“I plant flowers for many reasons; to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly just for the joy in seeing them grow.” (D. Hobson) After a much-enjoyed weekend of working in her garden, tilling the soil, sowing seeds and planting flowers, Patricia George Joyce, on Monday, May 18, 2020, put away her tools, said goodbye to her garden, and walked into the waiting arms of her Lord and Saviour, at the age of 84 years, 2 months and 21 days. Born and reared in the Brown Mountain community of Stokes County, Mrs. Joyce was one of nine children born to Manuel and Annie Martin George. She was preceded in death by her parents and all of her siblings. Patricia was a star athlete at Nancy Reynolds School, until – to the dismay of her teammates - she was persuaded to transfer to the newly-opened Westfield High School to play on their girls basketball team. She was “the basketball queen”. She was a proud graduate of Westfield High School, Class of 1954, and, in fact, was wearing her Westfield High class ring at the time of her unexpected death. After graduating high school, Patricia began a 38-year career with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and was in the first group of women to help with the start-up of the new Whitaker Park cigarette plant in Winston-Salem. After her retirement, her love of flowers led her to join her daughter, Janet, at Blossom’s Flower Shop in Rural Hall where, for the next 20 years, she helped spread joy and happiness through her beautiful floral creations, many of which contained an array of flowers grown in her own gardens. After retiring from the flower shop, she spent the next several years as a volunteer at local nursing homes, continuing her ministry of bringing joy and happiness to others. Always a lover of music and dance, in her later years she was drawn to the local senior dance scene and could often be found among friends on the dance floor at Recreation Acres and other locales in the area. Mrs. Joyce grew up in the community around Brown Mountain Baptist Church and her Christian upbringing led to her membership at First Baptist Church of Stanleyville. She loved the Lord and now enjoys the beauty of his Garden Eternal. She is survived by her daughter, Janet Joyce Griffin and husband, Randy, of Rural Hall; a beloved grandson, “the apple of her eye” Jonathan M. Griffin, and “his sweet wife”, Katherine Kendall Griffin, of Pisgah Forest, NC. Per her wishes, a private service honoring and remembering a life well-lived will be held on Pinch Gut Creek in Brown Mountain. Memorials may be made to Brown Mountain Baptist Church, PO Box 73, Westfield, NC 27053 or to the Friends of Stokes Animal Shelter, 1111 Dodgetown Road, Walnut Cove, NC 27052 to support Stokes County’s first no-kill animal shelter.“ You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” (W. Hagen) (Hayworth-Miller Rural Hall Chapel)
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