Esther “Elizabeth” (Auchard) McReynolds passed away Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Solomon Valley Manor in Stockton, Kansas at the age of 95. She was born on February 21, 1923 in Riley County, Kansas near the town of May Day, the middle child of five, to the late Francis Edward and Elizabeth Jane (Dwyer) Auchard. Her siblings were Edward D., Frederick Lester, Clarence Denny, and Glenna Marie.
Elizabeth grew up, and attended school, in several small Kansas towns. Beginning in Riley County, she started school at Heller rural schoolhouse near Randolph. She would eventually attend schools in St. Paul, Ozawkie, Corning, and Luray before graduating high school with the Class of 1940. She went on to attend York College in York, Nebraska for two years, followed by summer school at Fort Hays Kansas State College where she received her teaching certificate. She then began teaching school in Woodston, Kansas from 1942-1945.
While teaching school, Elizabeth met and married Marvin McReynolds on December 21, 1944 in the Evangelical United Brethren Church. Together they lived on the McReynolds family farm south of Woodston in a small house they moved and placed across the driveway from Marvin’s parents. They were blessed with three sons: Jerry Cecil, Stanley Gene, who died in infancy, and Tony Marvin.
Both Elizabeth and Marvin were active in their church, schools, community, and farm activities. Together, they were selected as Master Farmer and Master Homemaker Class of 1976. Beyond the local church, she also served on the district and conference levels for many years as a lay member to the conference, as well as working with the women’s ministry. She and Marvin also led Lay Witness Missions in many United Methodist churches, and marriage enrichment encounters. Of course she never failed to help with farm work whenever the need would arise.
When Elizabeth’s youngest son, Tony, started college, she continued her education until she received her bachelor’s degree in 1971. She then began a second teaching career at Osborne Elementary School where she taught for 17 years. After retiring in 1987, she and Marvin moved from the farm into Stockton and spent much of their time traveling extensively. She enjoyed writing poetry, listening to music, playing the piano, and had a lovely voice herself. Her favorite holiday was Christmas and she especially loved sharing it with her grandchildren.
Elizabeth is survived by her husband Marvin of Stockton; sons Jerry McReynolds and wife Diane of Woodston and Tony McReynolds and wife Wynn of Stockton; grandchildren Shawn McReynolds, Renée Laird, Michelle Ziegler and husband Gary, Joel McReynolds and wife Jennifer, Aron McReynolds and wife Laura and Sara McReynolds; and great-grandchildren Ava, Andrew, Avery, Maggie, Julia, Jacey, Jasiah, Gabriel, Micah and Gracia.
She was preceded in death by her parents Francis and Elizabeth Auchard; infant son Stanley McReynolds; brothers Edward, Lester and Denny Auchard; and sister Glenna Bott.
Elizabeth was a woman of strong faith, deep hope, and extraordinary love. With a heart and spirit that cared more for others than herself, she showed us every day that the greatest of these is love. Although we will miss her greatly, we rejoice that her love has found its fullness as she joins her Lord in eternal glory.