Wanda Bozarth’s story began on August 24, 1938 near Calico Rock in Izard County, Arkansas. She was the second of eight children, the daughter of Dewey and Annie Conrad. Wanda and her siblings were raised on a farm, and like many children in eastern Arkansas at the time, she spent her childhood summers working and harvesting the fields. Wanda attended school through the seventh grade, after which, she began to work full-time to financially assist her family.
Wanda’s was a life of loving service. As the oldest female child, she often assumed the role of caretaker of the younger children. At the age of fifteen, Wanda left Calico Rock and went to Springfield, Missouri, where she worked at Crown Drugstore. It was three years into this fateful job that Wanda met the love of her life, Clay Bozarth, who visited the store to see his sister, Aletta, who was Wanda’s co-worker. Later in life, Wanda would often recount that she knew upon seeing Clay that “she was going to marry that boy.” Wanda was right, and she and Clay were married on August 5, 1957.
And so began a lifelong love and partnership.
In 1962, Clay, Wanda, and their infant daughter, Ruby, moved to Berryville, Arkansas. During their time in Berryville, Clay and Wanda had two more children, Rose and Tony, and numerous businesses, including small engine repair, sheet metal work, heating and air installation, and beef and poultry farming. While Clay turned the wrenches and climbed in the attics, Wanda managed the business finances. They both fed the cattle and walked the chicken houses.
In 1977, the Bozarth family joined and began regularly attending the Berryville Church of Christ. Throughout the remainder of her life, Wanda was a devoted member of the Church.
Wanda’s heart was full when she was taking care of children. Wanda played a prominent role in the raising of her three grandchildren, Drew, Joel, and Emma. As her grandchildren grew older, Wanda regularly became unofficial grandma to the children at the Church. Wanda often taught Sunday School, and later in her life assumed the beloved role of “candy lady,” joyfully distributing candy to children after church services.
Wanda was preceded in death by her parents, Dewey and Annie Conrad; siblings Toley Hart, Ermal Mickle, Jesse Dewey Conrad, Ralph Conrad, and Benjamin Conrad; and her first-born daughter, Beverly Bozarth. Wanda is survived by her husband, Clay Bozarth; her children, Ruby Edwards, Rose Spencer, and Anthony Bozarth; three grandchildren, Andrew Bozarth, Joel Bozarth, and Emma Spencer; five great-grandchildren, Kayan Bozarth, Naomi Bozarth, Rhys Bozarth, William Bozarth, and Charleston Bozarth; and two siblings, Mildred Davis and Joyce Newbrey.
Wanda was gregarious and sociable. She was feisty and tough-minded. Her unwavering dedication to and focus on her family was outweighed only by her love for her Lord, Jesus Christ. Wanda left this world on Thursday, May 21, 2020 surrounded by her loved ones. Wanda was an amazing wife, wonderful mother, and irreplaceable grandma. Our loss was heaven’s gain, and she will be sorely missed.
Wanda’s Memorial Service will be held at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at Smith Funeral Home in Green Forest, Arkansas. Because of COVID-19 concerns, we ask that all attendees wear a face covering. Private interment will follow at Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield MO. In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to the Berryville Church of Christ, 909 W. Trimble Ave., Berryville, Arkansas 72616.
On line condolences may be made at www.smithfamilyfuneralhome.net.
May 18, 2020 the State of Arkansas issued a new executive order regarding indoor public gatherings, restricting these gatherings to no more than 33% of maximum capacity to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Seating will be limited to 50 people.
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