STAFFORD — Laura Ethel Stewart, 95, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Harry Hynes Hospice Section of St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. She was born on June 10, 1915, at her parents’ home in Lawrenceville, Ill., the daughter of Richard John Kneidl and Laura Ethel Price Kneidl. Laura was a 1932 graduate of Tulsa (Okla.) High School and received a degree in Ancient Languages and graduated magna cum laude from Sterling College in 1936. Following graduation, Laura taught Latin and English in Alma for one year before marrying her college sweetheart, Ritchey Stewart, on June 10, 1937. They lived and farmed in the Zenith area and celebrated 69 anniversaries together before he died on Nov. 12, 2006.
Laura was a homemaker and an active member of the United Presbyterian Church all her life. She used her gift of teaching and her love of God’s Word to direct Vacation Bible School, teach Sunday school, and lead Bible studies for all ages. She was an elder in the church and held leadership positions in the Women’s Presbyterial and Synodical organizations of the church at local, state and national levels. She served her alma mater, Sterling College, as president of the Alumni Association, and was elected to the Board of Trustees. She received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest alumni award offered by Sterling College, in 1993.
Laura was a long-time member of the Stafford Drama Guild, participating in their productions as an actress, director and a part of the stage crew. She was a member of Y.W.C.A., the BK Chapter of P.E.O. and the Women’s Missionary Society.
Survivors include a son, Darrel, and his wife Sue, Newton; a daughter, Marilyn White and her husband, Hal, Kingsdown; one brother, Richard, and his wife, Mary, Nampa, Idaho; four grandchildren, Michael Stewart and his wife, Elaine, Smithville, Mo.; Aaron White and his wife, Sarah, Norton; Caleb White and his wife, Megan, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Alicia Garrison and her husband, James, Tulsa, Okla.: and four great-grandchildren, Kristen and Jacob Stewart, Gideon White and Andrew White. She was preceded in death by a sister, Ruth Marie Hart, and a great-grandson, Rory Shane Stewart.
Funeral service will be held at the Minnis Chapel, Stafford, at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at the Stafford Cemetery following the service. Family will receive friends today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the chapel. Memorials may be sent to Sterling College or the Harry Hynes Hospice in care of Minnis Chapel, 125 N. Main, Stafford, KS 67578.
Funeral arrangements provided by
125 N. Main
Stafford, KS 67578
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Sept. 12, 2010