Columbus, Kan. – Juanita Ardelle Taylor was born Feb. 3, 1921 on the family farm east of Columbus. She was the middle child of 5 daughters born to her parents, Samuel V. and Annie R. (Cowell) Taylor.
She spent most of her life in Cherokee County except for a brief time when her family lived in Independence.
Her father, a supervisor for the Kansas Highway Dept. and a former Kansas State Representative, was killed in a single car accident near the home when Juanita was ten-years-old.
After her father’s death, her family moved back to the farm and resided with their grandparents, Milton E. and Vinnie (Sadler) Cowell.
In 1938, Juanita graduated from Cherokee County Community High School in Columbus with a diploma and a Normal Training Certificate.
At age 17, she began her teaching career at Lawton, Kan. She taught 10 years in one-room schools including Stone, Stoney, and Sharon. After her employment at Lowell School, she was hired to teach 3rd grade at Central School in Baxter Springs. She remained there for 33 years until her retirement from teaching, which totaled 43 years.
Juanita was former president of the Baxter Springs Teachers’ Assoc., and was honored with the district’s “Outstanding Teacher” Award. She is a past member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary teacher’s society.
She earned a Bachelors of Science in Education degree from Kansas State Teachers College in 1956 by attending night classes and summer school.
In the early 1940’s, Juanita married Purl A. Ferrier, who was the father of her children. Their marriage ended in 1953.
Her young family continued to live with their grandparents. They were active in Bethlehem United Methodist Church, Shamrock 4-H Club, school activities, and private music lessons.
Juanita married Wm. H. Lucas in 1962. She purchased acreage south of Columbus where she raised registered quarter horses. Bill died in 1986.
In 1988 she married James Short. They lived in Baxter Springs and enjoyed 18 months of happiness until cancer suddenly ended his life.
Juanita returned to Columbus where she was active in the First United Methodist Church. She held various local and district offices, worked at the Thrift Shop, and faithfully baked pies and cakes for church functions.
She delivered “Meals on Wheels” and worked at the Free Lunch program which was offered at the First Presbyterian Church. She served as Historian for the Cherokee County Retired School Personnel group and was a patron of the Columbus City Library.
Juanita was actively involved in these activities until ill health forced her to slow down in December 2012, when she was nearly 92 years old.
She dearly loved her family. Not only did she rear her own children, but also she provided a home for her grandson, Billy Don Ferrier, until he graduated from Washburn University in Topeka.
Juanita was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters Bernadene Bourland, Virginia Wallace and Doris Taylor, who died during childhood; and her husbands.
She is survived by her sister Betty Hall of rural Columbus and her children Lorna (Dan) Stover of rural Columbus, Del Ferrier, of Russelville, Ind., and John (Kelley) Ferrier of Parsons.
Her grandchildren include Brad (Julie L.) Stover, Susan Robinson, Julie S. Stover; Kim (Jeff) Martin, Jeff Ferrier, Jamie Ferrier; Tyge Ferrier, Billy Don Ferrier, Jennifer Ferrier and Colton Ferrier.
Her great-grandchildren are Lacy (Will) Neeley and Devon (Jason) Anderson; Emily (Shawn) Kitch, Wade Robinson, Bethany Robinson, Will Robinson and Luke Robinson; Joseph Stover, Chet Stover, Hannah Stover and Gracie Stover; Aubrey N. Kellison; Rylee Bendixen; Tallon Ferrier and Taylee Ferrier.
Her great-great-grandchildren include Morgan Anderson; Moxson, Kirklynn and Harley Kitch; and baby Kendall who will be born in December.
A special grandson, Rob Robinson, her beloved caretaker Karen McCully Brewer, 7 nephews, 3 nieces, her cousins and church family will miss her sweet smile and gentle ways.
In lieu of flowers, the Columbus City Library has been chosen for her memorial, in care of the funeral home.
The family will be at home at 538 W Sycamore in Columbus.
A celebration of her life will be held at 3:00 PM Friday, June 27, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church in Columbus, and will be under the direction of Derfelt Funeral Home. Visitation will be at the church Friday at 1:30 until service time, at which time the casket will be closed. Online condolences may be expressed at www.derfeltfuneralhomes.com
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