Betty Louise Southards, 85
Funeral services for Betty Louise Southards, 85, of Sycamore, were held March 10, 2018, at Needmore Church of God south of Dora. Mrs. Southards died March 5.
She was born April 13, 1932, the youngest child of Norton and Christena Pease. Raised during the Depression on the family farm near Dora, she learned the value of hard work, resourcefulness and good stewardship from a young age. She loved learning and was an excellent student, which led to her graduating as the valedictorian of her class in 1949. She carried this determination to do her best, whatever the circumstances, throughout her lifetime.
After high school, she married James Southards, the love of her life. Together they cherished two children, Eddie and Brenda. When Mrs. Southards was 23 she became a Christian. She grew in her faith at the Rock Hill Church of God in St. Louis and used her talents to faithfully serve the church in many different ways over the years. She worked 25 years at the Meramec Community College bookstore, ending her career as the bookstore manager.
She and her husband retired to the Southards family homestead at Sycamore. She designed their home for family gatherings, welcoming her children and grandchildren with open arms. She expressed love for her family and others in many ways, including the wonderful meals she made, the generous gifts she provided and other daily blessings she gave with joy. In this way, her life reflected deep faith and embodied God’s tenderhearted love. During their retirement, she and her husband were active in the Needmore Church of God at Dora There they worked together for nearly 30 years in many different ways alongside their friends and neighbors to help share the gospel with the community. She was also a member of the Sweeton Pond Cemetery Board.
She is survived by one son, Eddie Southards and wife Ruth; one daughter, Brenda Proebsting and husband Fred; five adored grandsons, Dr. Eric Proebsting and wife Kelly, Tim Southards and wife Shari, Todd Proebsting and wife Sarah, the Rev. Steve Southards and wife Erin, and Ben Southards; she also shared the joy of nine great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
She was preceded in death by her parents; James, her husband of 66 years; and her siblings Joyce Bell, Dallas Pease and Doris Stout.
Burial was in the Ball Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Needmore Church of God or to Ball Cemetery and may be left at the funeral home. Online condolences may be expressed at robertsondrago.com.
Arrangements by Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, West Plains.