Monday, July 22, 2024

Joyce Murray Swicegood, 81

BURGAW — Joyce Murray Swicegood, 81, of Burgaw passed gently from her earthly life Sunday, April 3, 2022, at the Laurel of Pender.

She was born March 30, 1941 in Burgaw, the daughter of Steven Arthur Murray and Margaret Rivenbark Murray. In addition to her parents Joyce was preceded in death by her sister, Myrtle Pasteris.

Joyce is survived by her beloved son, Brent Lee Brown; adored granddaughter, Kelsey Sumner; great granddaughter, June Elizabeth Williams; brother-in-law, Emile John Pasteris; niece, Barbara P. Allen Hettlinger (Richard); nephews, Arthur Pasteris (Jill) and Paul Pasteris (Trudy); several great nieces and nephews; many cousins; stepchildren, Angela S. Holmes and Kenny Swicegood; and friends.

Joyce was a dedicated member of Hopewell Presbyterian Church where she had served a deacon, elder, and clerk of the session 

Back in the day Joyce was a avid drag race fan and driver when it was a man’s domain. She was once  caught without a driving permit from NHRA (noted none of men had to have permits).. She took a test, received her permit to keep men who did not want her driving off her back during the 1960s and early 1971s. She earned the attention of Jude Joshua James  who attended her races and congratulated  her.

Joyce organized a Ladies Softball team along with Vicki and Kathy Bannerman on land generously donated by Harry W. Williams. The young ladies along with their parents cleared the property to establish a suitable playing field for young girls in Pender.

Joyce became a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution through ancestors, Josiah Thigpen and grandmother, Emma Catherine “Kate” Thigpen being a direct descendant and part Native American Indian.

Joyce was very community oriented, serving decades on Pender-New Hanover-Brunswick US Military Selective Service Board. With longtime friend, Jo Lockamy, Joyce served as chairman of the Pender County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, raising funds and awareness for cancer cures. She was a charter member of Board of Directors for Safe Haven of Pender and assisted in the purchase of present location/shelter, offices and funding events.     

After working with local law firms for many decades in 1988 the citizens of Pender County elected Joyce as the first female Register of Deeds. She served on district and state levels in many capacities in the State Register of Deeds Association. She took Pender County Register of Deeds from handwriting documents to computerization of indexes and document images.     

Joyce was an avid collector of pottery, old guns, swords, and even had an old roll top desk from the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. She was a family history buff.

Joyce was an amazing lady, lived an interesting life, and gave much of her time and talents to others. Most of all Joyce loved and served her Lord, her family and her many friends.        

Joyce leaves this note with us today — Loved everyone I was involved with at work, but especially the association and friendships from earlier years on the farm while working in blueberries, tobacco, and strawberries. Special friends and connections are never forgotten and great memories with families remaining in the Burgaw Creek and White Stocking communities.

Funeral arrangements will be forth coming.

Shared memories and condolences may be sent to the family by selecting Tribute Wall.  

A service of Quinn-McGowen Funeral Home Burgaw Chapel.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joyce (Murray) Brown Swicegood, please visit our floral store.

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