Pugh, Joyce Bowman
Joyce Evelyn (Bowman) Pugh of Floyd, Virginia went to her eternal rest with God on November 16, 2023. Joyce was born in Floyd on May 31, 1929, to Luther Bowman and Carsie (Reed) Bowman. She grew up on a working farm with three older sisters and a younger brother, graduating from Floyd High School in 1945.
It was clear that Joyce was very bright from a young age. Despite her intellectual prowess and tenacity, her plans for college were derailed by a family hardship. Joyce married the love of her life, Leslie (affectionately known as Les) Pugh in 1949. They welcomed two sons, John and Robert, shortly after and cultivated a life on their Easter Creek Farm in Floyd. As Les worked fulltime at the Radford Arsenal, Joyce kept the home front thriving with its endless duties. She did it all: nurturing the boys, taking care of elderly parents, raising livestock, and tending the land with a quiet inner strength and determination.
When John and Robert were in high school, she made the remarkable decision to fulfill her aspiration to achieve an advanced degree. She graduated Radford College with two degrees and became a beloved English teacher at Floyd High School for 16 years. Joyce was an inspirational teacher and girls’ tennis coach, encouraging her students to reach their full potential. Throughout her life, she devoted herself to making the world around her beautiful, whether it was through a hand-stitched quilt, the extensive garden banks and beds at the farm, or a home-cooked meal served for her family.
The daughter of a pastor, her faith was integral to her daily life and Joyce faithfully served Mount Elbert Methodist Church for decades. Joyce not only believed in Jesus, she sought to live and love as he did. Together with Les, they were a force for good in the community, living a life of dedicated service – always willing to lend a helping hand. When she retired, Joyce enjoyed continuing to work on her flower and vegetable gardens on the farm, playing tennis (which she enjoyed until her 80s), and traveling the world (from African safaris to adventures in Europe, South America, and Australia).
She was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 73 years, Les, her parents, and siblings. Joyce is survived by her two sons and their wives John & Sue of Southport, NC and Robert & Theresa of Riner, VA, 4 grandchildren (Brian, Veronica, Matthew, and Amanda) and 9 great-grandchildren. She lived a long life full of purpose, family, love, and adventure and the world is more beautiful for her 94 years in it. Her legacy will live on in the countless lives she impacted in her family, students, church, and the community, and in the most spectacular display of beautiful gardens and flowers along Alum Ridge Road.
Public visitation will be held at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 28th at Horne Funeral Home. The Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Sunset Cemetery in Christiansburg immediately following the service. All are welcome at a reception to celebrate Joyce’s life at Mount Elbert Methodist Church following internment.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to New River Community College Educational Foundation.