Lora Ethel Smith passed away on Monday, April 27, 2020 at the Anthony Community Care Center with her sons, Brent and Brad at her side. Lora was born in Colony, Oklahoma, on August 16, 1925 to Lawrence Ransdell and Nina Ethel Dushane Greenfield.
Lora grew up in Colony, Oklahoma, a little town in southwestern Oklahoma. She went to the Colony schools her entire elementary and secondary school years. Lora grew up on a family farm, with her sister Norma and little brother Merlin. In her own words, “I chopped cotton, snapped cotton, topped feed, shocked feed, oats and wheat; shucked corn, milked cows, fed the pigs and the chickens, and learned to drive a team of horses and drive a tractor. (All of that had a bearing on my getting my education!!!!).” After graduating from Colony High School, she enrolled at Southwestern State Oklahoma University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Her college years were very rewarding, she was recognized as one of the top scholar citizens at the University and she earned her Bachelors of Science in Education degree in July of 1946 and later became an English teacher. Southwestern is where she met her husband, Byron Smith. They were married August 1, 1946. They moved to Kansas after graduating to start their teaching careers. Lora taught beside Byron as an English teacher in Isabel, Kansas and Englewood, Kansas while he was an administrator and a Business Teacher. Later after 5 years at Isabel and Englewood they moved to St. John, Kansas where Byron was Superintendent. Lora stayed home with their son, Brent who was born in August of 1956. The family lived in St. John for 9 years and in May of 1962, Brad was born.
In 1965, the Smith family moved to Goodland, Kansas and later moved to Anthony, Kansas in 1967. Lora stayed home for several years helping her sons and later became the City Librarian of Anthony. She held this position for 10 years until retiring in 1986, the same year Byron retired as Superintendent of USD 361. Both loved Anthony and Harper and the surrounding communities in Harper County. Lora was most proud of being so supportive of Byron. She once said, “Even though I’m a retired teacher and librarian, being a school superintendent’s wife for 38 years of the 40 years we worked in public education: that in itself was an occupation.” Lora helped Byron be instrumental in the formation of Chaparral High School. Since Byron didn’t think it was a good idea for the Superintendent’s wife to work in the same school district as him in a larger school district she found her calling as the City Librarian. She did volunteer to help the local school district to combine Anthony & Harper High Schools’ libraries into the Chaparral High School Library.
Lora kept involved with the Anthony Library after she retired and held an appointed volunteer position as the secretary/treasurer of the Anthony Library board. She also was instrumental in helping build the new public library. She was proud to have served 24 years, the City of Anthony, in her library work. She dearly loved helping teachers and students' research school projects, helping local patrons find information on their families, and writing articles to contributing Library news for the Anthony Republican.
The Smith family attended and were members of the Anthony United Methodist Church and Lora was a member for over 50 years. She helped the church with ordering teaching supplies for all the Sunday school teachers for many years. In all the communities Lora and Byron lived they served as Sunday school teachers and in various leadership positions of the church.
Lora in her early years in Anthony belonged to several clubs, sororities and civic organizations.
Lora’s family has a rich Indian Heritage in the Eastern Shawnee Indian Tribe in Seneca Missouri. Lora was proud of her Indian heritage and she made sure both of her sons and grandchildren were listed on the tribal rolls.
Lora is preceded in death by her long-time husband of 42 years Byron Smith, her parents Lawrence Ransdell Greenfield and Nina Dushane Greenfield and her sister Norma Fuqua and little brother Merlin Greenfield.
Lora will be deeply missed by sons, Brent Smith of Edgewood, New Mexico and Brad and wife Kimberly Smith of Altamont, Kansas; her grandchildren, Mathieu Smith and Mitchell Smith of Nashville, Tennessee and Addie Smith, a student of Southern Nazarene University of Bethany, Oklahoma; her niece, Carol Fuqua-Ganser of Espanola, New Mexico and great nephew, Lawrence and great niece, Lori; a host of nieces and nephews on the Smith side of the family and several close friends, especially Bill and Barbara Yandell.
A private family service will be held at this time. A public service will be announced at a later date.
Memorials in memory of Lora may be made to Anthony Community Care Center or the Anthony Public Library and may be sent in care of Prairie Rose Funeral Homes, 602 E. Main St., Anthony, KS 67003. www.prairierosefuneralhomes.com