Joyce Almeta Brandon

November 17, 1938October 10, 2020

Joyce Almeta Brandon (née Miller) passed away at home surrounded by family, on Saturday, October 10. Joyce had been residing in Petaluma, CA and had recently returned to Fresno, CA to be with her family while battling cancer. Joyce is survived by her step father Joe Shannon, 96 of Texas, her sister Ann Peters, brother Charles Miller, children Robert Firestine (Wife Debby Remily), Suzanne Satragni (Husband Paul), Mark Brandon (Wife Hilda), Richard Zapf, Kristina Wilson, grandchildren Thomas Madison (Wife Julia), Brittany Carter, Rebecka Walker (Husband Myke), Dylan Zapf, Caleb Zapf, Brandi Firestine (Husband Ben Felsing), James and Jeffrey Wilson, and great grandchildren Mason Carter, Kylee and Kaiden Madison, as well as extended family and countless friends.

Joyce, or Mimi, as her grandchildren lovingly referred to her, was born in Farmersville, TX to Charlie and Alma Miller (née Parker) and later moved to Fresno, CA where she graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1957. That year she married Robert Harry Firestine (divorced 1964), with whom she had two children. Later, in 1970, she married John C. Brandon (deceased in 2006) and gained two more sons.

In addition to being a multi-award winning historical fiction novelist, well known for her ‘The Lady and the Outlaw’ series and dubbed the female "Zane Gray", Joyce worked in a multitude of jobs that ranged from Senior Clerk to the board for the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, to Insurance Agent for Washington National Insurance Co. Joyce continued her love for writing throughout her life and shared her knowledge by teaching elementary school children creative writing and hosting writer’s critiquing classes, as well as teaching at Fresno State University. Her later years were spent in northern California graciously providing service for others. Joyce will be remembered for her kind and selfless spirit. To be loved by Joyce meant you were always cared for unconditionally. You would never leave Joyce’s home without a lighter heart and a full belly. She is greatly missed by family and friends alike. Special thanks to Katherine Benson for her support and love. We love you, Mimi! Etched in our souls forever!

A small memorial will be held on October 25, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Please call Stephens and Bean Funeral Chapel for information (559) 268 9292.

A private burial will take place at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA.

Family requests any remembrances please be sent to Cat House on the Kings, 7120 S Kings River Rd, Parlier, CA 93648.


  • Memorial Service

    Sunday, October 25, 2020

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