ODESSA, Mo. — Betty Jo Simpson Spaar, who owned The Odessan newspaper in Odessa for nearly 60 years, has died. She was 85.

The Missouri Press Association says Spaar died Wednesday at Lafayette Regional Health Center in Lexington.

She also was owner/publisher of the Focus on Oak Grove.

Spaar was president of the Missouri Press Association in 1988 and was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 1997. She also was a past president of the Missouri Press Foundation.

Spaar received an Honor Medal from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the university and the National Newspaper Association Emma C. McKinney Award.

Services are scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Odessa, with visitation Saturday at the Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home in Odessa.

Survivors include two sons, four grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.