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Patricia Lea Stringer

Beloved teacher Patricia Lea Stringer, age 65, died peacefully in her sleep Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at Ozarks Medical Center, West Plains, Missouri. She loved children and was a lifelong supporter of books and reading.

Ms. Stringer, a 1964 graduate of Willow Springs High School and a graduate of Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State University) in Springfield, began her career as a reporter with the West Plains Quill, and as a model and licensed cosmetologist in Florida before beginning her consuming commitment to education. Obtaining her degree in elementary education, she taught in Cabool Middle School. She achieved certification as a librarian, managed the library, and served the Cabool school system for more than 25 years, until her retirement. She returned as a part-time librarian for four more years, leaving work only as her health deteriorated in the last few months.

She was a member of Missouri State Teachers Association, Missouri Association of School Librarians, Cabool Teachers Association and the United Methodist Church of Willow Springs and Cabool. She was a respected sponsor of Beta Club and cheerleading and served as assistant coach for volleyball.

She was born on March 17, 1947 in West Plains to noted educators, the late Clifford “Mack” Stringer and Wilma Vance Stringer. Patricia attended school in Clarkton, Gideon, Ironton, Potosi and Willow Springs, Missouri.

Always a popular and talented student, she was known throughout life for her humor and big-hearted generosity. She had many interests including knitting, costume jewelry, bingo and gambling and traveling with her countless friends and relatives.

She was preceded in death by her father, mother and younger sister Carolyn Macky Stringer.

Patricia is survived by son Jason Koehler and his children, Jasmine and Jackson, of Oceanside, California; son Clifton Koehler and his son, Ryan, of Willow Springs, Missouri; and daughter “Missy” Reed and her son, Riley Reed, of Willow Springs; sisters Sara Sue Parker and husband Keith of Nassau, Bahamas, and Becky Jesse of Willow Springs.

Also surviving are nieces and nephews Chandra Parker and grand-nephew Jaxon Parker-Searcy, Richard Parker and grand-nieces Paige, Audrey and Claudia, all of Nassau, Bahamas; Ali Jesse of Ft. Myers, Florida; Patrick Jesse of Oceanside, California; and Bryony Parker Samuel and grand-nieces Charlotte and Abigail of Chepstow, Wales.

Surviving aunts and uncles include Betty Stringer, Dr. Richard and Francie Stringer, Joe and Betty Corn, Othene Brigance and Naomi Vance, along with a host of cousins and friends in the U.S. and the Bahamas.

Services were held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 9, 2012, at Willow Springs Methodist Church on East Fourth Street with the Rev. Mike Lawton officiating. Pallbearers were Jason Koehler, Clifton Koehler, Patrick Jesse, Frank Stringer, Dr. Ken Holloway, and Tom Walls. Honorary pallbearers were Jackson Koehler, Ryan Koehler, Riley Reed and Jaxon Parker.

A reception followed immediately in the church hall. Graveside services will be held privately at a later date.

Those wishing to honor Patricia with charitable donations are urged to consider the Willow Springs Scholarship Fund or the American Cancer Society.

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