Joyce Ann Waggoner was born on July 6, 1952. She was the daughter of Quilas Thomas Clinton (“Q.T.”) Branson and Ruby Mae Branson (née Robertson) of Belle, Missouri, U.S.A. She has one sibling, Rocky DeWayne Branson, also of Belle, MO.
Joyce married Don Waggoner on June 24, 1972 at Pilot Knob Baptist Church. They met in college, on the campus of Southwest Missouri State University. It was wintertime, and Joyce playfully lobbed a snowball straight into Don’s head as he walked by; he turned around and asked her out on the spot. In the summer of 2020, they celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. Joyce and Don have three adult children: Jamie Waggoner (Auburn, Alabama), Jennifer Dunnigan (Salem, Oregon) and Orie Waggoner (Salem, Oregon). Joyce and Don also have several beloved grandchildren (Jessica, Bradley, Mackenzie, Breziah and Teddy), as well as one great-grandbaby on the way, due in April 2021.
Joyce passed away in the early hours of December 24, 2020. She was lovingly surrounded by her husband and all of her children, grandchildren, and soon-to-be great-grandbaby. Unbeknownst to many, Joyce had a health condition called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) which placed great strain on her heart and lung function. She managed the condition successfully for many years under the supervision of a caring and dedicated medical team, however, the time finally came when her body was no longer able to bear its burden. Her final moments in this physical life were quick and she did not suffer in her passing.
Joyce was a graduate of Belle High School. In her younger years, and well into adulthood, she was known and celebrated for her singing voice. She medaled at Missouri state vocal competitions, and went on to sing professionally for many church services, weddings and funerals. Anyone who was lucky enough to hear Joyce sing will never forget her clear, graceful soprano voice.
Joyce also enjoyed arts and crafts. She created hooked rugs, painted folk art objects, silk floral arrangements and home decor. While in Missouri, Joyce kept an in-home arts and craft studio and participated in many local craft shows. Her neighborhood enjoyed her festive holiday decorations, especially the elaborate haunted houses she created in her garage, and her family was blessed by Joyce’s enthusiasm for elaborate Christmas celebrations.
Joyce and Don own an accounting business, and Joyce served as the office manager for the business. However, Joyce’s legacy extends far beyond her family and private enterprise. Her involvement in community and civic organizations was immense, including Future Farmers of America, Lions Club, Parent Teacher Associations, Girl Scouts, the Missouri Division of Youth Services, the Missouri and Oregon Federation of Republican Women (MFRW and OFRW, respectively), the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW), the Republican National Convention (RNC), and was appointed by President Obama to the National Commission for Civil Rights. Some of the highlights of her civic career include traveling to New York City to help write a Girl Scout training manual, serving as OFRW State President, and serving as NFRW National Prayer Chaplain.
Joyce was talented, creative, loving, fun, dedicated and beautiful – inside and out. Her deepest desire in life was to be a mom, and she knocked it out of the park… her family has lost track of the multitudes of children, past and present, who have been welcomed into her home, given abundant hugs, who now and forever also call her “Mom”. Joyce will be deeply missed by everyone, but we take solace in knowing that she is reunited in Heaven with God and family members gone before. Her love continues to sustain us.
Visitation for Joyce will be from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 3, 2021 at Sassmann’s Chapel in Belle. For those attending, masks are suggested and social distancing guidelines must be followed.
Funeral services will be on Monday, January 4, 2021 at Pilot Knob Baptist Church beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.
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