Cover photo for Joyce Elaine (Bowman)  Parks's Obituary
1951 Joyce 2020

Joyce Elaine (Bowman) Parks

June 19, 1951 — March 26, 2020


Joyce Elaine (Bowman) Parks

Joyce Elaine (Bowman) Parks, age 68, of Harrisburg, and formerly of Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD, went home peacefully on Thursday, March 26, 2020.  Joyce was born on Tuesday, June 19, 1951, in Lancaster to the late Mabel Minerva (Ruhl) Bowman and Clayton Snader Bowman.

Joyce’s survivors include her loving husband of 49 years and 100 days, William “Bill” Martin Parks; her two sons: William “Tony” Anthony Parks and wife “Cammy” of Mechanicsburg, Stephen “Steve” Matthew Parks and wife Jamelyn of Grantville; her eight grandchildren: Milan, Dante, Greyson, Brayden, Brahm, Kyler, Liam, Caelyn; her three siblings: Robert Bowman and wife Sandy, Joanne Good and husband Harold, and Kenneth Bowman; and several nieces and nephews.

Joyce graduated from Conestoga Valley High School as part of the class of 1969 and from Faith School of Theology, now Faith Bible College International in Charleston, Maine, where she served as Class President and was honored as Valedictorian.

Joyce and Bill were married while in college and began a lifelong career as ministers of the Gospel of Christ immediately following Joyce’s graduation in 1972.  This career took them to various positions, including:  assistant directors of Teen Challenge in DC; youth pastoral team in TX; lead pastoral team in Western PA; an evangelistic team, traveling the U.S. as a family; short term missionaries to many countries in Central & South America as well as the Caribbean, most notably Mexico and Cuba; and completing the circuit as the founding executive directors of Teen Challenge in Baltimore.

In addition to her work as a ministerial team with Bill, Joyce earned an accounting degree from Lebanon Valley College and worked her own career; a career which was initially at Wohlsen Construction Company in Lancaster for 10 years.  Joyce started as a temporary employee, was soon hired full time as a secretary, and finished her service as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President and CFO of the company.  Joyce’s work then turned to Trinity Life Church in Lutherville, MD.  At Trinity, her 17 years of service led her on a path which began as a Finance Associate and ended as the Pastor of Operations and Finance, a position from which she retired in 2018.

Joyce’s interests outside of work and ministry were always connected to family and friends. Whether planning for a family vacation, Christmas or Easter dinner and festivities, or just an afternoon at a sporting event; she always found a way to make each moment special by putting her additional “touch”.  Joyce loved to spend time refinishing furniture, decorating her house, working in the flower beds, and even some painting.  Her décor was always flawless and her taste impeccable.  She lived a life of influence within her family, her work and her ministry that impacted lives on a very deep and personal level; as evidenced by family, close friends, and contacts who continue to admire her sweet spirit, her integrity and her dedication to all that is good.

Throughout her life, Joyce’s heart was set toward her relationship with Christ which included service both to Him and to others.  While an accomplished singer, musician, teacher, speaker, pastor and administrator, she did not need the spotlight, but was just as satisfied with working behind the veil.  Joyce enlivened every room she entered, edified every conversation and was a blessing to all who knew her.   Often, she would exhort her sons by quoting the words of a famous poem by CT Studd, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what is done for Christ will last.” Joyce will be well remembered and forever missed, but her legacy goes on through her family and the many lives that she has touched.

Joyce’s immediate services will be private with public services to be announced when scheduled.  Private burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Mechanicsburg will be held at the family’s convenience.

Contributions in celebration of Joyce’s life can be made to Faith Bible College International, 29 Main Road, Charleston, ME 04422,

Joyce’s family has entrusted her care to Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421.  Read Joyce’s full obituary, view her memorial video and portrait, and sign her official guest book at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce Elaine (Bowman) Parks, please visit our flower store.

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