Gweneth Elaine Reeder, Christ-follower, beloved mother, dedicated grandmother, loving sister, inspirational teacher, and caring friend to many, embraced her heavenly Father on February 7, 2024. Born December 24, 1930, in Enid, Oklahoma, to Ercille and Lucille McDonald, she grew up on the family farm with her younger brothers Glenford and Gary McDonald. After graduating from Caldwell High School in 1949, she attended Emporia State University where she earned a degree in speech and theatre with a minor in English and joined Tri Sigma Sorority, her sisters for life.
Gweneth taught for two years in Coffeyville before returning to Caldwell where she married Walter Reeder on April 10, 1955, and continued teaching for many years. In addition to teaching English, Theatre, and Public Speaking, she served as the yearbook advisor and directed musicals and plays. Her students fondly remember Mrs. Reeder as that unique teacher who not only taught them the art of writing, speaking, and performing but also impacted their lives forever. Gweneth told her family about a particular senior English class with some rowdy, ornery boys who dropped to their hands and knees and apologized for the trouble they caused.
A new chapter began when Gweneth and Walter became parents to Kay Reeder Denton (1958-2016) and Wayne Reeder (1960-1981). She loved her children dearly and could be found telling stories of their adventures often. One of the many favorite stories she recalled was Walter and Kay putting piglets in their kitchen! Those who knew Gweneth knew she did NOT like animals in her house! She also told stories admiring Kay’s love of piano and music and Wayne’s love of horses, motorcycles, and bull riding!
After Walters death in 1988, a former friend, Howard West, reached out to Gweneth and the two were married on January 1, 1998. They lived happily until he died in 2010. Gweneth's love for her grandchildren, Adam and Megan, never wavered. She never missed their musical performances or sporting events; most importantly, she instilled in them a love for God and others because she lived that out. Being a literary whiz, spelling and word creation were among her favorite pastimes. One of the family's fondest memories includes playing Scrabble with Gweneth who always won! She has always had a way with words.
Gweneth is survived by: her grandchildren, Adam and Megan Denton of Wichita, Ks; son-in-law Kurt Denton, sister-in-laws Lucy McDonald and Gayla McDonald; Many nieces and nephews; many cousins; stepchildren; and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ercille and Lucille McDonald; husband, Walter Reeder; daughter, Kay Reeder Denton; Son, Wayne Reeder; Brothers, Glenford and Gary McDonald; and second husband, Howard West.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at the Caldwell United Methodist Church with Pastor Kathy Gann officiating and a luncheon to follow. Interment will be in Caldwell City Cemetery, Caldwell, Kansas.
Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Women and sent in care of the mortuary.
Visitation will be held 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday; 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday.