BLUE RIDGE, Ga. - Joyce Holthouse Patrick, was born in Richmond, Ind., on Dec. 19, 1943, seven years after the birth of her older brother, Phillip Francis Holthouse, the idol of her formative years and especially favored during her teenage years as he owned an MG sports car which she was permitted to drive on special occasions. Her father, Roland Francis Holthouse, was also born in Richmond, and her mother, Videa Maria Bruner, was born in Jonesboro Ark. Joyce died Sept. 29, 2013.
Joyce was nicknamed Jolly shortly after birth as she was a very happy child and always greeted visitors with a beaming smile that became a beloved lifetime personal identification. She was born prior to her father being drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served until the end of World War 2. Roland, a skilled typist, was always retained at various stateside headquarters. Joyce, her mother and brother Phil remained behind in Richmond until Roland's return from military duties.
In 1947 the family moved to Greenville, Ohio, county seat of Darke County, one of the richest agricultural counties in the United States and still home of the nation's largest county fair; the family moved to Greenville so that her father could assume management of Holthouse Furniture located in downtown Greenville, with the family taking up residence on a nearby gentleman's farm.
At age 8 Joyce made her entry into the business world and on Saturday mornings she dusted the displayed furniture, earning the grand sum of 25 cents, which paid for her afternoon popcorn, Coke and ticket to the matinee movie.
The furniture store also required the early development of Joyce's social skills as her father had the store entrance graced with 20 foot red carpet and demanded that every store visitor be greeted with a smile and by name if known, before they stepped off of this carpet, no matter what! Holthouse Furniture also rented booths for advertising and displaying their furniture at the annual Darke County Fair, giving Joyce added social training when her classmates and their parents visited the Holthouse booths.
Prejudice was never taught in the Holthouse home. Joyce's mother was raised in a humble family environment and in Greenville enjoyed the status as wife of one of the community's leaders, hence chose to never teach her children admiration or scorn for position or economic status. Starting in early childhood, Joyce internalized the truth that "goodness" of friends and acquaintances was the significant measure of human quality.
Joyce's family members were devout Roman Catholics and she started her catechism classes in the first grade in preparation for First Communion. The Roman Catholic faith was very personal as Father Coleman, the Greenville Parish priest, was a best friend of her father and spent many hours in the Holthouse home; also in a small town like Greenville, with everyone knowing everyone else's business, having the priest as a frequent home visitor shaped her own young girl experience.
Joyce recalled that once her high school friend, Hank Campbell, was visiting her home at a late hour and Father Coleman said, "Hank, don't you think it is about time to go home?" Hank quickly departed. Hank and Joyce remained dear friends; he and his wife visited in her Blue Ridge home for four days in the spring of 2013.
Joyce attended Greenville public schools and was a proud member of the Greenville High School class of 1962. She and a majority of her classmates faithfully returned to Greenville every five years for a much-loved class reunion and County Fair visit. Joyce did attend the Roman Catholic all-Girls School, Ladywood High School in Indianapolis, Ind., for her junior high school year.
Joyce had three roommates at Ladywood; one from southern Indiana, one from Panama, South America, and Maria Garcia of Monterey, Mexico. Joyce visited Monterey during the summer of 1959 to attend Maria's debutante ball, having a wonderful time with the fitting and wearing of the formal gowns and the fact that the young men all wanted to dance with "the blonde."
Dancing was the teenage recreation of choice in Greenville. Joyce and her friends Georgia, Alice Ann, Wayne, Johnny Wyler and other young men spent many hours dancing at the Triangle Inn in Greenville.
In 1960 she completed flight instructions and soloed, but was later grounded after her father's experience of a frightening in-flight incident.
In the fall of year 1962 Joyce completed a six-month course at Humboldt Institute in Minneapolis that trained students for airline clerical work. Upon graduation, she was recruited by the CIA and offered a position in Washington, D.C. Her father's response was absolutely NO! He would not let his daughter live in "Sin City, USA."
She then moved to Florida and enrolled in Palm Beach Community College in the study of hotel and restaurant management. After completion of her studies, she was employed by the then Marriott roadside restaurant on the Sunshine State Parkway in Kissimmee, Fla.
Joyce was married to Gary Casey from July 31, 1965, until July 31, 1988, and is the mother of Sean Casey of Duluth, Ga., Brent Casey of Dacula, Ga., and Colleen Casey-Reddish of Marietta, Ga. She is stepmother of Mary Peterson of Cary, N.C., Tim Patrick of Alpharetta, Ga., and Shannon Hurney of Alpharetta. She is survived by her brother, Phil Holthouse of Hillsboro, Ohio.
She enjoyed 10 grandchildren: Hadyn Casey, Julia Reddish, Arabella Reddish, Mike Peterson, Tim Peterson, John Patrick, Joe Patrick, Andy Patrick, Katie Hurney, Lauren Hurney and great-grandson, Hampton Peterson.
The defining component of Joyce's life was the grace with which she handled adversity, not only her seven-year fight with cancer, but also her midlife three-year experience when she was the sole supporter of her family with the impossible task of trying to balance needed income with personal presence for the in-home nurturing of her three children. During this challenge she was spiritually supported by Father Bryon of the Corpus Christi Parish of Stone Mountain, Ga.; devout Methodist Christian neighbors Janice and Skip Heeke; and Dr. Zefar Israeli, CDC researcher, Muslim and next-door neighbor, who made her house payment during a difficult financial crisis.
In 1995 she married John Patrick and they resided in Tucker, Ga., with Joyce continuing her employment as registrar at Cross Keys High School, North Druid Hills, DeKalb County, retiring prior to their move to the Mountaintops Community of Blue Ridge in 2001
After they settled into their home, she finally had time to develop her seamstress art skills that originated in Tucker with her frequent visits to "Dream Quilters" with her mother. As a mother-daughter team, they completed their first quilt, loving the colors, textures and patterns of quilting; a source of great personal joy through the final years of Joyce's active life. Her final quilt received a blue ribbon as "Viewer's Choice" at the 2012 Georgia Homemakers Council competition. With deep regret she had to end her quilting because of cancer-therapy fingertip neuropathy.
Shortly after arriving in Blue Ridge, she joined the Blue Ridge Homemakers and was a faithful leader in the Friday morning hairdressing of the lady occupants of the Heritage Health Care facility of Blue Ridge. She also learned the joys of fruit canning guided by her friend, the late Marion Anderson. She was president of the Homemakers in 2008 and 2009, and managed the Blue Ridge Fall Harvest Sale in 2010 and 2011.
She harmonized the faith of her early life in the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant faith of her final years. She was baptized in First Baptist Church of Blue Ridge on Dec. 22, 2002, and was an active member of the Blue Ridge United Methodist Church. Last Rites Sacrament was conducted at her bedside by Father Brendan Doyle on Sept. 13, 2013.
A memorial service will be conducted for Joyce on Oct. 20 at 3:30 p.m. at the Blue Ridge United Methodist Church, 322 W Main St., Blue Ridge GA 30513. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA. You may send condolences and sign the guest registry at www.cochranfuneralhomes.com.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to: Blue Ridge Homemakers Scholarship Fund, Attn: Shirley Copeland, 391 Kimberly Lane, Blue Ridge GA 30513.