Joy Love (Townsend) Gardner

July 29, 1928 ~ January 10, 2020 (age 91)


Our sweet and precious Joy Love Gardner had her last dance card pulled on Friday, January 10, 2020. She danced her way into Heaven’s Gate to be with Jesus and her family and friends that have gone on before her. Our beautiful Mom and Grandma was born July 29, 1928 in the home of her Grandad and Grandma Capps to her parents, Richard (Dick) & Margory (Capps) Townsend of the Community of Dora, NM. She grew up in Arch, NM and graduated from Portales High School in 1946.

Joy Love married Lowell Harp and as a result of their union, they had three children, Jimmy Wayne, Dickie Fred and Vicki Lynn. They were married for seven years until the death of Lowell in 1954. After that time, Joy Love met and married her love, Herschel (Hutch) Gardner. Hutchie Boy took Joy and her babies in and raised them as his own in the Garrison Community where they farmed and ranched until their retirement in the late seventies. After retirement, they made the decision to build their own home and move to Portales where Joy was able to volunteer as a Pink Lady at the Portales Hospital as well as be a member of a bowling league and just enjoyed playing cards and dominoes with their closest friends. They were also able to travel all over the country with the Good Sams Club and on tour buses and make the best memories with those closest to them.

In later years, as Hutch’s health started to decline, Joy devoted herself to taking care of him and making him comfortable until his death in 1993. A few years later, she found a loving friend and companion in Howell Merrick. She and Howell were able to share in many adventures and make precious memories together until his death in 2007.

After a few years, Joy Love decided to move to Lubbock to be near her loving daughter Vicki. She moved into the Raider Ranch Retirement Community where she made many more friends and thoroughly enjoyed her time there. The staff at Raider Ranch took very good care of our Mom and made sure that she was loved and doted on each and every minute she was there.

Joy Love leaves behind her son, Jimmy Harp (wife, Barbara), son Dickie Fred and daughter, Vickie (son-in-law Gary) Donoghey. She also had Grand Children, Mikey & Cody, Jami & Bill, Jeff & Shannon, Scott & Amy, Kevin, Kristi and many Great Grands and one Great-Great Granddaughter. She also leaves behind her loving siblings who have been with her through many family adventures; Henry & Pat Townsend, Gayland & Patti Townsend and Faith Bradley. Joy is preceded in death by her parents, husbands Lowell Harp, Herschel Gardner, brothers Buddy Townsend, Bobby Townsend & Richard Townsend & sister Jackye Rodgers, and her very special Grandson, Christopher Harp whom we know greeted her with the biggest kiss and smile.

Joy always enjoyed a good celebration so we all know that she is up in Heaven having a ball with all those she loved. To celebrate her life here, the family invites you to wear her favorite color purple & join us on Wednesday, January 15th at 2pm at the Wheeler Mortuary in Portales, NM, with Randy Rankin officiating.  Burial will follow in the Portales Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM on Tuesday, January 14 at Wheeler Mortuary.

A lunch will be served for family and friends at 11:30 AM on Wednesday at First Baptist Church of Portales.

Pallbearers to be are; Jeff Hardt, Scott Harp, Cody McGuire, Bill Beene, Cole McGuire, Jake Stearns & James Bernacchi. Honorary Pallbearers; Dylan Dobbins, Ty Harp, Hank Harp, Jessi Bernacchi, Alyssa Hendricks, Ryan Hendricks, Rylee McGuire, MacKenzie Mendoza, Taylor McGuire and all of Joy’s family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made the the Baptist Children's Home, PO Box 629, Portales, NM 88130 or the the Alzheimer's Association, 9500 Montgomery NE, Suite 209, Albuquerque, NM 87111.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joy Love (Townsend) Gardner, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
January 15, 2020

2:00 PM
Wheeler Mortuary Chapel, Portales, Sat

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