Joy Lou Cardwell was the beloved daughter of the late Garfield and Alma Gosser of Russell County, KY. Through them, along with her siblings Jane Johnson, Linda McFarland, and Larry Gosser, she learned the value of kindness, the importance of hard work, and an unmatched ability of baking a cake so good that it had the ability to actually make a person happy. She knew that family and food were connected, as did her mother and her mother-in-law Treecy. She loved having her sisters and brother and all their respective families over for what her husband affectionately dubbed “Gosser Gobbles”. Her biscuits, her lasagna, her brown sugar cake, and her chicken-and-dumplings are legendary amongst both family and friends.
Her surviving husband is Bill Cardwell, the son of the late Ballard and Treecy Cardwell of Middlesboro, KY. Bill and Joy first met at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park where Joy worked as a waitress. As they started dating, Bill worried about her driving home on those curvy roads. He got her a CB radio so that she could let him know she was safe. Even in their early years together, Joy Lou had his heart.
Her son and daughter are grieving for her loss as well. Henry- her son, her baby- shares his grief with his wife Leah Cardwell, in Eli, KY. Her daughter A.T. and her husband David Young, share their loss with Joy Lou’s princess, her only grandchild, Lillie. It was Lillie who gave Joy Lou her latest name, Mamu, and provided a type of love that Joy Lou and Bill, affectionately named, “Gan Gan”, never knew possible.
Growing up, A.T. and Henry’s friends were always welcomed by Mrs. Joy Lou Cardwell, a respected Russell County High School business teacher and FBLA sponsor. They sometimes got into trouble, they sometimes had to decorate for Christmas, but they were always respected, loved, and well-fed by Mrs. Cardwell.
Joy Lou valued her time as an educator. Her daughter is now a teacher and remembers her mom’s best advice about students: “Love them all.” She was a proud, retired Kentucky teacher who, amazingly, could recognize many students’ years after having them in class.
After retirement, Joy Lou went to help her husband at his family’s business, Cardwell Furniture, in Bell County. They worked together every day- and even on the most difficult of days, the couple still went home as both best friend and spouse. Joy Lou loved Bill fiercely for about 50 years here on earth. Once he joins her in Heaven, their love will continue.
Joy Lou will be missed by so many. Throughout her time as a teacher and as a salesperson, she showed the love of God to many people. She is remembered fondly by her church families at Binghamtown Baptist Church in Middlesboro, and Russell Springs United Methodist Church in Russell County.
She has left a legacy of love, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her, whether as Lou Lou, Mrs. Cardwell, Mamu, or Mom.
The family will receive friends from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at the Binghamtown Baptist Church. A Memorial Service will follow at 5:00 p.m. with Dr. William Boyd Bingham officiating.
The family will also receive friends in Russell Springs, Kentucky on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at the Russell Springs United Methodist Church from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. central time. A Memorial Service will follow at 11:00 a.m. central time.
The family request that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made in Joy’s honor to the Gateway Christian School, 1 Gateway Drive, Middlesboro, KY 40965.
Green Hills Funeral Home, is honored to serve the Cardwell family.
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