Cover photo for Joyce Jowers Sykes's Obituary
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1929 Joyce 2021

Joyce Jowers Sykes

March 28, 1929 — July 30, 2021

Joyce (Earlene) Jowers Sykes answered her eternal call on July 30, 2021 after 92 years full of life on this earth. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, August 2nd, at First Baptist Church, with Dr. Heath Hillman officiating. Visitation will be Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. at Porter Funeral Home, and Monday at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Harmony Baptist Church cemetery. Porter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Born in Nanih Waiya on March 28, 1929, to Ludie Slawson Jowers and William Cassel Jowers, Joyce was the second oldest of 8 siblings. Her rural upbringing taught her hard work, as she often helped her family out in the fields and around the house with the younger children. The family attended Harmony Baptist Church, and Joyce came to know the Lord at an early age. This foundation in faith would remain strong all of Joyce’s life and shaped the positive and resilient attitude she always maintained. Upon graduating Calhoun High School in 1949, Joyce was recruited to work as a fingerprint technician for the FBI. Taking a fearless leap of faith, she left the cotton and corn fields of Mississippi for the big city of Washington, D.C where fate had one more surprise waiting for her: Ted Sykes, her husband of 63 years. The two were married on February 18, 1955 and shared the adventure of a lifetime, traveling across the continent with the military. Ted’s assignments with the Air Force took them from Flin Flon, Manitoba to Honolulu, Hawaii and everywhere in between. Joyce served a military career in her own rite, managing countless relocations, hosting international diplomats, and supervising the home-front with her daughter LaResa while Ted worked abroad. After Ted’s retirement, Joyce was happy to return to her Winston County roots, calling Louisville home for the last four decades of her life. Here, she was an active member of First Baptist Louisville and enjoyed attending Bible study and Wednesday night dinner each week and being involved with the Women’s Missionary Union. She also volunteered at the Winston County Medical Center, overseeing the gift shop at the hospital for several years. Joyce was a member of the Louisville Garden Club and Louisville Homemaker’s Club. She had a green thumb and could make just about anything grow. At home, she prized her African Violets, and she and Ted grew a garden every summer. Her famous fig preserves couldn’t be topped, and no holiday gathering was complete without her homemade turkey dressing. She was also a talented painter and a master quilter, giving new life to fabric scraps and old clothes. Nothing ever went to waste in Joyce’s house. We were blessed to learn many lessons from her like how to trust the Lord and love your family, how to never take more than you need, and how it’s not really Christmas until Bing Crosby sings. She is reunited in Heaven with her husband Ted, sisters Jewel Crocker Ricks and Martha Jacobsen, and brothers Charles Alton Jowers, Hershel Warren Jowers, William Curtis Jowers, John Denton (J.D.) Jowers, and Larry David Jowers. Her spirit lives on in her daughter LaResa (Dennis) Swisher, granddaughters Kayleigh (Ian) Few and Hannah (Kyle) Burton, and great-granddaughter Madeleine Joyce Few. Thank you for teaching us, loving us, and being a part of our lives. She also leaves her sisters-in-law, Gladys Jowers, Leila Jowers, Brenda Jowers, and Ginger Bode. Also mourning Joyce’s loss are her caretakers: Linda Mills, Frozene Frazier, Charlene Mayo, and Dot Papalambros. Thank you for all of care and kindness you have shown our mother and grandmother over the past 3 years. You have been such a blessing to our family and made Joyce’s wish to spend her final days comfortable in her own home possible. Memorials may be made to the Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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