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Joyce Smith, North Harrison Educator

Joyce Elaine Smith



Bethany, MO: Joyce Elaine Brown Smith, who only knew how to go through life in fifth gear, died Tuesday, October 26, 2021. She was one week short of her eighty-eighth birthday.    

     Joyce knew half the people of northwest Missouri and was on her way to meeting the rest when she passed away. After graduating from Northwest Missouri State in 1955, she began teaching business classes in Savannah. She said her first day was the worst day of her life because she didn’t know what she was doing. She also taught briefly in Stanberry and King City before pausing her teaching career to raise children.

     It wasn’t until she taught music at the tiny Westboro, Missouri school district that Joyce found her footing as a teacher. Her husband, Harold, who had become the superintendent of the school, asked her to fill in as a music teacher when he couldn’t find one to hire. Joyce was embraced by a coterie of talented, enthusiastic students and their families. The rest of her life, Joyce looked back fondly on her short time in Westboro.

     In between raising four children, along with copious pets and livestock, Joyce taught at North Harrison then finished her career at South Harrison in Bethany. She either taught, or taught the children of, all but two or three people in Bethany.

     As the family moved from town to town in Missouri and Iowa, Joyce was blessed to have support from sainted neighbors, including Ron and Juanita Lincoln in Jordan, Iowa, Clara Sundermann in Westboro, and May Payton in Eagleville.

     Joyce was known for playing music in churches and at Crestview Nursing Home in Bethany for many decades. One of her greatest joys was playing with a group of friends, known as Sisters for Sharing which included Sandra Heyle, Pat Gibson, and Alicia Craig.  She learned to play the violin and ukulele after retirement. The daughter of a music teacher, music was in her genes and part of her daily life.

     Joyce was born November 1, 1933 in Albany, Missouri. Harold, her husband of 62 years; her parents, Voris and Vera Brown; and her infant brother Robert Keith Brown, preceded her in death.

     Survivors include children, Jeff (Gina) of Maryville; Ron (Michele) of Louisville, Kentucky; Julie (Gary) Lupfer of McFall, and Robert (Alesha) of Maysville. Seven grandchildren include Jared Lupfer (Amanda) of McFall; Tyler Lupfer of St. Joseph; Isabel Smith of Lakewood, Ohio; Sophia Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Zane, Sadie, and Lainey Smith of Maysville. Her three surviving great grandchildren are Alison, Jackson, and Carson Lupfer of McFall.

     Memorial Services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Friday, October 29 at Roberson Funeral Home, Eagleville, MO. Inurnment will follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Blythedale, MO. The family will receive friends from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Blythedale Alumni Association in care of Roberson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 46, Eagleville, MO 64442. Online condolences may be left at www.robersonfuneralhome.com


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North Harrison R-III12023 Fir StreetEagleville, MO  64442

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