Mary Jane Rayfield Bumgardner, age 80, passed away at her home on Monday, January 13, 2020. Mary Jane was born on September 5, 1939, in Gaston County, to the late Russell and Sallie Toney Rayfield. She was preceded in death by brother Boyd Rayfield and wife Alma Lee, brother Mutt Rayfield, sister Florence Lankford and husband Raymond. Mary Jane was also preceded by many loved friends, classmates, and church members.
Mary Jane graduated from Bessemer City High School and attended business school in Charlotte, NC before she began a long working career that concluded with her retirement from being secretary at First Baptist Church in Bessemer City NC. She loved the Lord and was devoted to her church. She served the church in many areas but loved doing benevolence in helping those in need from the community. She loved her family dearly and was a friend to many. She was known for her love of cooking, especially her sausage balls and banana nut bread. Many friends and shut ins were recipients of that delicious dessert. Her family’s favorite foods were prepared regularly with special items being made on birthdays. Mary Jane also loved making beaded necklaces, a hobby that she inherited from her late brother Mutt. Mary Jane established the first “Red Hat” club in Bessemer City. Through this organization, she made many lasting friendships. Her class of 1957 BCHS members were some of her special memories. She always enjoyed organizing their class reunions. Mary Jane adored her senior bowlers that she joined every Monday for games. Meals on Wheels was another favorite service of hers. Television programs that she loved were Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Password, and Match Game. Laughter was a huge part of Mary Jane. She really believed it was the best medicine.
Mrs. Bumgardner is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Eugene Ray Bumgardner. Her sons and their families were dear to her heart; son and daughter-in-law Larry and Martha Bumgardner of Belmont, NC, her son and daughter-in-law Barry and Lisa Bumgardner of Bessemer City, NC; four grandchildren Bailey Watson and husband Matthew, Watts Bumgardner, Justin Bumgardner, Dustin Bumgardner and wife Kelly, along with Mary Jane’s great granddaughter Brittain.
Mary Jane is also survived by her remaining sibling Howard H. Rayfield and his wife Jill. Mary Jane loved Howard very much. Mrs. Bumgardner had close relationships with her in-laws Betty Rayfield, Louise Salmon, Becky Garner and Boyce and Mildred Bumgardner. These people along with nieces, nephews, close friends, classmates and her devoted neighbors, Frances and Monroe Taylor, all had special places in her heart.
Pall bearers: Dustin Bumgardner, Justin Bumgardner, Watts Bumgardner, Matthew Watson, Todd Capps, Rick Franklin
Honorary pall bearers: Monroe Taylor, Theo Lynn, Ronnie Taylor, Alfred Carpenter, Franklin Whitworth