Joye Buckmiller

Joye Buckmiller

Joye Marie (Kensmoe) Buckmiller went to be with the Lord at age 103 on Oct. 9, 2020, at Missouri Slope Care Center.

She was born on the family homestead during a snowstorm, along with her twin brother Roy, on Jan. 21, 1917, in Prophets Township northwest of McClusky. She was the daughter of Ole and Carrie (Lasher) Kensmoe.

Joye attended rural grade school and McClusky High School. At age 17 she traveled alone by train to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to attend North Central Bible College (now North Central University) graduating in 1937. Returning to North Dakota, she and her cousins, Adeline and Lillian (Sis) Melom, held evangelistic meetings in various locations. The trio provided the music and Joye brought the message. Recently Joye was honored as the oldest living alumni of North Central University.

On Sept. 28, 1940, she married William Buckmiller in McClusky. Over the years they lived in Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. In 1953 they moved to Riverdale where Bill worked for the Corps of Engineers. In 1977 they retired in Bismarck to be near family and friends.

Joye moved to an apartment at Valley View Heights in 2001 so she could visit Bill in Missouri Slope Care Center, where he passed away in 2004. She continued living at Valley View until 2014 when she moved to Missouri Slope. She enjoyed family and friends visiting and sharing a cup of coffee. She played Skip-Bo like a Grand Master and enjoyed going to bingo. She loved and appreciated all the health care workers over the years who were so kind to her.

Praying for her four children, nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, 11 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild, plus countless friends and other relatives, is her legacy. She was a charter member of Bismarck Assembly of God (now Evangel Church) and attended services well into her senior years.

She is survived by one son, Gary Buckmiller (Gretchen), Scottsdale, Arizona; and three daughters, Karen Crouch, Willa Rhoads (Gordon) and Cheryl Gallagher (John), all of Bismarck, as well as the grandchildren previously mentioned.

She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers, Clifford, Leonard “Bud”, Roy, and Odell “Billy” and one grandson, Todd Rhoads.

Due to complications surrounding COVID-19, private family services have taken place and she was laid to rest at the McClusky Cemetery.

To leave your condolence and share memories with her family please go to

Published by The Bismarck Tribune on Oct. 17, 2020.

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