Joyce Elaine Crisp Jenkins passed away August 19, 2021, after a courageous battle with sarcoma. Joyce or “Joycie” as many of her family and friends called her, was born on May 25, 1932, to Clyde A. and Ruth Marie Jenkins Crisp in Stecoah. She was the oldest of three girls. Joyce loved her parents and sisters Billie June and Kelda dearly. She fell in love with a local boy named Wallace and married him in 1951. They shared 60 years of marriage prior to his death. After graduating from Stecoah School, she entered Western Carolina College (now WCU) and graduated in 1954. While in college, she gave birth to Wallace David and graduated while pregnant with Margaret Jean. She was already a trailblazer in the 1950’s. She taught school for 35 years, beginning at Stecoah and retiring from Robbinsville. At Stecoah, she taught numerous students the art of typing which they still use today. She also organized trips for the junior/senior classes to Washington and New York City, coached basketball, directed class plays and organized numerous other school adventures. She finished her career teaching fifth grade at Robbinsville Elementary.
Church and community service were very important to Joyce. Joyce was a lifetime member of Stecoah Baptist Church having accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior at an early age. She played piano and organ at church, taught Sunday school and assisted wherever else she was needed. Joyce was an early member of Stecoah Rescue Squad Auxiliary, member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Sorority, member and officer of Graham County Women’s Club, participated in Stecoah Township Relay for Life team, served on the board of Tri-County Community College and the Stecoah Valley Center, and worked tirelessly to compile and publish the Precious Reflections Pictorial History of the Stecoah Valley. Always a competitor, she would never let you win a game just because you were a grandchild. She treasured her blue ribbons and medals from the Senior Games.
Joyce was preceded in death by her parents Clyde A. and Ruth Marie Crisp, husband Wallace, her sisters and their husbands Billie June and J.W. Edwards, Kelda and Bill Moore and nieces and nephews Kathy Rogers, Cindy Harwood, Tommy Walker and Roger Jenkins. Those left behind to cherish her memory include son David (Ellen) of Huntsville, AL, daughters Margaret Burrell of Clinton, TN and Vicki Galyean (Donald) of Clemmons, NC; grandchildren Neal Jenkins (Michelle), Steven Jenkins (Amanda), James Jenkins, Keith Galyean (Austina), Drew Burrell (Laura), Elizabeth Burrell (Christopher) and John and Brett Burrell. Joyce was blessed with six great-grandchildren and one on the way: Kate, Andrew, Connor, Catherine, Maggie and Lora. She is also survived by one sister-in-law Bett Cantrell, Aunt Lynda Holder, numerous nieces and nephews and many friends. Joyce also had a special cat Miss Kitty who brought her so much joy and happiness.
Joyce loved her yard and flowers but would also be happy to know that others remembered her through a donation to the Gideon’s, Stecoah Valley Center or American Cancer Society/Relay for Life.
The family would like to thank Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Hospice Services, caregiver Margaret Taylor, neighbors Nina Johnston, Rick and Phyllis McCracken and Dot Savage. The support of these people made it possible for her to remain at home as long as possible and made sure she was comfortable in her final days.
The family will receive friends remotely from 4:00 pm until 5:00 pm Sunday, August 22, 2021, at the Townson-Smith Chapel. Friends are welcome to come by to pay respects and greet the family via live video. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm Monday, August 23, 2021, at Stecoah Baptist Church. Reverends G.D. Phillips and Mike Teem will officiate. A private burial with only immediate family only will follow at Jenkins Cemetery.
Due to the risk of exposure to COVID, face coverings and social distancing are required at both the visitation and the funeral service.
Townson-Smith Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Jenkins family. An online register is available at www.townson-smithfuneralhome.com.
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