Joyce Annette Pope was born February 27, 1939, to the late Elder William Jennings Pope Sr. and Jessica Willie Mae Pope (Bell) in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Joyce was fifth out of their ten offspring, and with her arrival, brought much joy to the family. Joyce accepted Christ early in life, while attending Christ Temple Church of Christ Holiness USA in Little Rock, Arkansas. Joyce graduated from St. Bartholomew Catholic High School, a segregated school in Little Rock, Arkansas. She had a love for basketball and kept the stats on the school’s basketball games. Additionally, she took language classes and particularly enjoyed studying Latin. She also was crowned the high school homecoming basketball queen. She embarked upon the great migration West to California with her family during the era of the Brown vs Board of Education movement for school integration. Upon arriving in California, she attended Oakland City College and soon after met and married Frederick Joe Williams. From that union she was blessed with her greatest joy, her three daughters, Doris, Cheryl, and Sandra. Joyce started her professional work career in retail, where she worked for the Emporium- Capwells, one of the largest retail stores in the Bay Area, until she became a stay at home mom. She reentered the workforce as a childcare professional at the UC Berkeley Child Care Center where her motherly skills were extended to nurture other children. Joyce then joined her brother Jim’s joint venture company, Perini and Pope as the front office receptionist for the construction of the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. After the completion of that project, she stayed on with Perini as a key Administrative support staff. Joyce’s professionalism and pleasant personality was always a welcoming presence to everyone she encountered. After acquiring computer technology skills to keep up with the changing times, Joyce later expanded her career opportunities by joining Unisource. She received several accolades for her contributions to the office over her 35-year career. Joyce retired in 2001, where she began to start enjoying life with her daughters and grandchildren.
Her passion was being a mother. Joyce was deeply committed to cultivating, motivating, and educating her daughters. Joyce was always busy taking her daughters to music lessons, academic programs, libraries, museums, and the Oakland Symphony. She was actively involved in the PTA and school events. Joyce was a steadfast and constant advocate in her daughters’ educational journeys. As a result of Joyce’s dedication, commitment and sacrifice, all her daughters graduated from college and went on in their respective fields, a license professional Civil Engineer, IT Director for the State of CA and Executive Leader at the University of California Office of the President, Graduate Undergraduate and Equity Affairs. Joyce was a devoted sister, friend and aunt. She lived her life with the foundations of faith, family and fun. She was always there for her brothers, sisters, nieces, cousins who all knew they could depend on Joyce for laughter, love, and support. Joyce was a natural caregiver, dedicating her life to caring for brother, Llyington Pope, after the passing of her mother and father.
Joyce took pride in her home often decorating and gardening at her leisure. As a child, Joyce's first travel adventure was through the south with her Aunt Lacy during the segregation era. Upon retirement she was then able to see the sights of Hawaii, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and San Antonio without the constraints of segregation. Joyce had a true adventurous spirit. Joyce loved vintage shopping, reading and staying current on the local and world events. She was often an advocate in supporting city of Berkeley initiatives. Joyce was blessed with five grandchildren (AKA the Fab 5), 4 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. She often took them on trips to San Francisco, the library, community events and was a strong soccer cheerleader for her grandsons. Joyce was on the front row for piano, dance recitals, taekwondo and school performances. She beamed with delight at watching her grandchildren flourish and grow. Joyce was a woman of tremendous faith that she demonstrated in her everyday life thru caring and servicing her family and praising GOD all day long. She was a member of All Nations Church of God in Christ Holiness USA for over 60 years. She regularly attended state and national conventions. Joyce often enjoyed participating in All Nations Annual Women’s Day and Black History programs and was actively involved in supporting the church’s mission and vision. Joyce was also a woman of fighting spirit and perseverance, having initially fought and won the battle with breast cancer in 2012. With the love and support of her family and friends, faith in her God, and tenacious spirit, she was able to grace this existence for 9 additional years. Joyce had incredible grace and style. She always shared her loving spirit and wisdom with everyone she encountered. Her smile was everlasting, contagious and brought joy to others. To honor her memory, she leaves a legacy of two generations: daughters Doris Alkebulan (Imhotep), Cheryl Jones (Lydell), Sandra Williams-Hamp (Timothy) five grandchildren: Rahotep Alkebulan, Kaba Alkebulan, Nia Jones, Lydell Jones Jr., Timothy Hamp II. In addition, her sister Vivian will miss her dearly along with her three loving brothers, Llyington, Walter and John, her brother-in-law John, her special cousin Jessie, a host of nieces and nephews, All Nations Church family and neighbors to smile and keep her memory alive. She will be joining her brothers William Jr, James Roy, sisters La Faye, Joanne and Doris who preceded her in death. Joyce was at peace and ready to meet the lord. She leaves laughter to kiss us, sunsets to warm our hearts, and gentle hugs with the spirit and love to brighten our being.
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