Dorothy Joan Bogart, age 94, former Hannibal Ambassador and co-owner of the Mark Twain Cave passed away at 3:35 pm Thursday, February 25, 2021, at New Mark Care Center in Kansas City, MO.
Private graveside services and burial will be held Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in the Grand View Burial Park. The Rev. Dr. Mark Hughes will officiate.
Due to COVID-19 there will be no visitation held and a celebration of life service for Joan will be held at a later date when it is safe for people to gather.
The graveside service will be live streamed via the Smith Funeral Home & Chapel facebook page starting a few minutes before 2:00 PM Tuesday. You may also watch the service via the funeral home website on Joan's memorial page at www.smithfuneralhomeandchapel.com on Tuesday late afternoon.
Affectionately known as Joan to her friends, Mrs. B to the Cave employees and Jojo to her family, she was born June 2, 1926, in Illinois (she would cringe when someone pronounced the “s”). Her parents were Bernice and Carl Cantrell. She was the youngest of four; two brothers Bill and George and one sister Jeanne.
She met the love of her life, Robert C. Bogart “Bob” when she was 16, just before he was deployed to serve in World War II. They kept in touch by mail and after she graduated high school, they married August 16, 1944. They were married for 55 years when Bob passed away in an auto accident.
They had two children, Ken Bogart of Florida and Kitty Collins of Kansas City. Joan enjoyed watching her children grow and marry, bringing her 4 grandchildren, who have grown and married to bring her 7 great-grandchildren (and yes, some of them are also redheads). She also still has many nieces and nephews and their families in Illinois and Texas.
Bob and Joan began running the Cave in 1972 and developed it into the thriving business it became until 2002 when she sold their portion to other family members. During tourism season, Joan could be found at the Cave, helping the guides stay on track, giving directions, promoting other tourist attractions downtown or bopping around the gift shop keeping tourists entertained as they waited for their tour. During the off season from the Cave, Bob and Joan were traveling the country in their RV and promoting tourism to Hannibal any chance they could get. They were both passionate about keeping tourism in Hannibal alive and took every opportunity they had to help the town and the people in it.
Joan was active in Park United Methodist Church, the Mark Twain Travelers RV Club, the Hannibal Hospital Auxiliary, Missouri Tourism, the National Cave Owners Association and the National Mississippi River Parkway Commission.
Anyone who knew Joan, knew that she lived life to the fullest and her heart was as big as her personality. When out running errands, she would undoubtedly run into someone she knew, and time would stand still while she visited with them. If, on the off chance, she did not see anyone she knew, she would simply strike up a conversation with whomever was willing to chat for a while. Joan was always on a mission to bring sunshine wherever she went and to leave people a little happier than she found them. She could be found dancing around and singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or acting silly in a store or making pecan tarts for the hospital auxiliary, all in the same day. Joan was also very dedicated to her family and did so many things over the years to help them, as well. Not only was she a mother to Ken and Kitty, but she was like a second mother to her grandchildren when they worked at the cave and to her nieces and nephews as they were growing up. If someone in the family needed help, she was there. It is because of that approach to life, Joan touched so many lives and her passing will be felt by so many. Joan truly was “fantastic, unique, exciting and fun to be with” and we will miss her dearly. In Joan’s memory, please go out and make someone else’s day a little better and a little brighter.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local food bank, in Joan's memory.
Online condolences may be made to Joan's family at www.smithfuneralhomeandchapel.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Joan Bogart, please visit our floral store.
Local Food Bank