Joyce Elaine Granville was born in Beaumont, Texas on December 4, 1950. She was the third of five children born to Elmer J. Yarborough Sr. and Mary Genola (Akens) Yarborough. E. Jean Yarborough the oldest, Elmer J. Jr, Joyce and Willie (born in close succession) and the baby Sedonia born after the family moved to Portland, Oregon. Although the family moved to Portland early enough in her life for her to attend Boise Elliott Elementary school, Joyce was very proud of her Texas roots and was a lifelong fan of the NFL Dallas Cowboys. Joyce would speak fondly of her early childhood in Texas. She shared stories of dressing like her two brothers in cowboy boots and discovering snakes under the porch of their home. Once she arrived in Portland, her popularity and her place as a part of Portland royalty was secured when she was voted Jr Rose Festival Princess. She later graduated from Jefferson Highschool having established lifelong friends that were considered family.
Many years prior, Joyce caught the eye of one James Lewis Granville. As it is told, over the years, he regularly visited her home to chat with her Mom (and impress her) although, she was not entirely won over by his charms. However, as she shared it, when he returned from his time served in Vietnam donning his Marine Corps military uniform and stopped by for another visit, she finally realized how fine he was. He loved Joyce and loved their daughter LaShonda Renee Granville. They married on March 18, 1972 and a couple of years later added Jalaunda Shantai Granville to complete the family. Finally, Lashonda received her little sister she kept asking them for as an early Christmas present.
Joyce worked some but became a stay at home mom after marrying James. Once Jalaunda started attending Sabin Elementary School, Joyce found herself spending most of her days there helping out on a volunteer basis. She was so well liked, that she was offered a position and worked in a Teacher’s Assistant role. She accepted the offer and was dedicated to that role for more than 30 years. She was loved by faculty, staff, her students, as well as, foster children that she welcomed into her home.
Joyce was known by those close to her for her tiny feet, easy laugh and open heart. She did not avoid conflict, and despite her small stature, stood tall in her convictions. Her faith in God was strong and she could be counted on to pray for you and support you. As for basketball, to her there was no other team than the Portland Trailblazers. Watching any sports games with her was an experience filled will her loud outburst of glee or disappointment depending on how the ball bounced. She was a foodie since before there was a term for it and loved to sing. Christmas was her ultimate favorite time of year. In fact, she loved it so much that we had to encourage her to take down her Christmas tree in July. She conceded however, the wreath on her door, candy canes in her flower bed and the lights around the window that were present all year, were a testament to her affinity for the holiday.
Joyce joyfully embraced her role as grandma to Seydonia “doni”, Kimberly “Kimmi” and Jayson Jaymeson “jj” and loved them like only a Grandma can; so of course, they are the most beautiful, smartest people in the world. She loved to share their accomplishments.
Joyce was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents, her sister Jean Atkins, brother in law Richard S. Cochran and love, James L. Granville.
All who have been in Joyce’s presence will celebrate her life; her daughters, son in law William Anderson, Jayson E.R. Lewis, grandkids, brothers Elmer and Willie Yarborough, youngest sister Sedonia Cochran, uncle Moses Akens, aunt Beatrice Moore, host of nieces, nephews, cousins, a network of close “sisters”, extended family members and friends.
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