Kathryn J. Smith, 88, of Warrensburg, died Thursday, Oct. 27, at her home.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at First United Methodist Church in Warrensburg.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2 at the church, with the Reverends Jackson Short and Louie Lowe officiating. Interment will follow in Warrensburg Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Michael Gauble, Robert Simmons, Terry Thurston, Derell Dulaban, David Adams, Jason Abner and Matt Nash.
Kathryn was born July 4, 1928, at Lake Arthur, New Mexico, the daughter of Harry F. and Kathryn Elizabeth (Carleton) Bailey. Being the middle child, her home was home to a younger brother and sister and an older brother and sister after her parents died. Her parents came back to Missouri in 1933 to live in Clinton, Tightwad and Leesville.
She attended a one-room school, Shady Grove, for her third year of school and then finished her schooling in Clinton.
Kathryn met her future husband in 1944. David was just back from World War II. They were married in December of 1949 and had two children, Cheryl Leary and Michael K. Smith.
Kathryn worked for the Grace Garment company as an embroidery operator from 1946 to 1950 when she was contacted by the Unitog Company (then on Pine Street in Warrensburg) where she worked for 17 years. She was then employed at the Sample Bag for almost four years. In 1982, she went to work at UMB Bank (on the corner of Holden and Pine streets in Warrensburg) which she retired from in July of 1995.
Kathryn worked as the office receptionist at Sweeney-Phillips & Holdren Funeral Home where she kept meticulous notes for 16 years.
She was a seamstress and an oil painter, and she made wedding cakes for 37 years.
In November of 1954, Kathryn and David moved to Warrensburg when he was assigned to civil service at Whiteman Air Force Base, where he worked for 22 years. After 37 years of marriage, David died in 1986.
Kathryn was a member of the First United Methodist Church, the Aldersgate Sunday School class, the Western Missouri Medical Center Auxiliary, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the American Legion and the Business Professional Women of Missouri. She was also a former hospice volunteer.
Kathryn liked being busy and loved the yearly CMSU homecoming parade when all the family came for food and togetherness. Thanksgiving was a main time for children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nephews. She was a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother. The wooden plaque in her kitchen read, “Welcome to Grandma’s house, children spoiled while you wait.”
Kathryn is survived by a daughter, Cheryl Leary; a son, Michael K. Smith and wife, Aisha; four grandchildren, Jeremy S. Leary and wife, Alicia, of Pleasant Hill, Jaison D. Leary and wife, Monica, of Smithville, Nichole Smith, of La Monte, and Julianne Smith, of Galena, Maryland; and eight great-grandchildren, Brendan, Klayton, Connor, and Jeremy Leary Jr., Delani and Jaxson Leary, and Breanne and Harley Ann Torrey, of La Monte; her sparring partner, Robert “Bob” Thurston, of Independence; a sister-in-law, Barbara Burkett, of Irchester, England; her nieces and nephews, and many, many friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, David, her parents, her brothers, Leo F. and Harry L. Bailey, and sisters, Bernice Heels and Donna Thurston.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Children’s Mercy Hospital or the First United Methodist Church of Warrensburg and can be left in the care of Sweeney-Phillips & Holdren Funeral Home.