Betty Jane (Panter) Smith, 93, was born on July 3, 1929, to Clyde and Delilah Panter on a farm north of Athol, KS. She departed life on February 3, 2023, at Smith Center Health & Rehab, Smith Center, KS.
Betty graduated from Athol High School in 1946 at the age of sixteen. She went directly to Fort Hays State College to get a teaching certificate. She returned and taught at many local country schools, filling in where she was needed.
On August 14, 1948, she and Arthur Smith were united in marriage. To this union four sons were born, Lee – 1950, Dail – 1952, Terry-1956 and Stanley – 1961.
Betty gave up her teaching career for her lifetime calling to be a mother and a farm wife. She helped on the farm driving grain trucks, milking cows, driving tractors, and many other chores. Cooking, sewing, cleaning and tending her boys filled her days.
Betty had many hobbies and was very passionate about her family history from the past to the newest born babies, many cousins or generations away. She was also very passionate about Athol and wrote two books about Athol history. She had many phone calls and visits from people searching for family roots from Athol.
Betty and Arthur always enjoyed one or two camping trips a year. She bowled on several teams for over 30 years. She was the Athol city clerk and librarian; she wrote the Athol news for the Pioneer newspaper. She was a member of the Home On The Range Club, Kensington American Legion Auxiliary, Athol Alumni, she was also a lifelong member of the Athol Congregational Church and Women’s Fellowship. She liked to sing and shared her voice at many social events and funerals.
After Arthur’s passing in December 2012, Betty moved to Smith Center where she enjoyed her exercise classes, her noon meals at the Schrader Center and her faithful Dog “Doc” and “Kitty” the cat. She loved the compliments on her little red car.
Betty was devoted to her family, her community and her church and will be dearly missed.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband Arthur of 64 years, son Terry, son Lee, her parents, Clyde and Delilah Panter, brothers, Duane (Pete) and Dee Panter, Arthur’s parents, Ed and Neva Smith, Arthur’s sister Ilene and husbands Gerald Wagenblast and Millard Voorhees, Arthur’s brother Bennie and his wife Lois and nephew Steven Panter.
She leaves to morn son Dail and wife Kathy of Clay Center, KS, son Stan and wife Kim of Smith Center, KS, daughter-in-law Deb Smith of Smith Center, sister-in-law Roseanne Panter of Elkhart, KS, 10 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, February 11, 2023, at All Faiths Funeral Chapel, 113 S. Madison St., Smith Center, KS, with Pastor Lance McDowell officiating. Visitation will be held on Friday, February 10, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with the family present to greet friends. Burial will take place in Pleasant View Cemetery, Athol, KS. Memorials may be given to the Athol Congregational Church and/or HELP Pets of Smith Center and/or Hospice Services of Smith County and can be sent in care of the funeral chapel.