Joyce Mendenhall, Fayetteville, AR, was born August 27, 1947, to Olaf and Agnes Campbell Mendenhall in Maryville. She was the youngest of four girls. She passed away February 25, 2023.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Jane (Ray) Risner.
She is survived by her lifetime partner, Marvin Hilton of the home, sisters, Patricia (Gene) Spire and Teresa (Don) DeMott, both of Maryville, one 100-year-old aunt, Anna Cross, many cousins, nieces, nephews, former co-workers and tons of friends.
Growing up in the small town of Hopkins, Joyce enjoyed all the benefits of being able to run free, climb trees, play ball and slide down Gas Hill on sleds in winter and cardboard boxes in summer. Her dad raised Shetland ponies as a hobby and always made sure there was one available to ride. When she got a little older, he bought her a regular mare so they could attend horse shows and trail rides together. Most evenings, after supper, they would saddle up and ride around town.
Joyce graduated from Hopkins High in 1965 and Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in business in 1969. While working her way through school at F. W. Woolworth Company, the original five and dime stores, she was approached by the district manager about becoming one of the first women to join Woolworth’s management training program. She accepted, which led to her working for Woolworth a total of 35 years. She managed stores in Springfield, Grandview, Ottawa, KS, Amarillo, TX and Fayetteville, AR.
She then started her second career of 18 years working for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Fayetteville.
Joyce was proud to be a Lifetime Master Gardener. She served that organization as president and received the titles of Washington County and Arkansas State Master Gardener of the Year. She was a lifetime member of the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (BGO), where she received the Volunteer of the Year award and served twice on the BGO board of directors. She was a member of Chi Epsilon Sigma, the National Extension Service Support Staff fraternity, where she was named District and State Support Staff of the Year. She served on the board of directors of the Healing Gardens of Northwest Arkansas at Highlands Oncology Group. A member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville (UUFF), she served on the UUFF board of directors and on the program and aesthetics committees.
In 2019, Joyce was diagnosed with colon, liver and lung cancer. She retired from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in 2021.
A memorial service will be held at 1 pm, Saturday, March 11, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville, 901 W. Cleveland Street.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Washington County Master Gardeners, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks or the American Cancer Society.