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Genevieve Nell (Cross) JOYCE


1926 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Genevieve Nell (Cross) JOYCE Obituary
JOYCE, Genevieve Nell (Cross)

Genevieve Nell (Cross) Joyce, a longtime Austin resident who dedicated countless hours to volunteering in her community, passed away May 16, 2014, at the age of 87. A talented quilter, Genny will be remembered for the warmth, support and generosity she shared with her family, friends and strangers. Memorial services for Genny will be held at 2p.m. Sunday, June 22, at Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 2200 Justin Lane, in Austin. There will be a visitation and luncheon from 12-1:30 in the Felllowship Hall, east of the Church. Those who wish may contribute in Genny's name to On The Rock Youth Ministries, "Building Fund;" 309 W. Hensley; Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74003 Genny was born September 3, 1926, in Wichita Falls to Ewell Cross and Agnes Schneider. When she was five, Agnes died and was raised by her stepmother, Clevia, known as "Sweetie." She was a member of the Camp Fire Girls, where she was introduced to volunteering and won the title "Queen of the Doughnut Fiesta" for selling 749 dozen doughnuts for a fundraiser. On August 3, 1940, Ripley's Believe it or Not! Showcased Genny for the swan-shaped squash she had grown. Genny moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas. She resided in the Scottish Rite Dormitory, where in 1944 she met the love of her life, Murray Clarence Joyce, a college student from Wharton County who was working at the dorm. Genny and Murray were engaged on the day before Murray departed for service in the U.S. Army Air Corps. The two were married on December 11, 1946, at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth. The Joyces settled in Austin, Murray pursued a career in architectural engineering and Genny devoted 67 years to Murray and their four sons no matter the joys, disappointments, successes or failures. She was runner up for "Mother of the Year" in 1955. Along with raising her family, Genny was active in various social and volunteer organizations. She was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection; served as a Cub Scout Den Mother for 10 years; served on the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers; President and Vice President of the Beta Sigma Phi social organization, Seton Medical Center; Casa Advocate; Austin Steam Train Association; and Volunteer Seniors Program. She received many awards, recognitions and was featured in numerous newspapers and organizational newsletters for her love of giving and sharing. The women of her family were passionate about learning to sew, crochet, knit and quilt. As a child she begin quilting by using crayolas and embroidery thread, then her Grandma Fanny stitched her designs into a quilt. In 1982 with the help of her longtime friend Helen, they cut out over 4000 pattern pieces and she started her actual first quilt "Storm at Sea" because she needed something to do in camp as they journeyed to Alaska. She finished it in 1985. Helen also invited her to join the Dutch Dolls Quilting Bee and with their help made many award-winning quilts for all her sons, grandchildren and various other items for friends and organizations. She made two family quilts; "Dutch Dolls Family" given to first grand-daughter Christie and one especially for Murray, "Forty Shades of Green" with each design drawn by Murray, Genny, sons, grandchildren and spouses at that time. Genny had a quilt with her, wherever she traveled and it broke her heart when she had to give up quilting in 2003, leaving a wonderful legacy all over the world. In 1972, life changed for Genny and Murray when Murray suffered a heart attack that prompted his early retirement. The couple spent some of their newfound time making long journeys in a Volkswagen Vanagon camper. Their travels took them to every state in the union, every Canadian province, Mexico and Central America. They also traveled in South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean. Wherever they traveled Genny collected quilt patterns, material, thimbles, shells, rocks and trinket boxes. They also made numerous friends and maintained contact with them over the years. Genny was preceded in death by her husband Murray, who passed away last August, son Mike, her brothers Malcolm and John Edward, and her sisters Mildred and Norma Jean. Genny is survived by three sons, Malcolm and his wife Barbara, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Mark and Melvin of Austin; 15 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; three (Cross) nieces Julie, Lisa and Sallie and multiple (Joyce) in-laws, nieces and nephews. Genny has the honor of having two great-granddaughters being named after her Isabel Genevieve of Santa Cruz, Bolivia and Jenevieve Marie of Oklahoma. The family would like to thank Father Tweedie for being willing to meet with strangers and put together three memorials, Heritage at Gaines Ranch for making Genny and Murray's final three years happy, loved and a daily part of a much needed extended family. The Summit at Northwest Hills for Genny's care during her final days, and especially Susan Rosas of Brookdale Hospice for your honesty and for making her last days comfortable and dignified.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from June 19 to June 20, 2014
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