Joyce B. Southern

Joyce B. Southern, whose passion for making sure children and their families had food on the table and that young people from all walks had better opportunities in life, passed away Feb. 8, 2020 in Amarillo, Texas. Joyce was 93.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 at the First Baptist Church of Amarillo Chapel. The service will be officiated by Corky Holland, First Baptist Minister of Pastoral Care and Senior Adults.

The daughter of a Methodist minister, Joyce was born in Dublin, N.C. and grew up in the North Carolina coastal area. During high school she was a member of the drama and choral clubs.

After graduating from high school, she immediately joined the World War II effort by working in the financial offices of the Wilmington, N.C. shipyards with her sister, Maxine.

As a young adult, she followed another sister, Juanita, to Texas and eventually settled in Amarillo. In her early career, Joyce worked as executive secretary for Blue Murrow, Inc. in Amarillo. She retired from the company as vice president in 1991.

Joyce loved the people of Amarillo and was a charter member of the High Plains Food Bank Board of Directors. She was fully dedicated to making the Food Bank a reality and watched it grow to serve the entire Panhandle region.

Joyce was also highly involved in the Amarillo Downtown Kiwanis Club, which serves numerous youth groups across the Amarillo area. She joined Kiwanis to work with her husband, Dr. Burwell Southern, in helping numerous youth organizations through the civic club. Burwell had been a long-time member, and Joyce quickly got involved in the club’s many youth-oriented programs and served in various club offices.

In 2004 – 2005, she served as Lt. Governor for Division 33 of the Texas­Oklahoma Kiwanis District. In 2007 she served as chairperson of the Texas-Oklahoma District Convention in Amarillo. She received the distinguished Kiwanis C.T. Bush Award during her involvement with the civic organization.

Joyce was also a volunteer at BSA Hospital as a surgical waiting liaison. She was a gourmet cook and loved nothing more than entertaining and serving elaborate dinners to family and friends. Her favorite restaurant was the Amarillo Club. She was well traveled and could turn any trip or vacation into an adventure. Her favorite weekend destinations were Santa Fe and Taos, N.M. She often invited friends and extended family along in her travels. She also loved her special dog, Meg

Joyce is survived by a nephew, Donald Martin of Hernando Beach, Fl., and a grandniece, Sara Martin. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Burwell Southern; three brothers, Ezra T. Brisson, Charles Brisson and Jim Brisson; two sisters, Maxine Jones and Juanita Martin Muehleisen; and her parents, Charlie and Hattie Brisson.

Joyce led an amazing life. Her family and friends knew her as one who made the most of what she had at any given time and played it for all it was worth. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to High Plains Food Bank or High Plains Christian Ministries Foundation.

6 Replies to “Joyce B. Southern”

  1. My family loved both Joyce and Bo and of course Peggy. Joyce helped me raise money for my car by letting me clean her house. Now really, how dirty could their beautiful home be with just two people. She cane to my bridal shower and both baby showers. She called us kids when both Dad and Mom passed away.

    She was a devout Christian and such a lovely Southern belle. RIP Miss Joyce. Love you

  2. Joyce was our next door neighbor in Bishop Hills for 40 years and one of my mother’s dearest friends. She took me to see Swan Lake when I was 10 years old, and she came to many of my dance recitals. She was a real Southern lady, the kind you read about in books. She lived her life fully and without regrets, and even though she was older than my own mother, she was a friend to me when I desperately needed one, and I will love her always for that. She always treated the Hagan kids like they were her own. Rest in peace, lovely lady, and know you set a high standard and the best example for the little girls next door. XOXO

  3. I considered Joyce Southern a great friend. I remember Joyce coming to me asking whether or not I thought it would be proper for her to throw herself a 90th birthday party. I told her “go for it” and she did. She invited some of her favorite people to an elegant luncheon in the private dining room at Park Place Towers. I was quite surprised and honored when I discovered that I was the only Park Central employee Joyce invited. Joyce was a most gracious lady and truly had a heart for others.

  4. I am Brenda Tennant, a niece of Winston (Bo) Bodine and, therefore, Joyce’s niece while they were married. I was maybe 6-8 when I met Joyce at a family reunion, so I have known her 60 plus years. She is an impressive lady and always dressed well.
    Fortunately, Joyce and Bo were married 30 plus years, and I grew up knowing, admiring and respecting Joyce. We remained as family AND friend.
    Through the years, we stayed in touch by phone and visits. I loved her style; her demeanor.
    I was probably out of touch with her the most while she was married to Burwell because they were so busy with Kiwanis. She loved Kiwanis and thrived on it!
    I had probably called her a couple of times a year during that time. When Burwell passed, Joyce and I decided I needed to come see her. She was in the patio home then. We drove to Lubbock for shopping and a BIG chocolate chip cookie from LaMadeleine. After that I sent her a LaMadeleine chocolate chip cookie for her birthday.
    After she had moved into Park Place, she insisted I come see her new place. She really enjoyed it and was happy with her decision.
    During those two visits we had lots of time to talk while driving to Lubbock or sitting in her living room. I got to see her face light up when she would talk about Joe Webb (a nephew, also due to marriage to Bo.) Joyce and Joe were very, very close. She truly thought the WORLD of him.

    Love you, Joyce.

  5. I’m a nephew and friend of Joyce’s (she was married to my Uncle Winston Bodine). I can still remember the first time I laid eyes on her, as she was unlike anyone I had ever seen before. She became my mentor and one of my very best friends over our 50 plus years. She was loyal to a fault and could be relied on for advice and accurate criticism. I will always remember the vacations we went on together especially the ones in the mountains. She made life fun whether you were playing or working. I love her dearly and will miss her ever so much….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *