Joyce Walne Warner

September 14, 1938October 7, 2020

Joyce Walne Warner was born September 14, 1938 in Vicksburg, MS to parents Mary Edith French Walne and James Austin Walne and passed peacefully at her home October 7, 2020. Joyce, or Joycie as her husband Billy fondly called her, was a majorette at Yazoo High School in Mississippi and Miss Yazoo City two years in a row. She attended Rhodes College in 1956-1957. Soon after, she met the love of her life James William "Billy" Warner, III who was best man in her sister Shirley's wedding. They married just 5 months later in October 1957 and built a beautiful life together in Nashville, Tennessee for 57 years. Joyce was a devoted full time mother of 4 children until her youngest child was in elementary school. She was an active room mom at The Oak Hill School and Burton Elementary. She spent countless hours with food and clothing drives, volunteered at the Junior League Home for Crippled Children, and participated in Vanderbilt University's Family Host Program for foreign students. She then dedicated her life to teaching preschool at St. George's Kindergarten which lasted 40 years. Joyce had an endearing love for children, both hers and other's. She was fondly known as "Mrs. Warner" around Nashville. Chances are she taught you, your child, or someone in your family. She hosted summer camps at her home and afterschool playgroups for four and five year old girls for 35 years. She was passionate about teaching, reading, and making a difference in each child's life.

Joyce enjoyed just about anything she could get her hands on. She mastered quilting, sewing, needlepoint, and smocking. She made many of her granddaughter's heirloom dresses. Joyce loved playing tennis with her Love 16 group, swimming, gardening, reading, cooking, doing crossword puzzles and visiting Mississippi. She was a member of the Junior League of Nashville and the Stoney Crest Garden Club for 40 years. She was a childhood friend and corresponded often with Willie Morris, author of "My Dog Skip and Good Ole Boy". Joyce and Billy had a fantastic, fun group of friends who traveled to Monteagle, Ponte Vedra, and The Highlands. Their large friend group enjoyed playing bridge and could be found regularly playing tennis on Thursday nights at Belle Meade Club. They shared many of life's celebratory occasions and these cherished friends were an extension of Joyce's family.

Joyce initiated annual family beach vacations beginning in 1984 to Gulf Shores, Grayton Beach and St. George's Island through 2013. This was quite the feat to wrangle 4 children, their spouses, and 9 grandchildren who lived all over the southeast! She thrived in the sun and the ocean, and loved long walks on the beach with family, especially when she had a baby on her hip. These trips were a testament to her being happiest when everyone was together.

Joyce easily found joy and pleasure in life and always had a smile on her face. Her biggest joy in life was spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, who called her "Gam". Her family is the legacy she is most proud of. She was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for 63 years. She was an elder and volunteered for many hours as a Stephens Minister and served 15 years on the Outreach Committee.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years James William "Billy" Warner III. Survived by her sister Shirley Walne Tenison of Nashville, TN, brother Jay Austin Walne (Sarah) of Collierville, TN, Sister-in-law Ellen Warner Hudson of Nashville, TN, daughter Ellen Warner Bortz (Mark), Brentwood, TN, Sons William Austin Warner (Cindy), Madison, MS, James Read Warner (Robi), Nashville, TN, Jay Hunt Warner (Shea), Atlanta, GA, Grandchildren Maggie Wilkins, Hannah Kate Wilkins Comfort (Zach), Jim Wilkins, Emily Warner Spring (Peyton), Badger Warner, Riley Warner, Kate Warner, Carr Warner, Molly Warner.

Service will be held Sunday, October 11, 2020 graveside at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, at 2:00 p.m. Visitation will follow at the family home from 4:00-8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Family and Children's Services-FCS Nashville (, or The Outreach Committee at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3900 West End Ave. Nashville, TN 37205.


  • Graveside Service

    Sunday, October 11, 2020


Joyce Walne Warner

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