Bobbie Jean Thompson Garner passed away at sunrise on Jan.22, 2018. She was born in Little Rock on Aug. 9, 1930 to Robert Burtree and Johnnie Erma (Gipson) Thompson. She was the granddaughter of Deputy United States Marshall Benjamin Franklin Gipson, who served the Western District of Arkansas and the Eastern District of Oklahoma (Badlands). She was eight years old when her father, a Missouri Pacific conductor, died leaving her mother to raise her and her older sister during the Great Depression. She was a member of First Methodist Church in North Little Rock, where she was a trained soloist and choir member.
She always excelled in school and was elected to Girls State. She graduated from North Little Rock High School at age 16, third in a class of over 400. She attended Little Rock Junior College (UALR), followed by Henderson State Teachers College, graduating at age 20 with a BSE in Business Education and a minor in journalism.
She returned to North Little Rock, where she met her future husband Warner Garner. They married April 5, 1953. She worked for two years for the March of Dimes and five years for Southwest Power Pool, before resigning to raise her children.
She remained active in the community by volunteering with the Jaycettes where she chaired the Miss North Little Rock Contest. During her tenure, they won the Miss Arkansas pageant. She joined the North Little Rock Junior League, where she chaired the North Little Rock Speech Clinic. During her leadership, with the help of Mayor Casey Laman, the clinic was moved to the Community Center and increased from a part time therapist to two full time therapists.
In 1955, Bobbie and Warner joined Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, where she remained a member until her death. She served as an active assistant prayer chairman and was a true prayer warrior.
She was co-leader of the SBC College and Career Department, which included hosting float trips and spending Friday nights on the banks of the Buffalo River. Bobbie was passionate about the Baptist Hospital Foundation and was Hospitality Chairman for the first ten years of Bolo Bash.
Bobbie is survived by her beloved husband of 65 years Warner Garner, son Lance Garner and daughter Gail McCracken (Van), and Maxwell her paw son; her grandchildren Barrett Ryan, Brandon Chase, Gabriel Benjamin, Graham Logan, and Scarlett Campbell McCracken. She is also survived by nieces Diane and Debra Wood. She is preceded in death by her parents, sister Wanda Wood (David) and nephew David Wood, Jr.
Her Celebration of Life will be Friday at 2 p.m. at Second Baptist Church, 8th and Scott streets in Little Rock with visitation to immediately follow. Throughout her life, Bobbie served her family, church and community, giving unselfishly. In this spirit, Bobbie requested, in lieu of flowers, that memorials be made to Second Baptist Church or to the Pulaski County Humane Society.
Online obituary at www.SmithFamilyCares.com.