Joyce Marie Freeman entered into eternal rest on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, at Riverside Regional Medical Center, Newport News, Virginia. She was born July 23, 1948 at North, Virginia, to the late Mary H. and Thomas Lee Sr.
During her early years, she attended Thomas Hunter School until she moved to Baltimore, Maryland, during her teen years and graduated from Eastern High School. During the 1980s, Joyce moved back to the North community. She worked for several home care agencies and provided loving health care assistance to numerous seniors for many years. She enjoyed cooking and entertaining and was known for her delicious cakes and corn puddings.
She accepted the Lord as her personal savior at an early age and joined Emmaus Baptist Church. God blessed Joyce with a beautiful voice that she used to sing praises in numerous choirs and gospel groups, including the Virginia Soul Stirrers of Baltimore, Maryland, the Spiritualaires, and the Emmaus Church choir and praise team. She was a devout Christian and served as a deacon, usher, women’s ministry color team captain, and church clerk for several years. She also chaired the committee for Emmaus’s 150th year celebration.
She is survived by her husband, Bill Freeman; her devoted son, Minister Desmond Smith; a daughter, Maria Cooke; two brothers, Reverend Melvin C. Lee (Coralea) and Wilbur Mac- Arthur Lee (Mary); a sister-in-law, Shirley Lee, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Mary H. Lee and Thomas Lee Sr., and brother, Thomas Lee Jr.
A viewing will be held Friday, Sept. 11 from 4-6 p.m. at the funeral home. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Thomas Hunter Middle School, Mathews, Virginia. Burial will be held at the Emmaus Baptist Church Cemetery, North. All COVID-19 restrictions will be enforced.
Arrangements entrusted to Forrest Brothers Funeral Home, Hudgins.