Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Wilda Jo Smith, 83, Paola

 Wilda Jo Smith, 83 of Paola, Kansas passed away Saturday, June 8, 2024 at Overland Park Regional Medical Center as a result of injuries from an automobile accident. A visitation will be held Monday, June 24, 2024 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Mullinax Funeral Home, Drexel Chapel (816-657-4400). Funeral services will follow at 11:00 am Monday also at the chapel. Burial will take place in Versailles Cemetery, Versailles, Missouri. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of donor’s choice. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.mullinaxfuneralhome.com.


Wilda Jo Smith was born July 11, 1940 to Preston and Verna Ozele Houser in Birch Tree, Missouri. Years later, she and her family moved to central Missouri near Versailles and lake of the Ozarks.


Jo graduated from Morgan County R-II High School in Versailles Missouri in 1958. In 1959 she married Jackie Henson Patterson, who would proceed her in death. Following her husband’s death, she and her son Terry moved to Kansas City, MO to seek employment. This led to her 33-year career with the United States Postal Service.


In 1968 she married Kenneth E. Smith. In the early 1970’s they would move to State Line Road near Drexel, Missouri. She would remain a member of that community, establishing many valued friendships and business relationships for the remainder of her life.


After her husband’s passing, she continued her career at USPS and became her mother’s caregiver for the remainder of her mother’s life. After 33 years of service, she retired in 2007. She purchased a nearby farm, where she raised cattle for the remainder of her life.


Jo, call her Wilda at your own peril, left us as an amazing, complicated, yet straight forward human being. She was opinionated yet kind and considerate of others, hardworking yet playful. She had a strong will and strong convictions consistent with a “Stubborn German.” (Her self-description.) She treated everyone fairly and expected to be treated as such. She liked many different people and was well liked and respected by many. She will truly be missed among us!


Among her many interests and pursuits, she loved hunting, fishing, quilt shops, her farm and cattle, friends and family and, of course, exploring the weekly mysteries of Aldi’s.

She was proceeded in death by her parents, sister Lucille, valued companion and friend Leonard Oberheide.


She is survived by her son, Terry Patterson, of Columbia, Missouri, niece Dorothy Gerhart who resides in Mexico, nephew Don and wife Tina Gerhart of Rolett, TX, nephew Bob Gerhart of San Diego, CA, cousins; Judy Williamson Titus of Eminence, MO, Gordon Arthur Williamson of Birch Tree, MO, and Roy Neal Williamson and wife Jamie of Laurie, MO, Rosemary Houser Daniels and husband Chuck of Versailles, MO plus too many dear friends in the Drexel and surrounding communities to adequately acknowledge!


Mom, if Edna St. Vincent Millay articulates it better than I, she can’t feel it deeper than I do at this moment.


“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”