New Bern - Joyce Connor, age 82, passed away at Vident Medical Center on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. She was born in Rocky Mount, NC on January 20, 1930, to the late Rev. Elijah W. and William Ann (Johnson) Downing. She is survived by her husband of over 50 years, Col. Richard M. Connor (USAF RET); her children, Jo Ann Daniels, and her husband, Derby, of Davis, NC, James B. Dale, Jr.and his wife Lisa, of Beeville, Texas, Emily Jane Dale of Corpus Christi, Texas, Judy Downing of Holly Springs, NC, Wendy Burt of Willsboro, NY and Richard M. Connor, Jr. of New Bern, NC; a sister, Margie Adams and her husband, Bob, of New Bern; her brother, Raymond, and his wife, Lib, of Henderson, NC. She was grandmother of fifteen, great grandmother of eighteen and great great grandmother of one.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a sister, Elsie Collier and 5 brothers, Ralph, Ruben, Randolph, Laverne, and Linwood P.
Joyce attended Rocky Mount High School, but graduated from New Bern High School, where classmates still meet her each month for lunch.
She met her husband in Los Angeles, California where he was stationed with the Space System Division of the Air Force Systems Command. She took her duties as an Air Force wife very seriously and served as a volunteer in many service organizations and committees, including Family Services, Thrift Shop and Officers' Wives Club functions.
After her husband's retirement in 1974, they moved to New Bern, NC, where she became active in many service and civil organizations. In the 70's she and two other ladies formed the local hospital auxiliary, where she served many years as a volunteer at the card desk. She was a long time member of the New Bern Women's Club, including serving as President. She was also a member and served as President of the River Bend Garden Club. Joyce was a gifted seamstress and was very active in the local Embroidery Guild of America, until her eyesight failed. She was dedicated to her church, Centenary United Methodist Church, and to the Sara Kee Sunday School Class and Centenary Circle.
Joyce volunteered every year with the Rhem's Volunteer Fire Department and with the Willsboro United Methodist Church near their camp in up state New York.
Most of all, Joyce loved to be with people. She looked for and found ways to help whenever she could. She will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held at 2 PM Tuesday, November 27th, at Centenary United Methodist Church, with a reception for family and friends in the Fellowship Hall, following the service. Interment will be at a later date at the Evergreen Cemetery in Keesville, NY.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, 309 New Street, New Bern, NC, 28560,Willsboro United Methodist Church, Willsboro, NY or to the Rhems Volunteer Fire Department.
Cotten Funeral Home is serving the Connor Family.