Last year, my sister passed away from cancer, but I can’t get over her passing. I am the eldest sibling, but she was the bridge that kept our family together.
I spoke at her home going:
A song by Beyonce says, “Take care of your Mother” and “Look out for your sister,” which Joyce did. My other sister once told me Joyce defended her from childhood bullies. So she was a strong-willed woman and a fighter. When Joyce and I were on genealogy trips to Archives or Libraries, Joyce would sit at a table with a book or portable DVD player. She would try to catch up on her NETFLIX subscription. She was an explorer. I remember when Joyce ran a car thru the back of the garage, tearing down the back wall. Was it faulty breaks? She got her driver’s license because she didn’t want Dad to be the only one in the house who could drive. She was very caring.
Joyce once told me it was a joy to sing in the choir at her church. She also enjoyed CDs that I would make for her every year. She was generous. Joyce allowed me to live with her in Maryland for a few months during a difficult time in my life. She was organized and could tell you where everything was. While I am more like “a pair of craps; You don’t know what you will get,” as Forest Gump would say. She was a planner. I know she believed in God and will be alright in her next life. We bid her goodbye. We wish to husband and sons the best memories of her and comfort in this time of sorry.
Joyce was born in 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio, to James W. Chappelle and Mother Living. After graduating from John F. Kennedy High School in 1969, she attended a junior college for a year, then transferred to Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. At Central State, she met her husband of 46 years. Joyce was a dedicated wife of a career soldier. Not only was her husband a soldier but an officer and a gentleman. The Department of the Army has acknowledged Joyce’s service as a family support group leader by awarding her an Army Achievement Certificate and three Commander’s Medals for Public Service. Joyce also had a long career in accounting, even working for the IRS. Her most recent job was with the Georgia Department of Revenue. Joyce earned recognition as an Accountant of the Year by the National Association of Black Accountants.
Joyce was an active Sports Mom to their three sons in Little Leagues and Pop Warner sports teams. She was equally supportive of their athletic endeavors in high school and college. In addition, she supported their educational achievements and development.
I miss her and don’t know how to resume my life without her. Sometimes I will stop and say, “Oh, I should call Joyce to see what she thinks.” She is indeed a gift from heaven. Rest in peace, sister.