But this is not how all her loved ones and good friends would wish to remember Joyce, especially at the threshold of this Holiday Season. We remember a vibrant young lady who brought “Joy” and laughter into so many lives. We remember a young lady who worked for one company for over 40 years, with dedication, devotion and absolute distinction for her commitment and service.
Joyce loved her family which included her lat husband James Patrick Sikes, whom she was married to for fifty years, her adoring son, Steven, who inherited so many of her qualities, including tenacity, independence and her love of nature and animals, her devoted sisters, Delores and Janice, and countless nieces, nephews and friends.
“The luckiest day of my life was the day I met Joy,” her husband James “Pat” used to recount to anyone and everyone. Joy and Pat celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, just about a week before Pat died unexpectedly in January of 2007.
Joy had an uncanny spirit, and she was an original. She named all the animals and God’s Creatures that ever crossed her path - whether dogs, cats, raccoons, birds, or deer. Many pets became part of the household. One day Joy jumped into a swamp to rescue her dachshund “Checkmate”. Upon placing Checkmate safely on land, she politely requested her husband to fetch her a towel and a stiff drink. Her son Steven once called her from a phone booth in Dublin, Ireland, only to hear his mom weeping and mumbling that “he had died.” Fearing that she was referring to his dad, Steve felt elated, although disconsolate, when he soon learned it was one of her pets, Brutus, that had died, and not his father.
Joy had the greenest of thumbs, as she created a floral paradise wonderland at her home in Tampa, Florida. Fulfilling a life-long dream to live in the mountains, Joy and Pat worked to transform a barren mountainside home in Lansing, North Carolina into a sanctuary surrounded by majestic trees and radiant flowers that flickered in the glow of dawn and dusk.
Her son Steve had the opportunity to live in many locales throughout the world, but he claims his mom’s cooking was the finest in the world. Some of her savory specialties included; Gumbo, Beef Stew, Lasagna, Chicken and Yellow Rice, seafood wonders, and the most delicious deserts.
We know our love, our light and our beacon, Joy, who suffered with great pain the last few years, is now at peace. We take comfort in this, and we can close our eyes and imagine that she soon will be planting flowers and trees and cooking some of her specialties for her loved ones who rest with her in the Heaven above.
Please be at peace, Joy, and know there never will be another brilliant and loving soul like you, with all your characteristics and ability to make others laugh with you, and admire you, and love you.
Joyce Anne Sikes, born in Tampa, FL on Sept. 23, 1932, passed in the mountains of North Carolina on Dec. 15, 2009.
May Joyce rest in peace; Joyce inspired us with her energy and wit, and she illuminated us with her love!
All her loved ones and friends will miss Joyce deeply....especially in this time of Joy!
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in Independence, VA is serving the Sikes family.