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1930 Joyce 2023

Joyce Kendall Palmer McCall

July 31, 1930 — November 29, 2023

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Joyce Kendall Palmer McCall, 93, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 29th, closely attended by her children, nurses, and caregivers at Autumn Care of Marion.

Joyce was born in Fort Pierce, Florida, on July 31st, 1930. She was predeceased by her husband, Michael Alvin McCall, MD, and an infant son; her parents, J.D. Palmer and Rubye Gold Kendall Palmer; her sister, Grace; and her brothers, Leon and Douglas. She is survived by seven children: Jennifer Joyce McCall (David Knox) of Raleigh, Dr. Grace Conley McCall Auten (George) of Hickory, Dr. Stuart Michael McCall (Elsa) of Santa Fe, Rachel Kendall McCall Lucas (Simon) of Hickory, Charlotte Dawn McCall Orton of the river, Alice Palmer McCall (Rick Earl) of Greensboro, and Palmer Clifton McCall of Marion. Ma Joyce is also survived by 19 grandchildren and step-grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren and step-grandchildren. She has one surviving aunt, Rose Marie Palmer Davis, and numerous nephews and nieces.

As a child, Joyce was influenced by the grit and resilience of her parents during the Great Depression and continued to be frugal and conscientious all her life. She was also affected greatly by WWII, when her brothers fought in Germany and the South Pacific as the family supported the war effort at home. She helped her father as a civilian air-spotter and watched the sinking of a German U-Boat off the coast of Florida.

Joyce (Mom) was a dynamic and determined woman who fulfilled her childhood plan of becoming a Registered Nurse, marrying the love of her life, and raising a large family. She met Dr. Michael McCall when she was studying at Emory Nursing School and he was in residency at Grady Hospital, Atlanta. Following their marriage on May 2, 1953, they moved to Dr. Mike’s hometown of Marion, which Mom adopted and loved as her own. Mom worked as a Registered Nurse in Dad’s medical practice and became an integral part of this community. She sang alto in the Sweet Adelines musical group and was active in the Hospital Auxiliary. She was a charter member of the First Christian Church of Marion. As her family grew, she retired from full-time nursing and devoted herself to her children, church, and community.

In 1974, Joyce was elected to the School Board, noting that she had children from kindergarten to high school attending McDowell County Schools. She served for 12 years and was particularly instrumental in supporting sports programs for girls in Junior High and High School. Somehow, she managed to attend every athletic game, play, or performance her children participated in, only missing events if there was a time clash with an older child’s schedule.

Our parents’ love of this area did not stop them from traveling. Every few years, Mom and Dad would take the family on epic adventures across the country or to visit family in other states. In 1972, Mom did not let an unexpected change in Dad’s schedule spoil her plans. Rather than cancel or change the trip, she heroically drove with five of her children, pulling an Airstream all the way to Denver, Colorado, where Dad met her with the youngest two to continue the journey.

Mom raised her children to be independent and adventurous. She never took sides in an argument and held the philosophy that if we could climb up a tree, we could also climb down. She did step in at exactly the right time when her children had children. She traveled to Germany, England, New Mexico, Nebraska, Virginia, and Greensboro to help with her newborn grandchildren, and there was no one in the world better at supporting a new mother.

In the mid-70s, Mom found a summer haven for her family at Linville Land Harbor. As her children grew up, she gained her real estate license and sold properties in Land Harbor, forming life-long friendships with her colleagues and clients.

Fiercely competitive, Mom enjoyed bowling, golf, bridge, and cribbage all her life. A favorite story of hers was how she “accidentally” beat Dad on their first bowling date in an era when it wasn’t proper for a lady to trounce her boyfriend. Until her late 80s, she would drive to the beach for golfing trips with her friends. Even in her final months at Autumn Care, she played cards and checkers with family and staff, exulting in her many victories at the age of 93!

Joyce will be missed by all who loved her, but she is now with Dad, and her 69-year long happy marriage was her most treasured achievement.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church of Marion with Rev. Don Mitchell officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. at the church.

If you wish to make a donation in Joyce’s memory, please consider the First Christian Church of Marion at PO Box 1104, Marion, NC 28752 or a charity of your choice.

 

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Christian Church of Marion

1709 Rutherford Rd, Marion, NC 28752

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Christian Church of Marion

1709 Rutherford Rd, Marion, NC 28752

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Burial

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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