Beverly Jane Christensen Smith was born in Humboldt, Iowa, on Valentine's Day, 1937. She was the firstborn daughter to Leo Donald and Mildred Daggy Christensen. She was an older sister to her brothers, Gary and Timothy, sister Patty (who died shortly after being born) and, sister Cindy. Beverly grew up in Des Moines, where, by way of her younger sister's death, she and her family were introduced to the Church of Nazarene. Beverly was strengthened in her faith by the spiritual leadership and friendship of the family of Pastor C.E. Stanley, and often hearkened on those early years spent learning of the love of Christ she would emulate her entire life. She attended North High School before graduating in 1955. Beverly enrolled at Olivet Nazarene College in the fall and was soon to meet her husband, Henry James (Jim) Smith. She sang soprano in the Orpheus Choir at Olivet. Marrying on May 26, 1957, at Des Moines First Church of the Nazarene, Beverly, and Jim soon spent a year in Germany before settling in southern Michigan. With their three children, James Scott, Laurie Lee, and Gregory Keith, the family lived in Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids, and Flint, Michigan, before moving to Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1969. Beverly worked at home and as an administrative assistant in the John Hancock building in downtown Boston, riding the train to and from the city each day. She was a sports fan, closely following her husband's career as a successful coach and attending her children's athletic, church and school activities. The family moved to Olathe, Kansas, in 1976 and has been settled here for 45 years.
Beverly served her community through her work as an office administrator, first for many years at College Church of the Nazarene and then joining her daughter Laurie in establishing and operating Little Wonders Christian Daycare in Olathe in 1998. She became known as "Nana" to her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren, as well as hundreds of Olathe's children who attended school at Little Wonders over the last 23 years.
Beverly traveled whenever she had the opportunity and was particularly fond of the Far East, including Thailand and China. She told stories of finally meeting, face to face, a young boy in an orphanage whom she had sponsored for many years. She spoke with great wonder and affection of the Holy Land. In her spare time, she was a shrewd finder of treasures in antique stores. Beverly was also an avid reader of historical fiction, and was always ready to share her adventures in literature. Beverly's reputation for hospitality and traditional favorite family meals and recipes is legendary.
Beverly is survived by her husband, Jim, and her three children. She was most proud and protective of her growing and changing family. She never lost track of her grandchildren Renee, Robbie, Ryan and Philip, Sarah, Colton and Taylor, Dakota, Canaan, Shawnee, and Mia. She cherished her great-grandchildren Jesse, Jordan, Jarrett, Justice, Brooks, Kyson, Wesley, Ryan, Megan, Savannah, Ronnie Mae, Kayden, Sophia, and Emma Marie. She is now united in eternal life with her first great-great-grandchild, Azariah.
Beverly was devoted to her church family, was an active member of the Ambassadors Sunday School class, and loved her friends, including Anita Reglin, whom she considered her sister and closest confidante.
Beverly Jane Christensen Smith died peacefully at her home, surrounded by family on Easter Sunday morning, April 4, 2021.
To view the Celebration of Life via livestream, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/0W6Gc44l2Mc
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