Joyce McGowan Gainey

Joyce McGowan Gainey

June 7, 84,Goldsboro

Joyce McGowan Gainey, 84, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 7, 2020 surrounded by her three children. Joyce was born in Vidalia, Georgia on August 8, 1935 where she lived until she moved with her family to Jacksonville, Florida. Thank goodness they moved, as Joyce, at the ripe age of 15 met the love of her life, a salty 19-year-old sailor, named Jim Gainey who was stationed at the Mayport Naval Air Station. Jim lovingly called Joyce, “Little Girl” all the days of their life together. Joyce graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 1953 and married Jim in 1954 and they began a wonderful life together. They lived in Jacksonville until they were transferred to Norfolk, Virginia Naval Air Station and later moved to Greensboro, NC after Jim’s stint in the Navy. While Jim attended Guilford College, Joyce worked at the local Sears and Roebuck.

In 1958, Joyce and Jim moved to Titusville, Florida. While in Titusville, Joyce worked for the Brevard County School Board. They started a family, having their first daughter, Lisa, followed by second daughter, Teri three years later. In 1962, Joyce and Jim moved to Goldsboro to join the very large Gainey clan. In 1966, Joyce and Jim welcomed their third daughter, Scottie. Joyce with a husband and three little girls in tow, decided to go to college. She began in August of 1966, commuting to Atlantic Christian College (Barton College) and graduated in May of 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education.

Joyce began her teaching career with Wayne County Public Schools in 1970 at Brogden Elementary. She moved several years later to Brogden Primary. A big surprise came in 1973 when Joyce and Jim found out they were having their fourth child – finally a son! Joyce continued teaching and completed her 30-year career as a third-grade teacher. Her grandchildren were coming along and her husband had retired, so Joyce retired in June of 1996. She was a wonderful teacher and shared her commitment and love of learning with countless students.

Joyce was a member of Providence United Methodist Church, although she was quick to remind you that she grew up Baptist. She was an avid reader, so much that our Dad would get aggravated with her for reading so much and ignoring him. Joyce was an amazing southern cook, hands-down cooked the best fried chicken and made the best sweet tea around. The Gainey get-togethers will sorely miss her famous pineapple casserole.

Joyce had a tremendous grit and perseverance which she made sure she passed on to her three children. Joyce deeply loved her five grandchildren and she enjoyed every minute she got to spend with them.

A service to celebrate Joyce’s life will be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of Providence Untied Methodist Church with Rev. Bryan Sexton officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Joyce is survived by her three children, son, James Thomas “Jimmy” Gainey and wife, Amy; daughters, Scottie Gainey Presley and Teri Gainey Armstrong and husband, Dave; “Mimi’s” five grandchildren, Mitchell Presley, Samantha Presley, Emma Gainey, Katie Armstrong, and Lisa Armstrong and wife, Charlotte; sisters-in-law, Betty Gainey, Melissa Gainey, Judy Cates, and Alice McGowan; and several nieces and nephews.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Homer Lonnie McGowan and Shelley Webb McGowan; husband, James Thorpe “Jim” Gainey; her beautiful daughter, Lisa Gainey; and brothers, Junior McGowan and Bobby McGowan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Alzheimer’s Association NC, 2245 Stantonsburg Road, Suite C, Greenville, NC 27834 or Hospice of Wilson Medical Center, 2130 Forest Hills Rd. W, Suite A, Wilson, NC 27893.

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