Verna Elizabeth (Betty) Smith Lorton was born December 22, 1943 in Houston, MO and died May 25, 2019 in Springfield, MO. She was the daughter of Thomas Alfred Smith and Ruth Ophilia (King) Smith. Betty married Joe Frank Lorton after they met in college, and to this union, two daughters, Elizabeth Eve “Liz” Lorton and Julee Jo Lorton were born. Betty had a zest for life, and lived it to the fullest. She loved traveling and loved spending time with her family and friends. Her wisdom and knowledge became her trademark for helping others, especially in the business side of things. She was never short in her advice, and her passion for a positive life was well known. Betty went to high school in Houston, MO, where she was the valedictorian of her class, prom queen and cheerleader for her beloved school. Her passion for reading and education earned her a PhD in Business Administration that lead to a rewarding career at South West Missouri University and the University of Missouri. In 2001 Betty received the Women in Business Advocate of the Year Award. In 2003 she received the internationally recognized Athena Leadership Award, which honored her for her professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
Betty settled in Ozark, MO until her death. Betty is preceded in death by the father of her 2 daughters, Joe Frank Lorton, who passed away on May 8, 2019, her father, Thomas Alfred Smith, her mother, Ruth O. King Smith, a sister, Naomi Yvonne Smith Lowe, and an infant, brother, Jimmy. She is survived by her two daughters, Elizabeth Eve (Liz) Lorton and Julee Jo Lorton, her sister JoEtta I. Smith Greathouse, her nephew Joe Don Lowe Jr. and his 5 sons Mick and son Kelton, Clint and wife, Shannon and three children, Kirk, Nathan, and Desmond. Brother-in-law, Joe Don Lowe Sr. of Bucyrus, MO. Among those who survive Betty, are the loving family of her late sister, Naomi Yvonne Lowe. They include, Elizabeth Castleman and husband, Troy and two sons, Lou Zamarron and husband Mike and kids, Misty Lowe Watson and her husband Chris and two sons, Thor Kakar and wife Beth, Chris Lowe and his two daughters, and Mary Spitzer and husband Doug, and 3 children, as well as many loving cousins from the Moore family, Gaylord, Stanley, Bob, Velma, Paulette, Johnny Bob and their extended family.
Verna Elizabeth “Betty” Lorton, was so very loved and will be missed greatly by her family and friends. There will be a Visitation Service for her this Thursday, May 30th at the Greenlawn East Funeral Home in Springfield, MO from 6-8pm and a Burial Service at Union Cemetery in Cabool, MO on Friday, May 31 at 2 PM.
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