Ben W. Smith, 81, died Sunday (Feb. 10, 2013) at Schowalter Villa in Hesston.
He was born Dec. 4, 1931, near Ringwood, Okla., to Ben A. and Caroline (Thomas) Smith. On Aug. 13, 1954, he married Frances Maureen Frey at First Mennonite Church in Newton. Ben was a graduate of Newton High School in 1950, Grace Bible Institute (now Grace University, Omaha, Neb.) in 1954, and Grace Seminary (Winona Lake, Ind.) in 1956 with a Master of Divinity.
He served as a missionary with Sudan Interior Mission (now SIM USA) in Ethiopia from 1960 to 1975. From 1975 to retirement, he worked as an interim Christian Education Director, a real estate agent at Hesston Corporation and 15 years at Avcon Industries.
Ben enjoyed hunting and fishing, gardening, snow skiing and golfing, among other varied interests. He was a member of Newton Bible Church, where he served on the Elder Board and taught adult Sunday School. Ben, having been baptized upon confession of faith in Christ on May 16, 1948, by Rev. D.J. Unruh, was devoted in faith and shared freely his love of Christ. He raised five children to love and serve the Lord. He greatly enjoyed spending time with his loving family and many friends.
Survivors include his wife, Frances, of the home; five children: Jeanine Giles (Jerry) of Branson, Mo.; Russell Smith of Wichita; Carolyn Dority (Daniel) of Bali, Indonesia; Maureen Eichelberger (Jerry) of Wichita; Myron Smith (Jami) of Wichita; nine grandchildren: Marshal Giles (Rachel) of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tyler Giles (Gillian) of Tacoma, Wash., Micah Dority (Amanda) of Omaha, Neb., Hannah (Dority) Hoobler (Joshua) of Toccoa, Ga., Nathan Dority of Toccoa, Ga., Abigail Dority, Callie Eichelberger, Jadon Smith and Macy Smith; three great-grandchildren: Daniel, Ryan and Casey Giles; two brothers: Aaron Smith (Elisabeth) of Burrton and LaVern Smith (Marlene) of Omaha, Neb.; one sister: Lois Flaming (Melvin) of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; brothers and sisters-in-law: Emaline Smith (Melvin’s), Elda Smith (John’s), Evelyn Smith (LeRoy’s), Ted Veer (Malinda’s) and Anna Lee Smith (Will’s).
Ben was preceded in death by his parents and seven siblings: Frank, Melvin, John, LeRoy, Malinda Veer, Allen D. and Will.
Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at Newton Bible Church with Pastor Matthew Kruse presiding. Visitation will be 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at Petersen Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in the Restlawn Gardens of Memory, rural Newton.
Memorials are suggested to Newton Bible Church missions, SIM USA (Serving in Mission) or Schowalter Villa.