PALMYRA, Mo. -- Randy and Norma Smyser were named Citizens of the Year at the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce's annual awards banquet Thursday night.
The Smysers, who have owned and operated Northeast Missouri Machine & Pattern for the past 42 years, were lauded for their community service and willingness to help others.
"This couple has lived a life of generosity, concern, compassion, consistency and care for others no matter what the situation has been -- or how it has arisen," said their son, Marty Smyser, who introduced the Smysers during a ceremony in Farischon Hall.
"They have offered a hand up to many people in many different situations over the years. This couple truly does care about people, and they have made it a goal in life to have a positive impact on as many people as they can, whether it be family, friends, employees or people in the community."
Smyser said his parents "have been consistent supporters, both physically and financially, of all facets of life in the Palmyra area, from churches, schools, businesses, athletics, the city, the park, 4-H, the fair, young farmers and really, in some ways, just about every part of the Palmyra community and Marion County."
In an interview, the Smysers said they were "humbled" to receive the award.
"Palmyra is a very special town, in my mind," Randy Smyser said. "It's a community that everybody gets along."
Norma Smyser said she and her husband have been happy to help out wherever they can because Palmyra has done a lot for them and their family.
"We are very proud to be part of a community like this where all of our children have been raised," she said. "We're just lucky."
Also receiving recognition at the ceremony were:
º Carolyn Schreiner, Volunteer of the Year. Tammy Nix, director of the Palmyra Nutrition Center, spoke about the many ways that Schreiner helps others, not just at the PNC, but also at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra Elementary School, Luther Manor Nursing Home and other locations.
º Kendra Tiemann, Educator of the Year. Jared Pontius, principal of Palmyra High School, said Tiemann goes out of her way as a counselor to help students be successful. "She affects more students in a positive way than anyone I have ever come across," he said.
º The Palmyra Spectator for entry into Palmyra's Business Hall of Fame. The newspaper, owned by Mark and Patty Cheffey since 1994, is Missouri's oldest weekly newspaper. It has served continuously since 1839.
º Josh and Dena Wilson and Kris and Jim Lowe, winners of the Paint Brush Award for their work to convert the old St. Paul's Episcopal Church into the site of a new business, the Olive Branch, which opened in September.
º Jeri Johnston, winner of the President's Award given by retiring chamber President Rodney Kuntemeyer.