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May 19, 1933 ~ March 30, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Bobbie was the third of five children born to Ida and Doc Ford on May 19, 1933, in Stephens, Arkansas. She was preceded in death by her parents and three of her siblings—Frank Richard, Marshall “Sonny” Ford, and Margie Ford.
On April 5, 1950, she married Vernis Joe in a union that spanned 26 years until she was widowed in 1976. She and Vernis were parents to five children: Vernis Jr., Mearlene, Doris, Ida, and Rickey. Her husband, Vernis, and her youngest child, Rickey, preceded her in death.
Our Momma will be remembered as an excellent mother who provided superlative care to her family. She fully committed herself to her family and was a housewife until all five children were enrolled in school. At that juncture, she entered the workforce and was employed by various garment factories for over 20 years. Bobbie was notorious for her culinary skills (which she passed on to her daughters) and particularly had many requests from patrons who frequently purchased her delectable cakes and pies. Her home cooked meals were offered to all who entered her home. She was multi-talented with skills of quilting, crocheting, knitting, canning, and sewing to name a few. Her home was the family’s gathering place—it was a pleasurable place filled with love. She was happiest when her family congregated there for a great time of laughter and, of course, delicious meals.
“Big Mama” is what her grandchildren affectionately called her. She aspired to present each of her granddaughters with a quilt that she meticulously quilted. The grandsons enjoyed their wrestling and fishing events with Big Mama. She loved them all dearly but had no issue correcting them! In her retirement years, she was a Babysitter for many children who grew fond of her and called her Big Mama as well.
Bobbie accepted Christ as her Savior in 1988. This born-again experience transformed her life as she diligently read and studied her Bible daily, attended church faithfully, and shared her testimony with many. When her son, Rickey, was called to Pastor at Bethany, she joyfully and loyally traveled with him and his family every week to church, Sunday School, and Bible Class for 15 years.
Our Momma will be remembered and forever cherished by her Children: Vernis (Debra) Joe and Mearlene Hunter of Stephens, AR; Doris (Cleven) Strickland of Camden, AR; and Ida (Willie) Frazier of Louann, AR; her Daughter-in-law: Barbara Joe of Stephens, AR; her 13 Grandchildren who loved their Big Momma dearly: Yolonda (Phil) Hale, Tanisha (Charnley) Conway, Marcus Joe, Vandale Joe, Roderick (Laterica) Torrence, Brian Hunter, Candice Strickland, Ginger Joe, Maria Strickland, Amber Joe (KaRon) Willis, Joey Hunter, Brandi Joe, and Amanda (Adam) James; 19 Great Grandchildren; 5 Great-Great Grandchildren; Sister: Doris Weaver; Sister-in-law: Ruthie Malone; a Niece: Barbara Banks who was reared as a sister to the Joe children and worked closely her Aunt Bobbie on various jobs; myriad Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, and Friends.
Funeral service will be at the St. Stephens Baptist Church in Stephens, Arkansas with Pastor Darryl Hope as the eulogist. The burial will be at the Seminary Cemetery in Stephens.