EDNA OPAL SMITH STAPLES - Born Jan. 11, 1909, daughter of Lee Smith and Anna Loftin, on a farm at Big Shawnee near Eminence MO. She was the firstborn of 5 children. She departed this life at the age of 95 years on Oct. 23, 2004 at Mountain View MO. Edna was a member of the Eminence United Methodist Church and was baptized in the Methodist faith in 1971. She attended the primary grades at DeWeese & Story's Creek and it was in these one-room schools that she gained an appreciation of the printed word and her love for learning. She attended Eminence High School for 2 years and at the age of 16 started teaching in a one-room school at Angeline. In all, she taught at Grassy Hollow, Story's Creek, Angeline, Delaware and Eminence elementary schools, and finished her career teaching English at Eminence High School. While she was teaching she attended Missouri State Teacher's College (now SMSU), Peabody College at Nashville TN and received her Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters in Education in English degrees from Drury University. She retired in 1974 with a total of 42 years of teaching in Shannon County schools. She married Harvey Ray Staples Dec. 4, 1926 and to this union 2 sons were born, Lynn A. Staples in 1930 and Danny L. Staples in 1935. She and Harvey owned and operated Harvey's at Alley Spring for many years. They had a store, skating rink, trampolines, miniature golf, go-carts, horseback riding and cabins. They owned part of what is now a campground at Alley Spring. Edna owned and operated the Circle B Campground for 32 years. After retirement Edna found that there was still much for her to do. She missed teaching but quickly found other opportunities to help others. She belonged to many community organizations, such as Friends of the Library, the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, Delta Kappa Gamma, Current River Chapter 239 Order of the Eastern Star, and many others too numerous to mention. She was 'Keeper of the Ozark Culture' and helped write the Shannon County History books Volumes I & II. She helped start the 'Scenic Rivers Arts & Crafts Show' that just finished its 36th year. It was her community-minded spirit that earned her the Jeffersonian Award in 1994 for community service, and in August 1991 she was inducted into the 'Missouri Pioneer Educators Hall of Fame.' She loved to travel and made three trips to Europe. She had many hobbies, such as quilting, crocheting, knitting and writing. She loved writing poetry and became a published author three times. Her books are 'The Old Red Mill Cookbook', 'Calico Verse' and 'Wolf Over the Ridge.' She especially loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and taught many of them to read. She always considered reading to be the most important skill a teacher could give her students and as a mother and grandmother she imparted that love of reading to her family. She was preceded in death by her husband Harvey on Jul. 19, 1963, her grandson Richard Staples on Dec. 22, 1996, her youngest son Danny on Jul. 22, 2003, and three brothers. She is survived by her son Lynn Staples, her sister Verna Wood, and daughter-in-law Barbara Staples, all of Eminence; 8 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews. Edna had a long, prosperous life and saw much of the world change. Her span of years covered the days of the buckboard wagon to the computer, the age of information and the space shuttle. Edna was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. She was a dedicated teacher and spent most of her life in service to others, especially children. She was loved by all who knew her and will be sadly missed. 'A greater legacy she left them, all her handiwork so fair, the way of life we early learned as we watched her work with patient care. Of perseverance, faith and hope, of courage, honesty and trust, so may we to our children leave the values that she gave to us.' Visitation was from 6 to 8 pm at Duncan Funeral Chapel at Eminence with funeral services held at 1 pm Monday, Oct. 25, 2004 with Rev. Bud Younger and Rev. Carl Younger officiating. Interment was the New Eminence Cemetery under the direction of Duncan Funeral Home of Eminence.