My introduction to Boy Scouts happened when Mom was a Den Mother to my brother’s Cub Scout troop. Their activity was copper pounding at our kitchen table.

Later my brothers would go on campouts and get homesick, or a storm would threaten and Daddy would take a truck out for extra transportation if needed. This would be in the 1950’s.

Rudy Farber is only three years older than my brothers but he was really dedicated to Scouting. “Dedicated” could be Rudy’s middle name. I don’t know what his initial “E” stands for but it might be “Excels.”

Judy Haas Smith

When you grow up with someone going to the same church, the same school and putting money in the same bank, one might think all things are equal. Well, we are not!

Thanks to an invitation by Dr. Roy Shaver, I was at the Ozark Trails Council Boy Scouts of America dinner, Saturday evening, May 13th. The purpose of this dinner was to honor Rudolph E. Farber with the NESA OUTSTANDING EAGLE SCOUT AWARD.

This award is a prestigious recognition to Eagle Scouts who have demonstrated outstanding achievement at the local, state and regional level and have devoted a lifetime to service in their community and the Boy Scouts of America.

It should also be noted that Rudy also served nationally in the U.S. Navy in Japan with the Navy Supply Corps. During training in Athens, Ga., he met Dorothy Wade. Fifty years ago they chose to be married in Sweden and this year they will return there to find the little church where they were married.

I have not interviewed Rudy for this article because he is not one to seek recognition nor adulation, but he belongs to Neosho and we ought to have our bragging rights about him.

I think Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Farber moved to Neosho in 1941 when Rudy was 10 months old. Mr. Farber ran the Bank of Neosho and loaned my father a lot of money to keep the Haas business units running.

Rudy is a 1959 graduate of NHS. He is also a business graduate of Northwestern University and continued getting his Masters at Columbia University in NYC the same time I was at LIFE magazine.

One has to laugh about two people from Neosho, Mo., in New York City in 1963. We were both mentored by Dan and Mary Longwell. The Longwells saved our letters which are archived in the Longwell Collection at Columbia University.

Rudy and his wife have been major players in the growth of the restoration of the Neosho Square, Crowder College, the YMCA and in June the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences Joplin campus will be dedicated. Rudy’s daughter Nori will be able to attend at that time.

At the dinner, Rudy was introduced by his son, Aaron, who practices law in Neosho. But the real and revealing event of the evening was Rudy’s own address.

He spoke of the value of learning what Scouting has to teach about being a “responsible” adult. He spoke about his own mentors in Scouting and about efforts required to become an Eagle Scout.

As a person virtually unacquainted with the basic lessons of Scouting, I learned from Mr. Rudolph Farber that learning to be a dedicated Scout was the road to becoming a responsible and contributing-to-the-community adult. And he is the proof of that pudding.

I think that sometimes we all see each other as Republicans or Democrats and that those identifications are the end game. No! Dedication to community is the necessary intervention toward the citizenship end game. Civic clubs like Rotary, Lions, the Exchange Club, Newcomers Club, Friends of the Library, the Fish Hatchery, the Newton County Historical Society, the Crowder foundation, etc.

Leadership does not happen without a strong sense of serving one’s community. I have always thought that good leadership is often behind the scenes, dedicated to getting a good result for the benefit of many.

In my opinion, we have that in Rudy Farber and he is rightly an outstanding Eagle Scout.

He does not shrink from responsibility and he does not refuse to roll up his sleeves to take his turn at the irksome civic duties. Not to detract, but his tie Saturday night was terrific! Looking good is also a civic responsibility in my opinion.

Rudy stressed that we parents and grandparents must back and support our grandchildren in their efforts. Furthermore, it is our duty to be their example as responsible community leaders and workers.

In plain language, be good individual citizens. That can begin as his did… in Scouting.

Interesting Scouting facts: Eagle Scouts make up 85% of the FBI, 72% of Rhodes Scholars, 70% of U.S. Naval Academy graduates, 68% of U.S. Military Academy graduates, and 63% of Air Force Academy graduates.

Looks like a pretty good club to me.

By Judy Haas Smith

(Judy Haas Smith lives in Neosho.)


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