Jewell Gardner loved her Lord Jesus, her husband, her children, her family, church family and her friends. She gave of her life with priorities based on these loves.
Jewell Joyce was born on a small family farm near rural Boston, Mo. There she played with sisters Irma Lee, Jean, Annetta and brother, Floyd and made a home with mother Leah Arner Joyce and H.F. Cap Joyce. Floyd Joyce, alone, survives his sisters and parents. In addition to her immediate family, Jewell was blessed growing up next door to her cousin and lifelong best friend, Ferne Brown Roberts.
Jewell was a majorette in high school and graduated from Lamar at age 16 having been promoted rapidly through elementary years. At age 17, Jewell gained her teaching certification from Southwest Baptist College. After completing one year of teaching, Jewell met her lifelong love, John Gardner. They were married when Jewell was 18 and devotedly lived with each other for 68 years.
Jewell was active in many community endeavors and organizations throughout her married life. Initially she was active in teaching areas and Cub Scout work in the First Christian Church, Parsons, Kan. Later, upon relocating to Lamar, she served in many areas: heading the Bloodmobile program for a number of years; leading on the Sheltered Workshop Board; donating time to the Hospital Auxiliary, the Barton County Mental Health Board, the United Fund Board and other community efforts. Jewell was recognized for her leadership by the Business and Professional Women's Club of Lamar as their "Woman of the Year."
She was a very gracious lady, made many friends, was always interested in people and wrote frequent letters and notes of encouragement to people in need or in bereavement. Jewell also used her writing skills as Social Editor for the Daily Democrat and recorded many club meetings for the newspaper.
Jewell also gave herself to young people at the Christian Church organizing Vacation Bible School, Children's Choir, serving at Cyokamo Church Camp and teaching youth in Sunday School for many years. She reached out to adults in her church, filling the position of Funeral Dinner Director and establishing the Sunny Corner Sunday School Class for adults with special needs.
Although Jewell was able to lead, her greatest joy was in serving. Planting a large garden, it was her delight to take abundant produce to the less fortunate or aged in the community. For years she volunteered at the Lamar Nursing Home assisting the residents each week in Bible Study time, singing and crafts.
Jewell is survived by her husband John Gardner and aforementioned brother, Floyd Joyce of Greenfield. Also surviving are three children: Dr. John Gardner and wife, Debbie of Columbia, Mo; Debbie Fast and husband, Dr. Delton Fast, of Nevada, Mo; Susie Gardner Graham of Lamar, Mo. Jewell was also blessed to have nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, whom she loved dearly.
Visitation will be 6 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 5, at Daniel Funeral Home.
Funeral Services will be 2 p.m., Thursday, May 6, 2010, at Lamar First Christian Church. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m., until service time in the church fellowship hall. Burial will be at Lake Cemetery.
Contributions are suggested to the First Christian Church Building Fund in care of Daniel Funeral Home.
This obituary may be viewed and condolences left at www.danielfuneralhome.net.