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Norma Jean Buckwalter

Norma Jean Buckwalter, 92, Palmyra, Mo., passed away at 9:45 p.m., Sunday, March 19, 2023, at Maple lawn Nursing Home in Palmyra.

Lovingly known as Jean by her family and friends, she was born Feb. 11, 1931, in Palmyra, to Archie and Sarah Opal White Pugh. She was married to Norman E. Buckwalter on April 17, 1949, in Huron, S.D.

Norma Jean Buckwalter

Survivors include her children, Marcia Fohey (Robert), Palmyra; Rodney Buckwalter (Melissa), Richfield, Conn.; Chad Buckwalter (Holly), Branson, Mo.; and Kirk Buckwalter (Karen), Spartanburg, S.C.; grandchildren, Derek Fohey (Joelle), Dax Fohey (Kelli), Erika Kendrick (Casey), Whitney Latimer, Audra Bross (Tim), Danika Spratt (Trevor), Eve Michael (Tom), Jennifer Widel (John), Emily Buckwalter, Luke Buckwalter (Angela), Elizabeth Peeler (Jessie), and Ben Buckwalter (Jen); 23 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents; husband; daughter, Rhonda Dodd, grandson, Davin Fohey; and brother, Reverend W. Leslie Pugh.

During her career, Jean worked for the Palmyra School District as the food service director. She really enjoyed her job and getting to know the students and faculty who came and went over the years. She was a beloved part of the school, even years later when she would run into a former student or colleague and hear their memories were of her and the food she prepared. 

Jean was a loving woman of God, and lifetime member of First Baptist Church. She looked forward to her work with WMU (Women’s Mission Union), a group dedicated to supporting and praying for disciples of Jesus who live on missions. 

She enjoyed singing as part of the local Flower City Belle’s for a time. Jean had a servant’s heart and the desire and willingness to make and prepare things for others. She made sure to crochet blankets for all the grandkids so they would have that special memento from grandma. 

Sundays were full of joy and laughter, always with a houseful of loved ones to share a meal and spend quality time together. Every year at Thanksgiving, Jean brought out a special tablecloth for family to sign, then after the holidays it was  hand embroider over the memory. Twenty-six years of love went into that tablecloth, preserved to share with those she loved. 

Jean was a very talented seamstress, over the years making prom, wedding and other clothing for special events for her family. Her family looked forward to special treats of her homemade noodles, baklava, rum cake or breakfast every Sunday night.

A dedicated “sports mom and grandma” who tried to make it to every game and event special to her family. She could often be found reading a good book, sitting on her front porch, bowling with friends or helping at an event with team Flower Children for the annual Relay for Life event. 

She adored her many summer trips to Pennsylvania to visit distant family, as well as numerous trips around the country. 

Jean was known for asking “Do you have anything to tell me?” which of course left her current and in the know of what was going on with everyone, the beacon of information within the family. Her smile and generous spirit will be missed by all.

Funeral services will be held Monday, March 27, at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Palmyra. Pastor Paul Reese will officiate. Burial will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in Palmyra.

Pallbearers will be Derek Fohey, Dax Fohey, Drake Fohey, Luke Buckwalter, Ben Buckwalter, Randy Spratt and Craig Spratt.

Friends and family are invited to Norma’s Life Celebration at a visitation that will be  held from 9 a.m. until the time of service on March 27 at the church.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, Marion County Library Subdistrict #1, or the James E. Carey Cancer Center.

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