Joyce Lee Highley, 87, departed this life to be with the Lord on Friday, Oct. 20,2023, in Joplin, surrounded by her family.

Joyce was born November 15, 1935, in Olympia, to Lee Ora and Effie Irene (Stockstill) Henry. Her education began in a one-room schoolhouse near her home, and she graduated from El Dorado Springs, High School.

Joyce married Norman Highley, at her parents’ home in Olympia, on July 5, 1953, and they moved to Ft. Scott, KS. In 1960, the Highley family moved to Nevada, and Joyce was a stay-at-home mother of five children, and babysitter for several children. In 1966, she went to work for Maxwell Grocery Store. Later, she was employed by John Deere and Madill’s in Nevada and Western Insurance Company in Ft. Scott, KS.

In 1979, Joyce joined her son, Kenny, and husband, Norman, as bookkeeper for Highley Tire Center. In 1983, the father-son team established a second store in Stockton, owned and operated by Norman and Joyce. Joyce then became the bookkeeper for both locations.

Not long after opening the Stockton store, Joyce and Norman sold their long-time family home in Nevada and moved to Stockton. Joyce worked part time at the local shoe and antique store, T & W, and for many years, she commuted to work at the Nevada tire store. After 13 years, Joyce and Norman retired their Stockton business and returned to Nevada. Joyce continued to work for her son Kenny until her retirement on Jan. 26, 2016.

Joyce was saved in the fall of 1947 at Glade Springs Missionary Baptist Church during a revival. She became the wife and help-mate of a Missionary Baptist preacher in 1958, when God called Norman to preach the gospel. Joyce and Norman chose a life of serving God and traveled many miles to churches where Norman served as pastor and for revivals. Joyce was a member of West Union Missionary Baptist Church. In 1983, she was an organizing member of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Nevada.

Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Norman Highley; brother, Larry Henry; and sons-in-law, Frank Todd, Nigel Fleming, and Bob Zumwalt.

She is survived by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and many other relatives and friends. Children: Patricia (Rick) Bobbett – Bolivar, Kenny (Linda) Highley – Nevada, Glenda Todd – Joplin, Sherri Zumwalt – Nevada, and Lori Yokley (Ron) – Moundville;  grandchildren: Joshua Highley (Renee) – Nevada, Jordan Highley – Nevada, Jenna Kennedy (Aaron) – Blue Springs, Randall Yokley (Billie) – Moundville, Ryan Yokley (Caryn) – Moundville, Sarah Hancock (Justin) – Sheldon, Daniel Fleming – Nevada, and Tiffany Crawford (Bryan), Nixa.

Services were Monday, Oct. 30, at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada with Bro. Kenny Mallerd officiating. Interment followed in Olive Branch Cemetery, Milo.

Memorials are suggested in her name to Olive Branch Cemetery c/o Ferry Funeral Home.

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