Born March 26, 1931, in Spearman, Texas, to Thomas James and Mary Virginia Lawson Bruce, Virginia Gum Pio went to join her Lord and Savior early Sunday morning, September 15th, 2019 in Amarillo, Texas. Virginia grew up in Spearman and graduated from Spearman High School in 1948. During summers and after her graduation from high school, she worked for her father at Bruce Motors, the Pontiac dealership her parents owned and operated in Spearman.
Virginia met Glen R. Gum of Hardesty, and they married April 24, 1949, in Spearman. They moved to the farm, their home place southwest of Hardesty, where they lived together for the next 36 years, sharing in rearing 5 children who were always proud to have her as their Mother. She loved being a farm and ranch wife and all the work it entailed. Glen attributed his success to Virginia. He always said that had it not been for her support and hard work, he could never have achieved what he did in his lifetime.
Virginia loved to cook, sew, and read. She was an active member of the Hardesty Homemakers for several years. She was the official “bread maker” of the group. In 1967 she was named Homemaker of the Year. In later years, Virginia thoroughly loved her weekly painting class and the fellowship of the other artists.
Virginia was a long-time devoted member of the Hardesty United Methodist Church, serving in various capacities throughout the years: Sunday school teacher, Bible school teacher, member of the Ladies’ Bazaar, member of the Choir, faithful member of the many Bible Study Groups, and member of many committees including the Pastoral Parish Committee. She asked to be removed from church committee service in her later years because she felt that she could not do her best job. That was just like Virginia: “If you can’t do something right, don’t do it.”
Virginia dearly loved her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren and actively supported their many sporting activities and livestock shows.
Tragically, in January 1985, Virginia lost Glen at the corner of one of the pastures they owned. While driving one of the farm trucks westward toward home, he did not see a semi-trailer truck coming from the north, and he pulled into the intersection directly into its path. Glen passed away before the ambulance could reach Guymon.
Then, after grieving for almost a year, Virginia was fortunate enough to come to know Julian Jay Pio, a man she and Glen knew as an acquaintance, and also one of the first responders to Glen’s tragic accident. Jay lost his beloved wife Betty a short time after Glen’s death. He and Virginia became closer while both attending church, even realizing that they had both signed the Letter of Incorporation for the Hardesty United Methodist Church several years earlier. They were married on February 9, 1986, at the Hardesty United Methodist Church. They spent 13 happy years together traveling and enjoying retirement, while still working in the farm and ranch business. In the summer of 1999, Jay was diagnosed with cancer and only lived a short while, passing away in October 1999.
Virginia was preceded in death by her husband Glen R. Gum, her infant daughter Ginger Gum, her son Ted Gum, her daughter-in-law Sharon Wetmore Gum, her husband Julian Jay Pio, her parents Thomas and Mary Lawson Bruce, her brother Tommy Jack Bruce, her maternal grandparents William and Grace Hutchinson Lawson, her paternal grandparents James and Emma Groft Bruce, her father-in-law and mother-in-law Ernest and Bessie Ingels Gum, her step-son Douglas Pio, and her step-daughter Julie Pio Donnelly.
Virginia is survived by her four children: Bruce Gum and wife Sarena of Amarillo; Jerry Gum and wife Tammy of Hardesty; Carolyn Whiteside and husband Jeffrey of Amarillo; and Shirley Smith of Guymon. She is also survived by one step-daughter Karyn Sue Pio Lively of Guymon.
Virginia is survived by 13 grandchildren: Heidi Nunley and husband Jay of Hooker; Maggi Stavig and husband Randy of Guymon; Merri Dupree and husband Devon of Butler; Melody Gum of Tulsa; Krista Gum of Hardesty; Jeremy Whiteside and wife Mandy of Amarillo; Chris Whiteside and wife Amanda of Amarillo; Derek Smith and wife Charlcee of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Deidra Smith of Guymon; April Jackson and husband Rick of Yukon; Somer Costiloe and husband Ryan of Yukon; Manda Holcomb and husband Trey of Ft. Worth, Texas; and Meredith Garcia of Amarillo.
Virginia is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren: Rhett, Kip, and Thane Nunley of Hooker; Addison and Tinley Stavig of Guymon; Annie, Emma, and Creek Dupree of Butler, Oklahoma; Mason and Xavier Whiteside of Amarillo; Abby and Nathaniel Whiteside of Amarillo; Sloane Smith of Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Anna Miller and Robert Hudson of Amarillo.
She is also survived by several dear nieces and nephews and some very special friends who have helped provide for her care. The family is so thankful for the loving care of Virginia in her last months at her daughter Carolyn’s home and for the recent home and hospice care of Encompass Health.
Graveside services will be conducted at Wednesday morning, September 18th, 11:00 AM at Hartville Cemetery near Hardesty with Reverend Odie Nunley officiating. Services are entrusted to Henson-Novak Funeral Home of Guymon.
Honorary Pallbearers are the following: Jimmie Brown, Gayle Brown, Rich Mariconda, Darrell Richards, Jason Richards, Jarrod Richards, Roger Shorb, Darrell Tharp and Mac Crawford.
Music for the services will be provided by Melody Gum, granddaughter and soloist.
In lieu of floral gifts, the family requests that all memorial contributions go to the Hartville Cemetery, c/o Henson-Novak Funeral Directors, P.O. Box 1306, Guymon, OK 73942.
Friends may sign the online guestbook and send condolences at www.hensonnovak.com.
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