Joyce Williams Emerson

February 4, 1930January 5, 2019

Joyce Williams Emerson, RN, 88, of Cary, NC died January 5, 2019 at Transitions LifeCare, William M. Dunlap Center for Caring, Raleigh, NC.

Joyce was a member of Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church for 62 years. A memorial service will be held at the church on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm. A reception and visitation will follow the memorial service. Interment will be private.

Joyce, the daughter of Thomas E. Williams and Cloyce Womble Williams, was born in Chatham County, NC on February 4, 1930.

Joyce was a person of no nonsense ways with preplanned life goals. Her heart was set on becoming a nurse. Helping others was inherent in her mind set. She graduated from Bells High School in 1948 and entered nursing school at the Rex Hospital School of Nursing, Raleigh, NC in 1948. 1951 was a big year for her. She graduated, passed the state board and got married. She began her nursing career at Rex Hospital in 1953 and then with Dr. Gordon Sinclair. She retired from Wake Surgical Consultants in 1989.

Joyce is survived by her husband of 67 years, John Hudson Emerson; daughters, Laura Branch (Doug), Beth Whitacre (Bob Fennel) and Amy McRee (Andy); grandchildren, Michelle Willow (Dustin), Meredith Whitacre, Douglas Branch III (Liz), Ryan Emerson (Jen) and Mitchell McRee; great-granddaughter, McKinley Willow; sister, Dorothy O'Neal (Buddy); and brother, Harold Williams (Sandy). Joyce was preceded in death by her brother, Thomas E. Williams (Frances).

Joyce was totally committed to her family. Her life revolved around her children and grandchildren. She rarely did things for herself, wanting to make sure that her family was happy and healthy. She is gone but we can see her face in the faces of her children and grandchildren. They were so important to her. Her face would light up when she saw or talked to them. Her family was her life.

The family would like to thank the staff of Transitions LifeCare and Rev. Betty Connette for their loving care and support.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 4900 Kaplan Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606 or Transitions HospiceCare, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.

Condolences may be sent to the family at


  • Doug Branch
  • Douglas Branch
  • Jack Emerson
  • Ryan Emerson
  • Bob Fennel
  • Andy McRee
  • Mitch McRee

  • In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 4900 Kaplan Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606 or Transitions HospiceCare, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, January 12, 2019

Joyce Williams Emerson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Greg Pierce

January 12, 2019

To the Emerson family,
We are very sorry for your loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.
To Beth, Bob, and Meredith,
We know how much you cherish your family. It is evident in the way you live your life and how you support each other. We wish you peace and strength through these difficult days, and to know you are not alone, but rather surrounded by many friends.
Greg & Amy Pierce

Fatima Gilarranz

January 7, 2019

Dear Emerson Family,
I know words are a poor comfort at a time like this. However, I cannot but use these very words to express my grief and sorrow at the death of your dear wife, mother, and grandmother. I know how you all loved and cared for her.
I am with you in these moments of intense grief and suffering and wish I could do or say something to alleviate your sorrow.
May your memories of Joyce sustain and strengthen you as you navigate the difficult days ahead. I will remember how Joyce was accepting and loving to everyone she knew, how she impacted the lives of so many with her gentle and caring ways. Her Apple Crumble (the best in this world) … She will never be forgotten.
Fatima Gilarranz

Ernie and Sherri Andrews

January 6, 2019

Amy and Andy,

We are sorry for your loss. We never had the pleasure of meeting Amy's mother. Just know that we are thinking of you and your family. It looks like she was a wonderful care giver, so we will be donating to Hospice in memory of the loving Joyce Emerson. She is now at rest.

God Bless.

Ernie and Sherri Andrews

FAB Members

January 6, 2019

We're so sorry for such a huge loss to the entire family! We know how much she was loved and now she's able to rest with no more pain. Please know that we're praying for you and of course you know that we're only a call away if you need anything at all.

- your FAB family!

Susan Criss

January 6, 2019

Joyce and John Hudson were our neighbors for 10 years. Our backyards touched each other. We shared a fence, but mostly we shared love and friendship. From homemade icecream to baking soda we continuously shared. Without family nearby it was the Emmerson's we called upon for help in emergencies. They came immediately and lovingly. Joyce is one of the kindest, gentlest souls I have ever known. The world is better for having had her and lesser for losing her. She and Hudson will always be our favorite neighbors. Heaven shines a little brighter today.