May 3, 1947 - July 25, 2020
Janell Carson, 73, of rural Parsons, died Saturday, July 25, 2020 at her home.
Linda Janell Smith was born on May 3, 1947 in Killeen, Texas to Meade T. and Helen (Emert) Smith. As a child, she moved with her family to Fredonia, Kansas where she grew up and attended schools. Janell was a gifted athlete in track and field. In her teens, she held several Junior Olympic records, jumping over 19 feet in the long jump, and running just over nine seconds in the 70-yard hurdles. Janell represented the United States in the 400-meter dash at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo as a seventeen-year-old junior in high school. She was a two-time National AAU 440 yard and 400-meter champion in 1964 and 1965. Janell was a qualifier for the 1963 Pan American Games at Sao Paulo in the 80- meter hurdles. Her time of 52.3 seconds in the 400 meters still ranks as the best-ever by a high school age girl in Kansas. She was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school senior on May 10, 1965. She also set the World Record for the indoor 400 meters in 1965.
Following graduation from high school in 1965, she attended Emporia State University and received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She then attended Pittsburg State University and earned her Master’s Degree in Teaching. Throughout her career as an elementary teacher, she taught in Arkansas City, Springfield, Missouri, St. Paul, Galesburg, and Erie, Kansas. In addition, she taught in Parsons at Guthridge and Garfield Elementary schools.
Mrs. Carson was an active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church the Altar Society. She enjoyed attending her children and grandchildren’s sporting events. She was a member for the Kansas Activities Association Hall of Fame, Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Emporia State University Hall of Honor.
On August 8, 1970, she and John Michael “Mike’ Carson were married at the former St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Parsons. He survives of the home.
Husband – Mike Carson of the home
Three Sons – Brian Carson and his wife Donya Columbus, Ohio
Scott Carson and his wife Tiffany Iola, Kansas
Tim Carson and his wife Autumn Pittsburg, Kansas
Ten grandchildren – River, Aspen, Chandler, Tristan, Ellie, Landon, Cortland, Grace, Gavin, and Jackson
Two Great-grandchildren – Jace and Maya
One Brother – Meade Smith Fredonia, Kansas
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at St. Patrick Catholic Church. The rosary will be prayed at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at the church. The family will receive friends in the parish hall following the rosary at 7:30.
Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Patrick’s Church, Neosho Township Fire Department, Fredonia Education Foundation, or to St. Mary’s- Colgan endowment fund. These may be left at or mailed to the Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home. P.O. Box 374, Parsons, Kansas 67357.