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Joyce Ann Arnold

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Joyce Ann Arnold Obituary
Arnold, Joyce Ann (nee Blim), 75, of Swansea, IL, born November 18, 1934 in Belleville, IL, died Saturday, March 27, 2010 at her home, peacefully surrounded by her family. She made you feel better about yourself and made you want to better yourself. Joyce's easy smile and kind eyes were a true reflection of her compassionate and considerate nature. Whether through the eloquence of a handwritten note or the sincerity of a conversation, Joyce personified Love thy Neighbor. Her love and dedication to family were even greater. Joyce and Dick's nearly 52 year marriage was a true partnership, selflessly centered on their children's happiness, yet rooted in their love and respect for each other. Her unconditional love, unwavering faith and undying loyalty radiated a confidence, pride and security that remains a constant, positive motivation for her family. Men don't stumble over mountains; they stumble over molehills, she would often say, one of innumerable idioms and phrases sprinkled in conversation to teach lessons and get down to brass tacks. If we were all the same, it would be a dull world. Nothing would ever be accomplished in this world if one waited so long to do it, that no one could find fault with it. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but no one has a right to be wrong in their facts. Her children and grandchildren were both inspired and amused by her Joyce-isms. Joyce's wisdom was reinforced by her collection of quips, quotes and other writings. When words spoke to her soul, she would often clip them out or write them down, tucking some between the pages of a poetry book given to her as a child, a book that set the course for a lifetime appreciation of the written word. Even in the last stages of her life, Joyce recalled her favorite poems and passages, her smile proof of how Emily Dickinson and Anne Morrow Lindbergh resonated in her soul. Letter writing is an art Joyce perfected with a prayerful devotion to summoning the perfect phrase. With the precision and care of a diamond cutter, she would sit at the end of the kitchen table, pen in hand, crossing out nearly as much as she was writing, until she had crafted her gem. When someone needed encouragement or achieved some success, a letter from Joyce affirmed. Amidst tragedy and grief, carefully chosen words reflected her extraordinary empathy. Joyce was Belleville's first drive-up bank teller at St. Clair National Bank and worked in Belleville banking for more than 30 years, including at the Bank of Belleville and Magna Bank. Many friends and customers will remember Joyce's friendly and helpful manner. She treated each customer with respect and a genuine interest in their concerns. She caused an unusual phenomenon at the bank, where customers would often opt to wait in Joyce's line rather than going to an open window. She was a gracious hostess, perpetually reminding her children to be generous and attentive to guests in their home. Etiquette, thank-you notes and napkins on laps were among her expectations of her family. Joyce's intuition was uncanny; she felt life deeply and was in tune with the lives, dreams and concerns of her children, often before they were themselves. She was zany and she was poignant. A onetime singer on WIBV Radio, Joyce knew a song for any occasion. She would lead her siblings in a round of childhood tunes and would never fail to shed a tear upon hearing the strains of Moon River, the song that played every evening on the hospital sound system during the months her son Rick stayed in pediatrics after his birth in 1962. Joyce and Dick's relentless care for Rick allowed him a chance at life that doctors advised was improbable at best. His success in life was their proudest achievement. His untimely death in 2008 was their deepest sorrow. Our sorrow at Joyce's death is soothed by the joy we know she and Rick have found in their heavenly reunion, where she is probably doing his laundry! CONTINUED

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Mar. 28, 2010
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