Barbara J. Day obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Barbara J. Day

August 30, 1931 - October 13, 2016

Obituary


Barbara Joan Bryan Day departed this earth on October 13, 2016.



Born to Austin and Herma Childress Bryan on Sunday, August 30, 1931 in Poteau Oklahoma. While her mother was in labor, her father celebrated in the backyard with the Poteau baseball team. Barbara had arrived!



Her travel stories began when she was just three years old. One Sunday morning Barbara was in the front yard and heard music coming from the church across the highway. Followed by her dad’s hunting dogs, she crossed the highway and marched into the church, to the...

Barbara Joan Bryan Day departed this earth on October 13, 2016.



Born to Austin and Herma Childress Bryan on Sunday, August 30, 1931 in Poteau Oklahoma. While her mother was in labor, her father celebrated in the backyard with the Poteau baseball team. Barbara had arrived!



Her travel stories began when she was just three years old. One Sunday morning Barbara was in the front yard and heard music coming from the church across the highway. Followed by her dad’s hunting dogs, she crossed the highway and marched into the church, to the front pew, to join the choir; the dogs trailing behind her. Her mother quickly followed her and frantically motioned for her to come out of the church. Barbara shook her head no. Her mother was so embarrassed; this would not be the last time Barbara embarrassed her mom.



At age six, like all Okies, Barbara’s family headed to California to find their fortune. Barbara’s dad lead the way in an old pick-up truck filled with wire and electrical equipment. His partner and three others followed and this team built steel towers for electrical service up and down the west coast. While in Long Beach, war was declared and Barbara’s father and partners built towers to float blimps and airships to protect the coast.



By age nine, Barbara and her family were living in Yakima Washington and had lived in travel courts and cheap hotels for several years. For class, Barbara wrote a school paper that explained the reason her family moved so often was that her sixteen year old brother had run away and they were looking for him; of course she had no brother. The teacher called the sheriff who offered to help find the boy. Barbara once again embarrassed her mother, but her father laughed and thought it was a heck of a story.



At the age of thirteen, Barbara and her fellow students were let out of school for the apple harvest. Barbara and her friend took care of the younger children while the adults picked apples. While babysitting the younger children, Barbara and her friend found a couple of bottles of champagne and drank until they could drink no more. The next day, Barbara was to be inducted into the Rainbow Girls. She was hung-over and ill most of the day and her mother had to explain to Barbara’s club sponsor what had happened. Barbara had once again embarrassed her mother.



Barbara moved to Leavenworth Kansas and returned to Poteau to graduate from high school. After graduating she attended Southern Methodist University for a year and eventually transferred to Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State) where she majored in marketing and journalism. She was the only student in many of her classes; this was an easy way to have the highest grades.



After graduation, Barbara went to work for Brown and Dunkins as an assistant jewelry buyer; she moved on to become a copy writer for Vandivers. Two years later she was offered a job at Hovland-Swanson in Lincoln, Nebraska. Cold, snowy winters encouraged Barbara to move to Little Rock where her grandmother lived. She took a job at Pfeifers and became the advertising director in 1956.



In 1958, Barbara and two of her friends opened a Pizza House restaurant at 12th and University. Barbara kept her day job and worked on nights and weekends. One Saturday night, Raymond Day and his cousin came into the restaurant; he came back several times. Finally, Barbara took matters into her own hands and asked him to take her to lunch. They went to Lido’s Cafeteria and had a bowl of soup, cornbread and tea. They went to the State Fair a few weeks later and in December Raymond asked Barbara to marry him. They were married three months later on February 20, 1960.



Their son Bryan was born in 1963, Brad in 1965 and Brent in 1967. During this time Barbara was freelancing at Pfeifer’s, which soon became Dillard’s. She became advertising manager and eventually vice-president of sales. Barbara left Dillard’s and moved to the Arkansas Gazette and joined the Arkansas Democrat in 1983, where she helped transform it from an afternoon paper to a morning paper. She retired in 2002.



Barbara and Raymond ventured into the print and framing business and bought the Old Print Shop and worked there in the evening and on weekends helping customers. During this time they also bought and sold antiques. Barbara and Raymond truly loved each other and spent all their waking hours together.



Barbara loved to travel. When Raymond’s mother was widowed in 1991, she took Barbara and Raymond on a trip to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In 1996, she gifted them with another trip to seven countries in Europe. After this trip, Barbara had the travel bug and arranged many trips for her and her friends, with as many as 32 friends traveling together. Barbara and Raymond had the opportunity to visit 43 countries, many on multiple occasions. As old age crept in, they took their last trip to Hawaii in 2010.



Barbara loved entertaining friends, playing bridge, gardening and painting. She enjoyed giving to others and would never say no to a friend in need. Barbara’s greatest love was Christmas and she looked forward to decorating her home for the season and buying and making gifts for her family and friends. Her house was always full of the Christmas spirit and the decorations were second to none.



Barbara found her church home at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church where she volunteered her time with Cancer Friends and the food bank.



Barbara is survived by her husband of 56 years, Raymond; son Bryan, his wife Betsy and their two children Sierra and Spencer; son Brad and his wife Maria and their children Emily and Caroline; and son Brent and his wife Carrie and their son Jesse. She is also survived by many loving, life-long friends.



Funeral services will be Friday, October 21, at 10:00 a.m. at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn. Barbara loved the church and asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church.