Cover photo for Joyce F. McAllister's Obituary
Joyce F. McAllister Profile Photo
1931 Joyce 2024

Joyce F. McAllister

July 4, 1931 — June 19, 2024

Hendersonville, Tennessee

On July 4, 1931 one of the hottest days on record, a firecracker of a woman was born to John Thomas Thornton and Willna Lois Roper in Huntsville, Alabama. She was their eldest child and only daughter and was raised in Ardmore and Huntsville. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Tommy Glen and Jerry Cartus Thornton, and her special uncle and aunt Lofton and Dorothy Roper. She is survived by her husband Kim of sixty-eight years, her five daughters, Romain Babcock (Reb), Carolyn Miller, Kathryn Rich (David), Terri McAllister (Kevin) and Mona Kelser (David). Grandchildren, Daniel Watts (Raquel), Victoria Sise, Sierra Russ (fiancé Tommy Jones) and Luke Kelser, and great granddaughter Annelise Taylor and numerous grand dogs. After attending West Huntsville High School, Joyce enlisted in the Women’s Army Corp. in 1950 and completed her basic training in Virginia. She was assigned to duty at Fort Bliss, El Paso, TX where she met and married William Miller. Upon honorable discharge, the couple moved to Ohio and were blessed with two daughters but divorced in 1953. 

Joyce enrolled in secretarial school in Akron, Ohio and became employed at Firestone Rubber Company. There she met and married Firestone Chemical Engineer, Kim McAllister. They relocated to West Haven, Connecticut and added three more daughters to their family. Joyce worked as a bookkeeper most of her life in the retail industry while raising her children. She was a role model for all her daughters due to her work ethic and resilience. After raising their girls in Connecticut, she returned to the south and she and Kim retired in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Joyce was a member of Piney Grove Baptist Church, played senior softball and was an avid bowler who would dance with her friend Fred each time she bowled a strike. She will be remembered by all for her wonderful and silly sense of humor, love of gardening, birds and wildlife and she was a huge Jeff Bridges fan. Even at her advanced age, she continued to travel out west each summer to visit several of her daughters. She remained curious and had a voracious appetite for reading, jigsaw and crossword puzzles. She could still play a mean game of Yahtzee and Scrabble. She had an amazing memory and would recall stories of the “olden days.” When she began having health problems, she would amaze her friends and relatives by her determination to get well and it was said that Joyce was “tougher than a two dollar steak”.  Thanks to special friends, Ray Watts, Pam Dorris, Luann Fraulo, and Lynette Tresler whose friendships further enriched her life. Special thanks to the staff of Hendersonville Hospital and Alive Hospice for their professional care.

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