Rila Jean Archer, 69, passed away on Dec. 6, 2023, at Cox South Hospital in Springfield following complications from ongoing serious health issues. She was born on Dec. 21,1953, to Riley and Lucile Archer, in Springfield.
She spent her early years growing up in Ava before the family returned to Springfield.
She graduated from Billings High School and attended MidAmerica Nazarene University and then Southwest Missouri State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree.
She began her social work career at Cox North Hospital and while working at Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mt. Vernon she received her master of social work in 1995 from the University of Missouri at Columbia. She eventually added to her credentials, receiving the prestigious diplomate of psychotherapy from the American Psychotherapy Association. She eventually became the Director of the Social Work Department and was highly respected by her staff and colleagues.
She left the Rehab Center in 1998 to open her own private practice, Tri-County Counseling, in Mt. Vernon, serving the mental health needs of Lawrence County and the surrounding communities for approximately 12 years. After her retirement from private practice she pursued her dream of writing, producing, and recording Christian music. Over the past several years, she released numerous CDs of her music.
She is survived by her dearest friend of 53 years, Ramona Andrews; her cousin, Patsy Caraway of Washington State; nephews, Gilbert and Drexel; and many other close friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her stepbrother, Royal (Roy) and her beloved, Robert St. Clair.
Her memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13, at One Life Church, 3245 S. Kansas Ave. in Springfield.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to local animal rescue organizations Watching Over Whiskers ( or Rescue On (


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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