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1926 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
JUANITA 'SKEET' MARY TUDOR DEFORD LOWREY Juanita 'Skeet' Mary Tudor DeFord Lowrey was born on June 17, 1926 at Chillicothe, Missouri, to Hugh Tudor and Mary Morgan Tudor. She died on January 9, 2014 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, at the age of 87, after suffering a stroke four months earlier. Her father was a U.S. Civil War Union Army veteran. She was nicknamed 'Skeet' at a young age and was raised with her sister HuDean in Dawn, Missouri, and was very proud of her hometown and her 'full Welsh' heritage. She attended Dawn schools and graduated salutatorian of her class (of six) in 1943. She graduated from Chillicothe Business College and during World War II moved to Kansas City, MO, where she worked at a variety of places, including Skelly Oil, as part of the war effort assembling batteries and walkie talkies at a company located at St. John and Belmont, as well as at Sears Roebuck and Company She attended Central Presbyterian Church where she met her future husband, Tom DeFord. They married on August 11, 1950 and operated Careful Cleaners as a family business until her husband was hired by Hallmark Cards, which led the family to relocate to Taylor, Michigan. She was 'best mom ever' to their children, Carolyn Solomon, David DeFord and Margaret (Margie) Yansura. She worked for more than 20 years as an elementary school secretary in the Taylor Public Schools System. She was the cherub choir director and choir member at St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Taylor, Michigan. She was an active member of Home Extension Clubs in Michigan and Arkansas, where she and Tom retired, and was also a Red Cross volunteer. Following Tom's death in 1991, Skeet married her high school sweetheart Russell Lowrey on June 29, 1996 and resided in Gladstone, MO, before moving to Kearney, MO, in 2011. She was preceded in death by her husband of 41 years, Tom DeFord, her sister HuDean Stewart and her parents. She is survived by her husband, Russell Lowrey of Kearney, MO; children Carolyn (Dave) Solomon of Haslett, MI; David (LaDonna) DeFord of Onondaga, MI, and Margaret (Jeffrey) Yansura of West Palm Beach, FL. She was a devoted grandmother to her five grandchildren: Brian and Michael Solomon, Sarah Yansura Cooke (James) and Lisa and Grant Yansura. Additional survivors include step-son Curt (Kate) Lowrey and their children Jackson and Payton, brother-in-law Dean Stewart, sisters-in-law Frances Braden and Peggy Jones and nephews Paul (Sandy) Stewart and John (Cindy) Stewart and their children. A memorial service will be Saturday, January 18 at 3 p.m. at Northminster United Presbyterian Church, 1441 NE Englewood Rd, Kansas City, MO with the Rev. Seth Miller presiding. Visitation with the family will begin at 2 p.m. prior to the service, with a reception to follow the service. Inurnment of her remains will take place at the Welsh Cemetery in Dawn, MO, during Dawn Days this September. Gifts in memory may be made to Dawn Federated Church, 21141 2nd St., Dawn, MO 64638 or to the Welsh Cemetery at Dawn, MO.
Published in Kansas City Star on Jan. 14, 2014
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