Joyce B Thorsten
January 27, 1931 – August 30, 2019
Joyce Baker Thorsten died peacefully after a brief illness, surrounded by her family, on August 30. Joyce was the beloved mother of Susan Falck (Barry), Jim Thorsten and Kim Najjar (Steve); grandmother to Ryan (Jessica) and Molly Falck, Sidney Thorsten Douglas (Jon) and Christian, Cole, Emma and Claire Najjar as well as great grandmother to Henry Douglas, born July 5 of this year. She was predeceased by her husband, Stanley Thomas Thorsten, in 1979.
Joyce was born to Grovie Knight Baker and James Baker in Bankhead, Alabama, a small coal mining town. An only child, Joyce and her parents lived in towns across the South as her father moved up the ranks of the Southern Railroad Company. By her teens she frequently played piano accompaniment for her father, a talented gospel singer, at revivals and Baptist churches across the South. Upon graduation from Greenville High School in South Carolina, Joyce attended Winthrop College in Rockhill, South Carolina, majoring in music and business administration. Following college, she worked for Greenville-based Daniel International Construction Corporation, at one time one of the largest construction companies in the world. Joyce met her future husband, Stan Thorsten, while he was stationed at Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville. They married in 1954.
Joyce worked for two decades for architectural firms in Chicago and Atlanta before retiring from Chapman Coyle Chapman as a partner in the late 1990s. For the past seven years, Joyce was a resident of Lenbrook retirement home. She was active in the chorus and served for several years as the Baptist delegate in charge of organizing a monthly speaker program. She delighted in following the interests and achievements of her children and seven grandchildren and especially loved organizing family gatherings during the holiday season and at Georgia and Florida beaches during summers. She was an avid Georgia Tech football and Atlanta Braves fan and lover of gospel music. Her gracious spirit, warm smile and kind heart will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
A service to celebrate Joyce’s life will be hosted at Lenbrook, located at 3747 Peachtree Rd. East, on Saturday, September 7 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joyce’s memory can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or on the St. Jude’s website.
- Memorial Service Saturday, September 7, 2019