Mary Ellen Paden, 76, Neosho, Mo., passed away peacefully on September 17, 2017, at her home, surrounded by her family.
Mary was born April 30, 1941, in Neosho, to Ralph and Lorene (Crumbliss) McBride. She grew up in Fairview, Mo., on a dairy farm. She graduated from Fairview High School in 1959.
While in school, Mary excelled in academics, was a cheerleader and played all the sports: volleyball, basketball and softball. Following high school, Mary's job history included the Newton County Collector's office, Neosho Nurseries, the Springfield Newspaper and caring for her young children. Once the children were school age, Mary attended Crowder College, in Neosho, and Missouri Southern State College, in Joplin, Mo., where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with an elementary education degree.
In 1975 Mary began her 25-year career in the Neosho School system at Intermediate School, teaching 6th grade Language Arts. She then taught at Neosho Middle School until retirement in 2001. She was a dedicated teacher, who worked tirelessly, wanting all her students to reach their full potential.
Mary married her high school sweetheart, Ron, on August 12, 1960 at the Fairview Methodist Church. They were happily married for 57 years.
Mary was an active member of the Neosho United Methodist Church. She taught children's Sunday school, VBS and was a member of the United Methodist Women. Mary loved music and enjoyed singing in the choir (the most tenured member of 55 years) as well as playing in the handbell choir. She was an active community volunteer and enjoyed working in her flower garden along with admiring wildlife and all kinds of birds around their home. Mary loved spending time with her family and cooked many holiday meals. Her grandchildren were special and she was supportive of them. No matter where they lived, Indiana, Missouri or Arkansas, she attended many of their activities. Mary was also blessed with an abundance of friends and held close a special group of 'lifetime friends'.
She is survived by her spouse, Ron; daughter, Kim (Scott) Schwartz, of Lafayette, Ind., grandchildren, Zachary, of Indianapolis, and Quinton, of Lafayette; and son, Doug (Kelly) Paden, of Joplin, grandchildren, Bryce (Joy), of Bentonville, Ark., and Makenzie, of Joplin; her siblings, Shirley (Joe) Rue, of Waynesville; Peggy (Gene) Hensley, of Springfield; Pat (Verna) McBride, of Springfield, Jerry McBride, of Purdy; and 12 nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Lorene McBride; and a niece, Stephanie McBride.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Wednesday, September 20, at 10 a.m. at the Neosho United Methodist Church, Pastor Mitch Jarvis will officiate. Interment will follow in the Dice Cemetery, and serving as pallbearers will be Ken Barnes, Dallas Kelly, Buddy Powell, Ed Renfro, Robert Allen and Jim Rhoades. Visitation will be held on Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.
Contributions, in memory of Mary, may be made to the Neosho United Methodist Church Choir Fund, in care of Clark Funeral Home, PO Box 66, Neosho, MO 64850.
Online condolences may be posted at www.clarkfuneralhomes.com.
Services are under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.
Published on September 19, 2017