Fort Smith High School
Patsy Ann Gunter

After graduation I boarded the Grey Hound Bus and headed for Oklahoma City, OK to find my fame and fortune. I found neither, but did find many other wonderful experiences.

After working for one year at an Advertising Company typing envelopes all day, I went to work for the American Cancer Society as a secretary to doctors who worked for the society. This turned out to be hard work, understanding foreign doctors; foreign terminology wasn’t my idea of fun work. I then begin work with a major Insurance Company, The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, based out of New York. I worked for them for five years and after having our first child couldn’t work for them anymore (the policy was no women workers with children – that was the stone-age policies). Guess they finally caught up with reality and began to hire us smart women back!!! With a five year break between, I returned and worked for them for ten years and now draw a small retirement.

I met my husband, Jim Armstrong, through one of the roommates I lived with. The rest is history; we celebrate our 44th anniversary February 2, 2006! We have two children, Donald who is a Chemical Operator with Renal Care of Oklahoma City for the past 20 years. Traci, our daughter, is a Special Education Teacher with the Oklahoma School System with a Masters in Multiple Handicaps. She is the mother of our only two grandchildren, Austin, age 11 and Maci Ann, age 8. They are the delight of our hearts and make everyday a joy.

My husband, Jim, is a Minister/Pastor with the Church of the Nazarene and we have pastured primarily in Arkansas and Oklahoma and a short stint in Louisiana, for the past 30 years. We were missionaries for five of those years in Paramaribo, Surname, South America. We were 50 when we went to the field and it was a wonderful experience. We survived a military coup on Christmas Day; Floods; the Gulf War (in a Muslim country) being robbed by a masked bandit in the Rain Forest and living to tell about it. Being a Warden with the American Embassy and being invited to the Embassy for lunch with the Ambassador and wife (pretty impressive!).

We have traveled extensively to places like Haiti, Mexico, New Mexico, Victoria, British Colombia, and most of the continental United States. On our 40th anniversary we took a two week vacation to Australia. Missed Steve Irwin (shucks!) but did visit his zoo and wrap my arms around one of his python snakes. Must have been out of my mind.

We presently pastor the church at Mena, Arkansas (for the past year) and love the area. I attend the Rich Mountain Community College taking history classes and exercise classes. I enjoy working with my husband in the pastorate and speaking with different groups about our experiences. I also do an interpretation of Minnie Pearl and have enjoyed entertaining church groups and performing in a community theater over the past few years.

God has blessed our lives and guess we will continue to work until we can’t function properly or we can afford to retire, whichever comes first.

I must say that Dick Cowan made a valiant effort to locate me and I have enjoyed reading the Bio’s of the classmates.

Patsy Ann “Gunter” Armstrong - 2005