her farm and her elementary classrooms. She was a sparkling diamond that touched many lives. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and was cherished by her family in return.

Mrs. Rader taught in one room country schools from 1949-1961 in Barton County, taught seventh grade in Sheldon from 1962 to 1964 and then fifth grade in Lamar from 1964-1982. She was president of Lamar Teacher’s Association and was the first woman elected to the Lamar R-1 School Board. She was a lifelong volunteer and mentor and was named Missouri Retired Teacher of the Year in 2005.

She was a lifelong member of Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church and an associate member of Lamar United Methodist Church. She was the convention president of the Cumberland Presbyterian Women in 1987-88.

She was the beloved matriarch of her family and will be missed by them every day.