On Tuesday evening, December 7th, 2021, our beloved, Joyce Deborah Jenkins Clayton, was called from labor to reward.
Joyce, the second daughter of the late Joe and Edna Jenkins, was born on September 3, 1945. She baptized and joined Galilee Baptist Church at a young age where she was an active member of the church. She attended grades 1 – 6 at the two-room, Templeman Elementary School, where the late Mrs. Vernell Ruffin and Martha Jenkins inspired her love for teaching. She was a proud graduate of the A.T. Johnson High School, Class of 1964. Joyce went on to attend Virginia State College, graduating in 1968, with a BS Degree in Elementary Education. In her Junior year at Virginia State, she was diagnosed with Harada’s Syndrome, a very rare, degenerative eye disease, and was told that due to the debilitating nature of the disease, she would not be able to continue in her studies. Joyce was determined to complete her program and had no intention of allowing this disease to hinder her path. She credits all of her accomplishments to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for enabling her to achieve the goals that she had set for herself. Over the next two decades, Joyce earned her M.Ed in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her Certification for Administration/Supervision K-12, from Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia and Virginia Polytechnical Institute, collectively. She continued to add to her education throughout her career.
In 1966, Joyce married the late Reverend Olyver P. Clayton. This union produced three girls: Terri, TaJuana and Joy. She was the very active First Lady of Good Hope Baptist Church, Dunnsville, VA; Clarksville Baptist Church and Second Baptist Church, [both in] Warsaw, VA. Joyce was happily a part of the Women and Youth Ministries in these churches. She was dedicated to the social and cultural development of every child she came in contact with; exposing any number of young people to museum visits, attending plays and travel. In 1997, Joyce Founded and Implemented the Westmoreland Youth Program, which provided youth activities and education during the summer months.
In 1968, Joyce began her career in education as a 3rd grade teacher at Hamilton Homes Elementary, King William, VA; in 1974, she was a 7th grade teacher at Essex Intermediate School, Tappahannock, VA; she returned to King William County Schools in 1975 as a Reading and Math Resource Teacher, followed by her arrival in Westmoreland County in 1978 as the Resource Teacher at Cople Elementary and Montross Elementary Schools. 1989 began her Principalship at Montross Elementary, followed by Chapter I Supervisor in 1994. Joyce became the Assistant Superintendent of Westmoreland County Public Schools in 1998, including a brief assignment as Acting Superintendent in 2004. She retired as Assistant Superintendent in 2009, and continued on as Assistant Superintendent Emeritus until 2019.
For more than three decades, Joyce was proud to be an active member of the Northern Neck Baptist Association, where she served as Corresponding Secretary, among other duties and contributions. Joyce was the Adult Sunday School Teacher at Galilee Baptist Church from 2001 until her health began to fail in 2018. Additionally, she was the Instructor of Curriculum Development for Church Leaders at Virginia University of Lynchburg, for several years.
These are highlights of a life lived to the fullest, nurturing the lives of all children, whom she completely believed in and adored.
Joyce loved her family, believed in “Family First” and considered lifelong friends to be extensions of her family. She coordinated countless Family Reunions, gatherings, social occasions and vacations. She was famous for traveling with and to visit family and friends – nationwide.
Joyce is preceded by her mother and father Joe and Edna Jenkins, brother James Jenkins, and grandson Johnathan M Stewart.
Joyce will be greatly missed and leaves to morn her sweet-spirited presence: daughters Terri Clayton, Montross, VA; TaJuana Clayton, Washington, DC; Joy Dade (Fredrick), Mandeville, LA; sister Gloria Ann Ruffin, Temple Hills, MD; brother Joseph Wayne Jenkins, Sr., Montross, VA; grandchildren Katherine Palmer (Troy), Montross, VA; Aaliyah, Fredrick Jr., Tyffani and Joseph Dade, Mandeville, LA; niece Rosslyn Ruffin, Seat Pleasant, MD; nephews Joseph Jenkins, Jr. (Cindy), Gloucester, VA; Eric Ruffin, Temple Hills, MD and Shawn Jenkins (Letta), Chesterfield, VA, along with a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Joyce had great lifelong friends and family, with whom she enjoyed spending time and traveling, including: Priscilla Early, Bowie, MD; Marian Ashton, Waldorf, MD; Evelyn Swann, Richmond, VA; Barbara Shackleford, Williamsburg, VA; Edna Fulcher, Dumfries, VA and Ella Britton, Montross, VA
Service of Remembrance for Joyce D. Clayton of Montross, Virginia., retired Assistant Superintendent of the Westmoreland County School System will be held on Thursday, December 16, 2021, at 1PM in the sanctuary of the Galilee Baptist Church, 20461 Kings Highway, Montross, Virginia.
Interment will follow in the Galilee Baptist Church Cemetery.
Her remains may be viewed from 4PM until 7PM on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, in the chapel of the WELDON-FISHER FUNERAL HOME and from 11AM until service time on Thursday at Galilee Baptist Church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joyce Deborah Jenkins Clayton, please visit our floral store.