It is hard to believe I met Joyce Watson just a little over two weeks ago. I was just an applicant for a job at Friends for Life and we were meeting for the first time. On 30 seconds acquaintance, she extended her hand and a warm smile and told me how wonderful it was to work at Friends for Life, knowing that what we do here every day is making a difference. A difference in the Kingdom of God and a difference in people’s lives in very practical ways.
I went home and told my family that, if I were fortunate enough to join the Friends for Life team, I knew Joyce would be my friend and my new hero. That is the kind of impression she made on most people, I have learned. At 84 years of age, Joyce had been driving 50 miles each way to work at FFL for 20 years! I knew I wanted to be like that – faithful, diligent, joyful, welcoming.Before I could come to work for my first day, however, we had lost her from this earth and all the conversations I was thinking I wanted to have with her will have to wait for heaven. We’ve lost her from this earth, but heaven has gained one of their own.
This is the heartfelt eulogy given by our Executive Director Inez Russell at Joyce’s funeral at the request of her son, Jerry, and her daughter, Debra. In it she expresses how Joyce took so many under her wing, and what an amazing, positive, mission-minded woman Joyce was, how dear she was to Friends for Life.
There will not be another like Joyce on this earth. Everyone who knew her at FFL will miss her deeply. Our prayers are with her friends and family.