Joyce Wilkins Gardner

Joyce Wilkins Gardner

November 8, 2023, 75, Princeton —

Joyce Wilkins Gardner, 75, went home to her Heavenly Father on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at the SECU Hospice House in Smithfield.

Joyce was born in Wayne County to the late Raymond and Madeline Best Wilkins on May 9, 1948. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Lance Patrick Gardner; brother, Marion Wilkins and wife, Judy Mayo Wilkins; and brother, Kenneth Wilkins.

Joyce was a graduate of Princeton High School and Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College. Joyce had been a valued employee at Cherry Hospital and retired from the Wayne County Department of Social Services. Joyce was a devout Christian and a charter member of Mar Mac Friends Church where she served as treasurer, Sunday school teacher, and in many other roles as needed by the church.

She was a faithful and loyal servant to the Lord. Joyce was devoted to her family and enjoyed spending her time with them. Watching her grandson and his teammates play baseball was her favorite pastime. Joyce was an excellent friend, co-worker, and neighbor. She served to help others, whether it was lending a helping hand or lending an ear to just listen. Joyce will be missed by so many people whose lives she touched.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, November 11, 2023, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home followed by a service to celebrate Joyce’s life at 4:00 p.m. in the chapel with Rev. Bill Rose officiating. Interment will be on Sunday, November 12, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. in the Princeton Cemetery.

Joyce is survived by her daughter, Shannon Gardner Riddle (Jeremy); and two grandchildren, Ed Gardner and River Gardner. She also leaves behind the father of her children, Jon Emmis Gardner; niece, Lisa Wilkins Herring (Sam); nephews, Stacy Wilkins (Trish) and Keith Wilkins (Sheila) as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family. Joyce deeply cared for her special family, Bill and Edwina Rains and Randy and Vickie Gardner.

Flowers are welcome or donations may be made to

Mar Mac Friends Church
395 Princeton Road
Princeton, NC 27569

Rosewood Booster Club (Baseball Team Account) 583 Princeton Road
Princeton, NC 27569

Services are entrusted to Seymour Funeral Home and Cremation Service.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at