Graveside services for Janice Kay Duggins, 68, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, December 11, 2021, at Howell Memorial Park Cemetery, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.
Janice passed away peacefully at her home on Nov. 30, 2021 after a long battle with cancer. She was born August 19, 1953 in West Plains, Missouri, to Charles “Eldon” and Ella Roberson. She was a beloved mother, friend, and Mimi.
She grew up extremely loved as the baby of a large family. She spent a great deal of time with her father at the service stations he owned. She remembered fondly how he would always give away free candy to the children who stopped by the station. Her parents instilled in her a lifelong commitment to generosity and caring for others. It was also during her time at the station that she developed a love for cars as evidenced by her beloved Mach 1 Mustang that she used to cruise through town. Most importantly, it was at this station that she met a young Army lieutenant named Gary who stopped by for gas on his way to the lake. He was filling up his coolers of ice when she boldly introduced herself. He invited her to join him and to his great surprise and delight, she arrived at the lake later with chocolate chip cookies in tow. Gary returned to his assignment in Huntsville but the two stayed in close contact, running up long-distance phone bills. While on a trip back home to visit, he proposed, but just one month later, he was posted to the war in Vietnam. The two considered postponing the wedding, but decided not to wait. Gary came home and during a two-week leave from the war they were married on Sept. 9, 1972. That Christmas, Gary came back to the states for good. The two settled in Kansas at Fort Riley, but soon were homesick for Missouri and their family. They returned to West Plains where they opened a boat dealership. They spent much of their free time on the water and when Sherrie came along in 1976, they taught her to water ski at the age of four. In 1982, Shandi was born. After selling the boat business, Janice became a homemaker. She was the definition of super mom, volunteering at school, president of the PTA, and supporting her daughters in all they did. When they were in plays, Janice was at every performance. She never missed a concert, sporting event, or opportunity to volunteer. Once the girls were in school, Janice’s active participation in the school led to a position as a special education aide. She loved her work with elementary and middle school students and had a deep commitment to helping children. In the summers, Janice loved nothing more than her yearly summer vacations, usually to the beach. Many trips were spent at Sanibel Island and Gulf Shores, making memories to last a lifetime. The beach was a tradition that continued for as long as her health allowed, eventually adding her children’s spouses and grandchildren. She loved watching them play in the water and was the first to dig her toes in the sand and build a castle. On shopping trips, she delighted in surprising all of her girls with trips to pick out whatever purses their hearts desired. As much as she loved summers at the beach, her true favorite time of the year was Christmas. She went all out for the holidays with decorations, food, candy, and gifts. Her children and grandchildren have never purchased socks because each year, their stockings were full of this traditional gift. Her presence will be greatly missed but always remembered most during the Christmas season.
Janice retired from education in 2005, shortly before her first grandchild was born. She once again stepped into the role of cheerleader for those she loved. When her health allowed, she attended every basketball, soccer, football game, recital, play and science fair for Izzy, Jonah, Emmy and Marat. Her grandchildren provided the most precious moments of her life and leaving them was her greatest sadness in departing this earth.
She is survived by her loving husband of 49 years, Gary Duggins; daughters Sherrie Hamner, husband, Matt, and Shandi Brinkman, husband, Allen; her four grandchildren, who were the light of her life, Isabella Hamner, Emery Hamner, Jonah Brinkman, and Marat Brinkman. She is also survived by her brother- and sister-in-law and dear friends, Johnnie and Beverly Duggins; sister-in-law Barbara Alsup; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Janice was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws, Cecil and Donna Duggins, her siblings, Don Alsup, Georgie Driver, Charles Roberson, Carrie Hale, Marie Ramsey and her best friend, Linda Squires.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Bridges, a program to assist students, a befitting tribute for someone who cared so much for others, especially children in need. Memorial contributions may be left at or mailed to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, 211 West Main, West Plains, MO 65775. The family invites all friends and family to celebrate Janice’s life with them at the service and at a light lunch to follow at the Kaywood Estates Clubhouse. Online condolences may be expressed at www.robertsondrago.com.