Joyce Lynnette Brown Edwards was born on February 1, 1931, in Jeffersonville, Indiana to Susan Anita Edwards Brown and Edward Wesley Brown Sr. (passed away when she was 3 months old). She moved to Louisville, Kentucky as a baby, and was raised by her mother with the help of her foster father, Burner Fitzhugh and foster mother, Sally Fitzhugh (Uncle Burner and Aunt Sally). Upon completion of high school, Joyce attended Kentucky State College (HBCU), in Frankfurt, KY, where she received her BA in Education. There she was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. in December of 1950. While at Kentucky State, she also met and married Robert Arther Edwards.
As a military wife, having quiet strength and a gentle and kind heart, she was a rock for her family. She and Dr. Robert Edwards were stationed around the country in multiple locations during the time her husband served as a captain in the Air Force. She was a loving mother, a career woman, and provider of support and faith for family and friends. The family settled in the Midwest, first in St. Louis, where she taught Special Education at Hempstead School, then moving to East St. Louis, teaching at Alta Sita Elementary School. Ultimately, they moved to Edwardsville, IL where Joyce continued to focus on her family, career and community. In Edwardsville she found her home, as well as her professional nitch and passion as a 1st grade teacher at Columbus Elementary School. In 1990, after teaching and touching the lives of hundreds of children for almost 30 years, Joyce retired to spend more time with family. During her retirement, she assisted in providing care for her grandchildren in New Jersey and Illinois. While in Illinois, she helped charter Chi Xi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., in Decatur, and was a member of the chapter for 14 years.
Joyce had a giving spirit, a passion for living, a passion for helping, and a smile that would light up any room, an Angel on Earth. As time passed, her heart health and memory declined. She lived her last years under loving care in Decatur, then in Houston. Her final days were spent surrounded by her loving daughters, other family members and friends.
Joyce Edwards left her earthly home to go to her Heavenly home on October 8, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Robert Edwards; Mother, Susan Anita Ellis; Father, Edward Wesley Brown Sr.;, Step Father, Claude Ellis (Daddy Claude), and Brother Edward Wesley Brown Jr. She leaves behind to cherish her memories: Daughters Lynnette Mensah (Dr. Yaw Mensah), Sharon Carpenter (Terrance Carpenter), Dr. Venita Edwards-Talley (Val Talley), and Angela Edward-Campbell (William Campbell); Brother, Norman Ellis (Lee Ellis), Sister-in-Law, Charmaine Ellis, as well as a host of grandchildren, great grands, nieces, nephews, family and friends.
A Celebration of Life Ceremony is being held on Saturday, November 2, 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Spring Baptist Church, 633 Louetta Road, Spring, TX. A small family gathering follows on Saturday, November 9, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, at the Lakeview Center at Gilson Park, 800 Gilson Park Drive, Wilmette, IL 60091. Flowers and wishes may be sent on Friday November 8th to the Lakeview Center in Wilmette. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome in the name of Joyce Edwards to the American Heart Association or American Alzheimer’s Association.