Galen E. Lankford, a former educator and school administrator, died March 2, 2013, at the Monroe City Manor Care Center in Monroe City, Missouri. He was 100 years old, and known extensively throughout the Monroe City area as, “Mr. Lankford”.
Mr. Lankford was born October 23, 1912, the second son of David Lyons and Emma Leah Hudelson Lankford, in Adrian, Missouri. He was married to Thelma Berniece Boyd in the First Baptist Church of Butler, Missouri, on August 23, 1940.
Survivors include two daughters; Carolyn Ann Redman of Beavercreek, Ohio and Trudy Jean Rogelstad of Springfield, Missouri; four grandchildren: Heather Ann Felton (Tom) of Springboro, Ohio; Charles Richard Redman II (Raquel) of Columbus, Ohio; Tracia Montoya (Tom) of Devner, Colorado; and Trent Rogelstad (Christine) of Denver, Colorado; plus eight great-grandchildren. Also surviving is a brother, June C. Lankford (Leeta Fern) of Norman, Oklahoma; and a sister, Vonda Leah Gourley (Darrel) of Liberty, Missouri; plus many nieces and nephews. The family wishes to include as survivors two son-in-laws: Charles (Dick) Redman and Jerry Rogelstad.
Mr. Lankford was preceded in death by his wife, both parents, and three brothers: Donald Lankford, Wayne L. Lankford and Gordon K. Lankford.
Mr. Lankford graduated from the Adrian Missouri High School in 1929, at the age of sixteen. In 1931, he was employed to teach elementary school at a small one room schoolhouse in Bates County, Missouri. He continued this first teaching position until the end of the 1939 school year. Mr. Lankford received his bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State Teachers College in Warrensburg, Missouri, in 1940, and his Masters Degree in Education from the University of Missouri in 1949. He was employed as principal of the Brunswick, Missouri, Elementary School from 1940-1943. In July of 1943, he became high school principal at Louisiana, Missouri, and remained in that position until 1952. In 1952, Mr. Lankford accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools in Monroe City, MO. He remained superintendent in Monroe City until his retirement in 1976.
As superintendent of Monroe City Schools, Mr. Lankford successfully conducted the campaign for “Reorganization” of 31 rural schools and three small high schools into the new Monroe City R-1 School District in 1959. With this accomplishment, he subsequently spearheaded efforts to get voter approval for two elementary school additions, a new school cafeteria and ultimately, a new high school building for the R-1 School District. Mr. Lankford was one of the primary driving forces on the Board of Education for reinstituting high school football in Monroe City in 1959. Following the decision to bring football back to Monroe City, he led another effort to build a new track and football field. Because of his hard work and leadership in restoring football to Monroe City, at the time of his retirement, the Board of Education named the football field, “Lankford Field”.
During his many years as an educator Mr. Lankford held positions as: Executive Committee of Northeast Missouri Teachers Association, 1958-1960; member of the National Study Committee of the North Central Association of College and Secondary Schools, 1961-1962; chairman of the State Committee on Teachers Salaries and Tenure, 1964-1968. Mr. Lankford was honored by being selected for, “Who’s Who in American Education” in 1962. He was a life-long member of the Missouri State Teacher’s Association and the National Education Association, and in retirement served as president of the Northeast Retired Teachers Association. In his community, Mr. Lankford was past-president of the Monroe City Lions Club, chairman of the building committee of the Fist Baptist Church, member and president of the Monroe City Library Board and member of the Monroe City Zoning and Planning Commission. On the occasion of his 100th birthday, Mr. Lankford was recognized for his many contributions to the school and community during a presentation on “Lankford Field,” where he received a student presentation of appreciation and the mayor of Monroe City presented him a “Key to the City.” Most recently, the Missouri Retired Teachers Association presented Mr. Lankford with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in recognition of years of distinguished service to the children of Missouri.
Visitation will be Wednesday, March 6, 2013, from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Monroe City Junior High School Auditorium, with funeral services to follow at 7 p.m. Burial services will be at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Butler, Missouri, on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at 3 p.m. Active pallbearers for Monroe City will be Bob Howe, Bill Miles, Steve Yates, Jack Jones, Bill McClintic and Fred Merrell. Honorary pallbearers will be Margaret Raetz, Elsie Jones, Joanne Burris, Evelyn Cook, Connie Painter, Arlene Veach, Betty Fulton, Connie Kendrick, Retired Teachers Association and the staff and residents of the Monroe City Manor Care Center. Pallbearers for the graveside service at Oak Cemetery, Butler, Missouri, will be Tom Lankford, David Johnson, Brian Boyd, Terry Boyd, Joe Lankford, John Lankford, Randy Knowles and Gary Wendleton. Memorials have been suggested to the American Diabetes Association, Monroe City First Baptist Church or Donors Choice. Garner Funeral Home and Chapel, Monroe City, Missouri, are in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be made at