Joyce Lenora Ballard, daughter of Arla Mae Butts, was born on July 30, 1932 in Topaz, Missouri, and departed this life on March 17, 2014 in Cox Medical Center South in Springfield, Missouri, following a long illness. She was 81 years, seven months, and 15 days of age.
Joyce grew up in Douglas County in the Topaz area, where she lived with her mother and then her grandparents until she was thirteen. She then moved to Cabool, Missouri, to live alone, work, and attend high school. She later graduated from Cabool High School. While putting herself through school, Joyce worked at Tiny’s Steak House, and lived across from the restaurant in a small one-room house. She continued to work at the steak house for many years.
She was united in marriage to Claiborne T. Ballard on November 21, 1951 in Salem, Arkansas. Twin daughters Karen and Kathy were born to this union. Following their marriage, they moved to a farm north of Mtn. Grove, Missouri, where they farmed, raised their family, and tended to the daily farm chores for several years. Mr. Ballard passed away in 1971.
In 1973, Joyce moved to Springfield, Missouri, where she worked as a chef for Flaming Pit Restaurant and later retired as a cook from St. John’s Regional Health Center.
Joyce enjoyed being outdoors, tending to her flower and vegetable gardens each year. She also liked to read and sew in her spare time. Her greatest joy in life was taking care of her twin girls.
Besides her mother and husband, she was preceded in death by one brother, Robert E. O’Neil; two stepdaughters, Patsy Inman and Margorie Lawler; and one granddaughter, Elaine.
Joyce is survived by her daughters, Karen Anne and Katherine Nan Ballard, both of Tulsa, Oklahoma; a stepdaughter, Carol Horn of St. Louis, Missouri; one sister, Venita L. Sanders of Kansas City, Missouri; eight grandchildren, Todd, Chris, Clay, Edward, Tim, Pamela, Sherry, and Jerry; several great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, and other relatives, friends, and neighbors, who will sadly miss her.
Graveside services were held on Friday, March 21, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. in Hillcrest Cemetery with Rev. Ronald Turner officiating. Recorded song selections were “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace,” and “I’ll Fly Away.” Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mtn. Grove.