Dortha (Dot) Faye Thomason Bulla Burger, age 88, passed away surrounded by family on January 12, 2021. She was born June 26, 1932 in Paragould, Arkansas to Graham and Velna Thomason. She was married to James (Jim) Oscar Bulla Jr from 1952 to 1992, when he preceded her in death. She was also married to John Robert Burger in 1997 who also preceded her in death in 2006. Dot is survived by her sister, Emma Moore, and two brothers, Sean Thomason and Dwight Thomason. She is proceeded in death by her brother, Jim Thomason. She also has one living brother-in-law, Roy Bulla, who has been an incredible friend and support to her throughout the years.
Dot Is survived by three daughters, Jeanie Taft, Tammie Burger (Stephen Burger) and Barbi Barnum (Charlie Barnum). She is preceded in death by her daughter Crystal Gail Bulla. She has eight grandchildren (Julia, Jim, Patrick (Susan), Zachary (Juan), Greg, Griffin, Ryan and Sean) 4 great grandchildren (Blake, Tanis (Kyle), Wyatt, Daniel, Sean Jr., Cameron and Caden), and many other nieces and nephews that will miss her.
Although born in Arkansas, she and Jim spent many years during their young adult life in Southern California. She loved taking her young children to the beach, playing cards with friends, just generally enjoying life together, and will be greatly missed by her friends that are still there. While in California, she worked at the Bank of America and also had a home-based daycare. She was active in the First Christian Church of Costa Mesa, and directed vacation bible schools, taught Sunday School, and was a big part of the Women’s Ministry. After moving to Arkansas in the early 70s, she was a full partner in the farm they owned, and also worked for Arkansas National Bank. Dot and Jim had a daycare center (Wee Care) and were a part of many little ones’ growing up experience. They also were a foster family, and loved on many children who were a part of their family.
Dot and Jim were the founding members of Heber Springs Christian Church. Dot was very active in the church and enjoyed fellowship of many friends there
Dot loved to feed people, and it wasn’t unusual to find 40-50 people at the house for holiday dinners—some of them people she didn’t even know that needed a place to go for a holiday dinner. Her chili dinners in the fall were a time of good food, laughter, and reconnecting community. Her collection of coffee cups overflowed 6 shelves in her home just in case she might have a lot of people over for coffee. She loved to bake, and usually had something sweet to go along with that coffee.
Dot was a caretaker. She provided loving care for her daughter Christy for 45 years as Christy dealt with chronic illness. She also cared for her second husband, John Burger, during his extended final illness. She would take in animals that were injured or disabled and nurse them to health.
She knew how to tell a good story, and enjoyed entertaining us all with stories of silliness. She had no problem dressing silly to make us all laugh, and Christmas morning usually found her with left over ribbons from packages adorning her hair and as jewelry.
She was very active in her daughters’ lives She was a Girl Scout leader and very active in 4-H. It wasn’t unusual for her to let her daughters have sleep overs and fill up every bed and spot on the floor with friends. Many of her daughters’ friends remember going to her for advice or just a warm hug or recall camping with her at the lake. Her greatest happiness was through the lives of her children and grandchildren. She was so proud of her grandchildren and covered the walls with pictures of them and was always ready to tell anyone that would listen all about their lives.
She loved going to Mountain View and listen to the country music. One of her last big outings was to the park in Mountain View. She also loved going to gospel singings, canning from her garden, and picking fruit at the local orchard.
One of her favorite past times was reading, and she has read (at least once) all the hundreds of books found on bookshelves throughout the house. She passed on to her daughters the joy of reading, and it is a cherished family value that will carry on.
We will miss her.
A graveside service will be held 2pm Saturday, January 16, 2021 at Heber Springs Cemetery.
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