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Joan Gertrude (Patterson) Smith Lawson went home to be with her Lord on May 11, 2012, at the age of 85. Joan was longtime resident of Mountain View, MO, and worked tirelessly to improve her community. She was born in Coldwater, Kansas, on December 16, 1926, to Ormal Ellis and Josephine Evelyn (Meyer) Patterson.

When she was in high school – she could high jump 6’ 1”. She would have gone to the Olympics but World War II began and they were canceled.

Joan was united in marriage to Albert Glenn Smith on May 30, 1958. They had three children Ormal, Bert, and Evelyn. She worked with Glenn on many projects including establishing and improving local parks. They jointly received the Governor’s Leadership Award in 1974 for their work in the Mountain View Community Betterment program. Glenn preceded her in death January 5, 1982.

On February 19, 1987 Joan married Gene Lawson. She continued improving her community by co-founding the Agape House with Gene. The original shelter opened in Mountain View in 1991. A second shelter, the Phoenix Project, was opened in Texas County, in October, 2004. They celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Agape House on October 8, 2011, and the services provided through that organization had helped over 1700 men, women, and children at that time. She served as the Executive Director until her death.

Joan is survived by her husband, Gene Lawson of the home; her daughter Evelyn and husband Steven, grandchildren, Steven, Stephanie and Ginger, and three great-grandchildren; son Ormal Smith and grandchildren Amy, Jason, Aaron, and Holly, and twelve great-grandchildren; and son Bert and wife, Diane.

Joan is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Glenn; and siblings, Garry, Don, John and Dorrel.

Joan served as mayor of Mountain View, on the City Council, and was a true leader in her town. She was an accomplished musician and played the piano and organ for many years at her church. Joan received many awards in her life for various accomplishments. However, she did not work for awards or accolades. Joan was a true servant of Jesus Christ who worked only to serve Him and to make life better for others.

A memorial service will be Thursday, May 17 at 10:30 AM at Yarber Mortuary.

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