The stage was set on March 20th in Lake Village, Arkansas as the audience filled the house without even standing room. Joyce Johnson McCree took center stage.
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The stage of life. Just before the curtains were drawn, the producer, author and writer of her life surrounded her with a cast of essential characters to bring such a tale of completion. The hands of God chose the late Allen and Wilimina “Willie” to play the role of her parents. What an honor it was that Willie would find herself assuming many roles in Joyce’s life, not that just that of a Mother, but her best friend, teacher and advisor. Allen Johnson was her role model, as well as her teacher and super hero advisor.
Joyce was a loving, sweet, one of a kind actress who was sweet as a candy apple yet feisty like cheetah when it came to her family. She would joke and put a smile on your face. She loved reading, shopping, and sending cards for every occasion. Joyce was baptized at the age of 12 at the St. John Catholic Church in Lake Village, AR. She was baptized again in Chicago, IL under the leadership of Rev. Royce Cornelius at Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. After relocating to Lake Village, AR she joined Little Greenland Church under the leadership of Rev. Glenn McJoy. She remained a faithful member until her health failed.
Joyce attended and successfully completed courses at UAPB (formerly A.M. & N), Chicago State University, University of Champaign/Urbana and took an AP English course at the Math and Science Academy in Hot Springs, AR. Joyce began her teaching career at Hubbard High School in Chicago, IL in 1968 and retired in 1998. Her second retirement was from Lakeside Middle School where she taught 8th grade English, served as a Pre AP teacher, and Literacy Coach for seven years. Nominated along with Joyce are her parents, Allen and Willie Johnson. Her Bonus father, Charlie Bearden, her sister Ann Johnson Barnes, and her best friend, Zee “Beadie” Hendrix. Joyce leaves her cast members: two sisters, Linda Edwards and Bobbie (John) Farris of Lake Village, AR; brother-in-law, Edward Edwards, Jr.; special nephews, Erick (LaNiece), Derrick and Trey Edwards of Lake Village, AR; special nieces, Joycelyn (Calvin) Barnes of Cedar Hill, TX, Stephanie (Michael) Blanchett of Maumelle, AR, Sharon Farris of Little Rock, AR and LaConda Hendrix Mines of Harvey, IL; a host of great nieces, great nephews, other relatives and friends for memories sake.
There are so many who we are honored to acknowledge including Linda Thomas, Ella Edwards, Tarsha Armour, Ruby Rogers Brown, Ann and Kenneth Johnson, Dr. Rosemarie Ward, Roscoe Ward, Sherry Singleton, Charlie Mae McCoy, Fremeka Mason, Shirley Lucious, Billy Perry, Ada Daniels, Ernest Phelps, Curley and Jessie Ross, Geraldine Holmes, Marie Kincade, and Leslie Sykes. Joyce would pray that if your name is not included, please know that is a fault of the head and not of the heart.
The stage was set on November 3, 2020. Joyce played her greatest performance. She took her bow, the curtains closed as she exited the building. She took family memories with her. She was not afraid for she embraced her transitioning (death) as she knew, it was the beginning of her true life. What a grand performance it was. Her superheroes are waiting for her return.
Graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, November 7, 2020 at Little Greenland Cemetery in Lake Village, AR. Arrangements by Griffin-Culpepper Funeral Service of Lake Village, AR. Online guest book may be signed at www.griffinculpepper.com