Joyce Juanita Powell
January 28, 1927 – March 15, 2020
A tenacious and voluptuous young girl who ran away with the handsome decorated WWII soldier who her nephew brought home on leave. Charles William Powell was the love of her life, and she married him at the tender age of 15.
Upon her disappearance, Joyce’s family formed search parties looking for any signs of her or her remains. Her disappearance made the front headlines of the local newspaper. Her focus was strong once she made up her mind on something, and she persevered in the face of any and all consequences to reach her goal.
She engaged life with this same resolution of taking charge - head on. When she cleaned the floors, she did not just mop them, she scrubbed them. She loved fishing, crabbing, shrimping and taught her grandchildren to love it too. One time the bounty of crabs was so great that she had more than would stay in the containers she was using to haul them home. She stopped at a gas station and gave crabs away to other patrons. It was a time to remember. She stayed up all night cooking crabs and had great crab boils inviting friends and neighbors.
Mama had a green thumb. She could grow anything from seed. She grew a huge papaya tree in her back yard, then a grapefruit tree, and a watermelon so large she could barely pick it up … all from seeds she cultivated. Her yard was a hodge-podge of cuttings and seedlings planted here and there all successfully growing, but the papayas were plentiful, the grapefruit sweet and the watermelon juicy.
She was social. She loved people and getting together with family and having big crab boils, fish fry’s or grilling. In Chicago, she would stand at the fence and talk for hours with friends, and in the evenings, mama and daddy would sit on the porch steps and visit with neighbors. In Florida, she played cards and Monopoly till the wee hours of the morning. She liked to bowl. She was good at all these things often showing no mercy to her opponents. She was fun and bigger than life. We often laughed until we cried at her antics.
She was self-made and precocious with knowledge far beyond her education of the 2nd grade, but she persevered, teaching herself to read and write and most would never know she had so little education. It was difficult to understand as a young child why she did not help with homework and avoided our schools, but she was there when I walked at UCLA with tears she could not hold back.
She was a born-again Christian who loved the Lord, and before she got too old to make it, she went to Mass daily. She watched her great-grandchildren while her grandchildren worked and taught them to pray the rosary and sing “God Bless America.”
She was a survivor. She survived the Great Depression, the pain, loss and stress of WWII, young motherhood of three, and the loss of her beloved Charles along with the struggles of being a 50-year-old widow for 43 years with no education, no job skills, and very little money.
She knew how to scrimp and do without to make it. Still, she suffered the consequences of doing without, while never asking or burdening her children with the truth of her circumstances until it became disturbingly obvious. She had little financial resources (less than $12k a year) yet was always the first to contribute to us on our African PEACE trips… a true widow’s mite. “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44
At that point, God gave Harry and I the resources and desire to lift her financial burdens so that the last eight years of her life were lived in financial freedom. Mama spent her last four years at Brookdale Orienta, with the best of everything we could provide. She was happy there from day one often saying, “I love, love, love it here.” In her last days of painful struggle with her health, she still voiced concern about not wanting to be a burden. I explained that it was a blessing to be there with her as I gently kissed her and then she smiled.
Throughout their lives together, mama and daddy always had a plan. They had long discussions at night about life, morals, heaven, God, and their plans in the event of death or disaster. They made a pact of being buried in a crypt. When they were traveling back to Louisiana after daddy retired, he schooled us all (which he did often on all matters of importance) that if he should die, mama was not to leave him where he was, and made her promise to put wheels on his coffin and take him with her, so they would be together.
Shortly after they arrived in Louisiana, daddy passed. Mama, with her limited funds, bought a double crypt in Plaquemine, Louisiana at Grace Cemetery for them both. Daddy’s remains have been there for 43 years. Mama’s remains will be flown to Plaquemine, Louisiana at Grace Cemetery to be laid to rest next to her beloved husband and fulfilling their life-long promise to each other.
Mama had a life of struggles, but she overcame them all while humbling herself and her weaknesses to God with Jesus Christ as her savior. We know that she is now side by side with her cherished husband as daddy sings their song “Moonlight Becomes You” into her ear while dancing cheek to cheek just as they so often did in life.
"Moonlight becomes you; it goes with your hair You certainly know the right thing to wear Moonlight becomes you, I'm thrilled at the sight And I could get so romantic tonight
You're all dressed up to go dreaming Now don't tell me I'm wrong And what a night to go dreaming Mind if I tag along?
If I say I love you I want you to know It's not just because there's moonlight Although, moonlight becomes you so"
Visitation will be at Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home, 994 Altamonte Dr., Altamonte Spring, FL, on Tuesday, May 12th, at 10 a.m. until time of Mass at 1 p.m., conducted by Father Michael Burke at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. Joyce will journey to Plaquemine Louisiana.
Visitation will be at Wilbert Funeral Home, 24120 Railroad Avenue, Plaquemine, Louisiana on Friday, May 15th, at 10a.m. until time of Mass at 1 p.m., conducted by attending Priest at St. John’s Evangelistic Catholic Church, 57805 Main St, Plaquemine, LA 70764. Burial will follow in Grace Memorial Park.
Joyce is survived by: her three Daughters: Charline Ann Hughes and husband John Hughes of Elizabethan TN, Joyce Pauline Lorick and husband Harry Lorick of Manhattan Beach, CA; Brenda Powell of Deland, FL; Grand Children-by order of birth: Joe Gary Joiner and wife Joy Joiner (and their 9 children, Christopher Ryan and wife Julia and 2 children Katie and Seth, Sara, Jessie and daughter Analia, Kimmy and son Greson, John, Julia, James, Jason, and Justin); Felicia Nidiffer and husband Mitchel Nidiffer; James Allen Joiner and wife Amanda Joiner (and their 5 children, Ryan Allen with wife Brianna, Nicholas Anthony, Madison Ann, Ashley and Lauren), Molly Campbell and husband Mark Campbell (and their child Madison Ann); Taunya Haun and husband Bob Haun (and their 2 children Jake, and Jordan), John Hughes and wife Anlyn; Dawn Monk and husband Steve (her son Dalton); Kristi Vining and husband Ken (and their two children Addison and Brayton); Brian Hill, (daughter Keira).
Joyce was preceded in death by: her Husband, Charles William Powell; Mother, Georgia Ann Moody Cauthron and; Father, Wright Gatlin Cauthron; Siblings, Sisters, Sudie Agnes Malone, Ruth Lea Johnson. Brothers; Millard Filmore, Sammy, Garlington Hensley (Tom), Meryl Luther, John Houston and James Riley Cauthron.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
IN THE CARE OF