Helen Joyce Nelson
9/4/1925 - 5/14/2020


Helen Joyce Nelson, of Greenville, age 94, passed away May14, 2020. Born in Buckner, Arkansas September 4, 1925 to Guy and Rommie Minter, Joyce grew up enjoying the simplicity and work of a farm. An intelligent student, Joyce pursued her education through Texas A & I College and later received her master’s degree in elementary education from East Texas State University. She quietly strove in a time when few women advanced their education, and she did not stop there. Joyce balanced a fulfilling career while raising a family as well.

Joyce married John S. Nelson on May 27, 1947, in Kingsville, Texas. The couple celebrated 67 years of marriage before John passed in 2014. In 1958 John, Joyce and their two young children, Marsha and Randy, moved to Greenville where they lived out their days enjoying many friends, gardening and grandchildren. They were faithful, active members of Highland Terrace Baptist Church.

Joyce dedicated herself to teaching at Travis Elementary for 35 years. She made a positive impact on the lives of generations. The same  qualities that made Joyce an exceptional teacher also made her a trusted, valued friend to many. Her warm spirit, sense of humor, care and concern for others will be greatly missed. Joyce touched the hearts of many with regular small acts of kindness and generosity. In the words of one perceptive friend “ You can’t spell  ‘Joyce’ without ‘Joy.’” And JOY she brought! Often through apple pies, her famous fruit whip and her hot Cowboys football sports opinions. Rarely has one person had such a profoundly positive effect on so many.

Joyce is survived by her son, Randy, and her daughter, Marsha, Marsha’s partner, Gigi, two grandchildren, Lucas and Emmy, and several nieces and nephews.

Grave-side services will be at 2:00pm, Sunday at Memoryland Memorial Park and conducted by Dr. Chet Haney. Visitation will be Saturday at Coker-Mathews Funeral Home from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Knowing that flowers are difficult to obtain at this time, in lieu of, please consider making a donation to Highland Terrace Baptist, Greenville, Texas

We are requesting that you limit the size of the gathering during the viewing due to concerns regarding the current health crisis.  Please feel free to come and pay your respects but limit your contact with others as per recommended guidelines from the CDC.

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