On Sept. 9, 2019, Dr. Raymond W. Lansford passed away, just two weeks before his 99th birthday.
Dr. Lansford was born on Sept. 25, 1920, in Judge, Missouri. He was one of six children, and attended a one-room country schoolhouse before graduating high school in Belle, Missouri in 1939. Thanks to the generosity of a salesman in the general store, in which he worked, he was able to enroll in college at the University of Missouri of Science and Technology located in Rolla, Missouri.
Raymond’s studies were interrupted by WWII, which he volunteered to be in 1942. He served overseas for the duration of the war, earning the rank of Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aerial gunner. He was awarded three Bronze Stars for distinguished service as well as the Air Medal and was honorably discharged in 1945.
Raymond married his childhood sweetheart, Beuna Ridenhour of Belle, Missouri on May 25, 1945. They made their home in Springfield, Missouri where Raymond attained a Bachelor’s degree from Southwest State College (now called Missouri State University) in 1947. In 1948 he received a Masters from Northwestern University and in 1954 he earned his Doctorate from New York University.
Dr. Lansford joined the University of Missouri College of Business in 1957 as Professor of Finance. He held the position of assistant dean, one of his responsibilities being to oversee Placement Services. He continued teaching in the Business School until his retirement in 1984. After his distinguished career, during which he authored three books and founded the Educational Program for Realtors in America, he was so beloved and respected by his former students that they established a Distinguished Professorship in Leadership in his name.
After retiring, Raymond continued a life of service as Professor Emeritus, serving as Vice Chair on the committee to establish the Children’s Hospital in Columbia. He also was elected President of Kiwanis International to serve during 1984-85. Raymond and Beuna traveled to 62 countries while representing Kiwanis and met with heads of state in many of them. In 1995 a grateful Columbia Kiwanis chapter established a scholarship at the University of Missouri in the name of Raymond and Beuna Lansford.
Dr. Lansford lived an extraordinary life for a poor country boy who grew up in the depression years. His greatest hope was that he could aid others without the means to attend college in their pursuit of higher education. He achieved that goal and has gifted the University of Missouri with an additional endowment. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beuna, as well as his parents and siblings. He is survived by a nephew, John Krieg (Betsy Ross) of Breckenridge, Colorado; a niece, Mary Ann Burns (Jim Burns) of Linn; a sister-in-law, Juanita Lansford of Alta Loma, California; as well as eight nephews and three other nieces.
A visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 13 at Memorial Gardens, 1217 Business Loop 70 West, with the funeral service following. In lieu of flowers, tributes may be sent to either the Kiwanis Raymond W. and Beuna Lansford Scholarship Fund at the University of Missouri (giving.missouri.edu) or by calling 866-267-7568; or to the Columbia Area Older Adult Ministry at 101 N. 10th St.