Mary Elizabeth Smith Rader, 90, of Lamar, Missouri, a past convention president of Cumberland Presbyterian Women (1987-1988), died January 9, 2020. She also served as CPW president on the presbytery and synodic levels and was instrumental in developing a CPW leadership development seminar for presbyteries. Beth was a life-long member of Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Lamar (Missouri Presbytery) and attended Lamar United Methodist Church.
Beth was born August 11, 1929, to Ralph and Verla Smith of Liberal, Missouri, where she grew up. She graduated from Liberal High School in 1947. Beth attended Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. For sixteen years Beth worked tirelessly to achieve a degree in education while managing her household, her farm, and her elementary classrooms.
Beth taught in one room country schools from 1949-1961 in Barton County, Missouri. Beth taught seventh grade in Sheldon from 1962-1964 and then fifth grade in Lamar from 1964-1982. Beth was president of Lamar Teacher’s Association and was the first woman elected to the Lamar School Board. Beth was named Missouri Retired Teacher of the Year in 2005.
She had three daughters, Barba Rader Parrish, Ann Rader Ditty, and Cyndy Rader Johnson, all of whom are active in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Barba is treasurer for Missouri Presbytery and Cyndy founded the Missouri Women’s Retreat in 1990.