Joyce Marie Bumgardner, 75 of North Little Rock died Tuesday, May 28, 2013. She was born in Blackwell, Okla., on July 19, 1937.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Chester and Inez Moore of South Haven, Kan.
Survivors include her loving husband, Robert Bumgardner; daughters, Teresa Holt and husband Steve, Judy Duvall and husband Scott, Kathy Gadberry and husband Gene, and Christy McFarlin and husband Patrick; grandchildren, Nicole Herndon and husband Matt, Aaron Holt, Ashley Wright and husband Zachary, Amy Duvall, Meagan Duvall, Trey Gadberry and wife Brittany, Jacob Gadberry, Berkley McFarlin, Grant McFarlin, and Macy McFarlin; and great-grandchildren, Hunter Gadberry, and Adalyn Herndon; brothers, Ernest Lee Moore of Leon, Kan.; and many family members.
Joyce spent her childhood years growing up on a farm near South Haven. Like most farm children, she was active in the day to day operations of the farm such as: driving a tractor, and other chores around the farm. She attended small country schools and tells of riding a horse to school with her cousins. She attended high school at South Haven and was a majorette with the high school band. When she was 15 years old, she met and had her first date with Bob Bumgardner. They were married on April 6, 1957, and had been married for 56 years.
Upon graduating from high school, Joyce applied for and was accepted at a school in Tulsa, Okla., to train to be an airline hostess. Upon completion of the school, she was too young to be accepted as a hostess, so she became a reservationist for Continental Airlines. During this time, Bob convinced her to marry him, and their first home was in Wichita.
With four young daughters, Joyce was a fulltime mom and cheerleader for her girls. Money was scarce and for most of their childhood, Joyce made almost all of their clothing, including her own.
In 1965, Bob had the opportunity to purchase an interest in Jungkind Photo-Graphic, and they moved their family to Little Rock. At the time, the four young daughters were just starting to school, so Joyce found herself heavily involved in the Landmark Elementary school, and was very involved in the PTA, and served as president for several years. As the girls became a little older, she renewed her childhood interest in the 4H program and formed a club in the Landmark community and served as its leader for a number of years.
Joyce was also very active in the congregation at her new church, St. Andrews Methodist. She was active in her work with the senior citizens group. She became their leader and helped form the XYZ club; (Extra Years of Zest). During her years of Leadership with the Senior Citizens, she decided it was time for her to get her college degree so that she could better use her skills of working with the Senior Citizens in the area. She enrolled at UALR in 1978, and in December of 1983, she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Gerontology.
During this time, the family relocated to North Little Rock and became a member of the First United Methodist Church of North Little Rock. During her years at First United Methodist, she was very active with the Senior Citizens of the Church. Joyce had heard of an organization in Kansas City called the Shepherd Center, and after a visit, she came back to North Little Rock full of enthusiasm, and almost single handedly started the Shepherd Center of North Little Rock. She served for 20 years as their Executive Director. In addition to these activities, she also served on the board for The Centers for Youth and Families in Little Rock, The Good Shepherd Retirement Center in North Little Rock, The Baptist Memorial Medical Center, and The Arkansas Symphony Auxiliary as well as other organizations.
Joyce and Bob both belonged to the Master Gardener’s program. Between them, they have created a special garden at their home that has been featured in various magazines and newspaper articles. Their garden was selected to be on the tour of the Little Rock Garden Club inaugural Show and over 1000 people toured it over a two day period. The garden has also been featured on Janet Carson’s Today’s Garden Television show, and P. Allen Smith’s television garden show, and the series is still being featured. In 2008, they were honored when their garden was selected to be toured by the international Master Gardener’s during their convention in Little Rock. Joyce recently received her lifetime certificate for her years of work with this program.
In 2011, Joyce was honored for her service to her community, and was named North Little Rock’s Senior Citizen of the Year. In 2012, Joyce was also honored with a special ceremony for her years of service with The Shepherd Center of North Little Rock.
Joyce and Bob loved to travel, and were able to do so extensively, and proudly estimate their travels have taken them to over 40 different countries and islands.
Joyce and Bob have been active members of the First United Methodist Church in North Little Rock for over 32 years, and she leaves behind a large group of friends and admirers from the various groups and organizations she has been a part of.
In lieu of flowers, donations or memorials can be made in her name to The Shepherd Center of North Little Rock, First United Methodist Church of North Little Rock and St. Luke’s Episcopal Respite Center of North Little Rock.
Funeral services were held Friday, May 31 at First United Methodist Church. Burial followed in Pinecrest Memorial Park. Read the online obituary at www.SmithFamilyCares.com.