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Joyce Smith

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Joyce Smith Obituary
Joyce Smith, née Edmanson, passed away on June 27, 2014 at the age of 91. She was the most loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, aunt and friend. She was born on November 27, 1922, the only child of Robert William Edmanson and Doris Edmanson in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. She attended West Leeds High School for Girls and Leeds Art College, University of Leeds, Yorkshire, England. During WWII, she volunteered for the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) initially formed in 1938 as the volunteer women's branch of the British Army. In the evenings, she sang and performed with the Royal Army Pay Corps concert party entertaining the troupes. While in the ATS, she met our father, James Frederick Smith, who was stationed in Yorkshire. They were married on December 8, 1945 at Halton Methodist Church, Leeds, England. At the end of the war, Joyce continued her singing appearing at the Leeds Odeon and Grand Theatres and Glasgow Theatre, to name just a few. In 1946, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden held auditions throughout the country. One of our mother's greatest accomplishments was being one of 60, out of 1500 who auditioned, to be offered a contract. Initially singing with the Royal Opera House Chorus, in 1948 she became a principal appearing in Mozart's 'Magic Flute' as Papagena, appearing in London and Glasgow. Over a period of 25 years, our parents' adventurous natures took them to America, Australia and back to England, and finally to America where they retired in 1986 to be close to their children. Our mother's giving spirit was demonstrated throughout her lifelong volunteering. From a young age, her voice was her gift to people. Apart from Halton Methodist Church, Leeds, she was a member of St. Phillips Church, in Hove, England and of Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, San Antonio. At St. Phillips Church, she sang in the choir, was the women's club secretary, organized and sang in church concerts, and helped at the church rummage sales. She was a member of Casa Helotes Senior Citizen Center for over twenty years where she is remembered with love for her volunteering, humor and friendship. Apart from her family and singing, our mother's other passions were reading, gardening, traveling, playing bridge and especially dancing with Jimmy. Her dancing life included membership and participation at the 57 Club, the Roaring Twenties, the Carousel, the Jolly Dollars, the Continental Café and the Moose and Elk Clubs. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband of over 66 years, her parents, and her son-in-law, David Harper. She is survived by her daughter, Melody Harper, her grandson, Daniel Harper, her son and daughter-in-law, Justin and Kristen Smith. We would like to acknowledge and thank the staff at Horizon Bay, particularly those in Cottage B, for the special love and care shown to our mother over the past two years.
A memorial service will be held at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, 7575 Tezel Road, San Antonio, TX 78250 at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 26; reception to follow in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Joyce's name to a .
Published in Express-News on July 24, 2014
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