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Joyce Geraldine Martin

Obituary for Joyce Geraldine Martin

September 18, 1939 - September 21, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 79


Joyce Geraldine Martin, age 79, passed away on Friday, September 21, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. She was born on September 18, 1939 in Holly Pond, Alabama, to Homer Hays and Ruby Martin.

Joyce grew up on the family farm "pickin' cotton and shellin' peas" as she liked to say. Her love of the outdoors began there, on the farm. She married James Nelson Harbison from Logan, AL in 1960. Because of her husband's military service and employment, she lived in Alabama, Colorado and New York before finally making her home in Houston, Texas. In addition to raising her two daughters, Joyce spent her time volunteering with various organizations such as the American Red Cross, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Parent-Teacher Association, and many church organizations.

She was a generous soul and always had a heart to serve those who were less fortunate than herself. Her dream was to attend college and obtain a degree in counseling, so she worked diligently to complete her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Psychology and Social Work from the University of Houston in 1979 and 1981. She thrived in her dream-occupation, first as a social worker in government assistance programs, and then later through private family-therapy in Pasadena, Texas.

In Pasadena, she helped create and direct a successful program for women recovering from breast cancer at Bayshore Medical Center. It was the first program of its kind in the Pasadena area, which supported women's emotional and spiritual needs following a cancer diagnosis and through the subsequent treatment needed. She gave unceasingly in her efforts to serve the 'whole woman' and not just their physical needs. Joyce found her calling in life as she worked with women in crisis, many of whom eventually called her 'friend' because of her long-term investment in their lives.

After working in Texas almost 20 years, she moved back to the family home in Holly Pond to help care for her aging parents, where she built her own little cabin in the woods. She loved hosting her children and grandchildren during family reunions and holidays, spending hours teaching the grandkids how to play games, and showing them the joys of living in the country. Eventually she received her license to practice family-therapy in the state of Alabama, and worked for Bradford Health Services for 16 years as a counselor and director at their Adult Drug & Rehab Program in Madison, Alabama. In total, she spent 35 years in the mental health profession, generously and faithfully pouring out her unique brand of care, tough love and strength to those families and clients in desperate need. She was on the front-lines on one of the worst days of these family's lives, and she bore that burden well.

It was during this time in Alabama that Joyce became involved with her favorite church of all time, Christ Covenant Presbyterian in Cullman, and the Christian organization, Emmaus Walk. She loved her church so much that even on the day she died, she talked about going back to worship there soon.

She eventually moved back to Texas in 2016 to be closer to her children, and immediately began planning mischievous deeds with her two special friends, Jency and Alma, at Autumn Leaves-Stone Oak, in San Antonio. Her grandchildren provided her much joy and companionship during this time of life, and she always looked forward to their visits and lunches.

She passed peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of September 21st, just 2 days after her 79th birthday. It was always her dream to return home to the family farm, so a Celebration of Life Service is planned for October 27th in Holly Pond.

The family would like to thank her caregivers at Autumn Leaves and Sodalis Assisted Living, as well as many others who treated her with respect and love in the last few years, especially her five siblings, and her close friends, Barbara and Jimmie.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, son-in-law, Martin Weinfuss, and grandson-in-law, William Payne. Joyce is survived by her daughters, Belinda Dunn and husband, David, and Renee Weinfuss; 9 grandchildren, Cassidy Weinfuss, Bethany Weinfuss, Stephanie Payne, Kevin Dunn and wife, Deborah, Allyson Millsap and husband, John, Stephen Dunn, Emily Dunn, Janessa Dunn and Samuel Dunn; 5 great-grandchildren, Tyler, Elliot, River, Anderson and Lincoln; and 5 siblings, Dale Duren and husband, Bob, Marilyn Calvert and husband, Perry, Sharon Wadsworth and husband, Glenn, Diane Burton and husband, Mike, and Randy Hays and wife, Gwen; and numerous nieces and nephews.

OCTOBER 27th, 2:00 PM

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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