Joycelyn Maxine Williams Anderson 1939 – 2015

Joycelyn Maxine Anderson
Joycelyn Maxine Anderson.  Click to enlarge the photograph.

My sister-in-law Joycelyn Maxine Williams Anderson died on May 23, 2015 after a long illness.  Maxine (as I called her, some called her Joycelyn) was my husbands oldest sister. Maxine always sent me a birthday card and she always thanked me for putting up with her brother for so many years.  St. Louis will not be St. Louis without her.

Maxine made an appearance as a one year old in the 1940 census here -> 1940 Census – Chester and Theola Williams.  There is more about the Williams family here “I” is for Inglewood Court.

Life Reflections (Obituary)

Joycelyn Maxine Williams Anderson was born in Dermott, Arkansas on May 21, 1939 to Chester Arthur and Theola Marie (Davenport) Williams.  She was the first of twelve children ( six girls and six boys.)  She began her education at Chico County Training School. The family moved to St. Louis in 1945 and found their first church home at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.  Joycelyn professed her love and belief in Jesus Christ at an early age and was baptized by Reverend Langford.  Her walk with the Lord brought her to Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in 1947.

Jocelyn was educated in the St. Louis Public School System and graduated from Charles Sumner High School.  She attended Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa and was united in holy matrimony with Hearn Humphrey Anderson.  To this union was born one daughter, Nichole Patrice (Anderson) Borman.

Throughout her life, Joycelyn’s prevailing philosophy was “In spite of handicaps, all things are possible – you have to grow where you are planted.”  She was employed by the Malcolm Bliss Mental Health Center and retired after thirty-four years from her position as a recreational therapist’s aide with the Missouri Department of Mental Helath.  The expertise and caring she displayed was continued after her retirement as she became an avid community volunteer.

She volunteered for the Oasis program and regularly read to school age children; she was an area coordinator for the Senior Connections program and was a member of the Summer Class of ’57 alumni association, working tirelessly to ensure opportunities for current Sumner students.  She contributed generously to Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church serving as a Deaconess and President of the John E. and Regina S. Nance Scholarship Fund; a member of the Women’s Missionary Union and a Life Member of the Berean District Association.  Lastly, Joycelyn articulated her business skills as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant over a period of thirty-one years.

After an extended battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Joycelyn answered the voice of our Heavenly Father on Sunday, May 24, 2015 and peacefully passed away in her sleep.  Preceding her in death were her parents, Chester and Theola Williams; her brothers, Chester Arthur Williams, Jr., Earl Raymond Williams, Andrew Milton Williams and her former husband, Hearn H. Anderson.

Joycelyn leaves to cherish her memory: one daughter – Nicole P. Borman (Kent); her sisters – E. Jean Williams, Catherine Boayue, Linda Nance (Herreld), Monnette Lartey and Deborah Benard (Perry); her brothers – Harold F. Williams, James Edward Williams (Kristin) and Michael A. Williams; and a host of very dear nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins, church family and friends. 

25 thoughts on “Joycelyn Maxine Williams Anderson 1939 – 2015

  1. Beautiful and heartfelt tribute to your sister-in-law. Sending prayers up.

  2. My Thoughts are with you and “My James”….My Sister in Law is visiting from Milwaukee and we have that kind of relationship as well. Memories and Laughter is Good…..In my Prayers.

  3. This is really nice! You are right, St. Louis will not be the same without Aunt Maxine….One of my fondest memories of her is from the first year I hosted the reunion in Atlanta and I sat down at the dining room table with her and had a conversation about her struggles with asthma and her Avon career.

    1. I remember when you told me about that. I hadn’t realized before that she had those struggles with asthma. I picture her drawing deep breaths for the first time in a long time.

    1. It is good to see you here James. I look forward to seeing Maxine again too, when we will be healed of these bodily pains.

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s wonderful to have your treasured memories and what a sweet collection of photos. Praying for comfort.

  5. My condolences to you and your family during your time of sorrow. May you all find comfort in your memories of Maxine. Shout out to my native St. Louis!

  6. (((Jo))) I just emailed her a few weeks back … She was a dear friend for over 25 years …
    She was a “phenomenal women!” … I am in shock and am stunned at her loss. My condolences to her entire family and especially her daughter …

  7. Kristen,

    What a beautiful collage! Maxine raved about your collages and thought they were very very special. I agree!! I will miss my dear cousin, our long conversations that were often cut short because of her breathing limitations. We always talked about family and our desire for our children to have the same sense of family and strong family ties that we had. Though a focus of conversation for years, we never quite figured it out. We remain a proud family of Williams and Butlers from Dermott and Sparkman, Arkansas.

    1. My sister and I have those same conversations about family ties. I don’t know why it seems so hard to pass them down now. Maybe it always was.

  8. My condolences to the family, I will keep you and your family in my thoughts & prayers.

  9. I did not know my cousin Maxine very well because she is a bit older than I am and I saw her mostly at family reunions. However, because I am an only child, I have adopted her siblings, especially James, Linda, and Michael, as brothers and sisters.
    I pray for the elevation of Maxine’s spirit. Even though she has departed the physical world, she still has work to do with the others who have preceded us into the ancestral realm. Maxine and all our ancestors are ever-present and, if we occasionally let “peace be still”, they may visit us in a dream or an inspirational thought. I know this to be true because of the relationship I maintain with my mother, father, and other ancestors.
    May 24th is a date already etched in my mind. On that date in 1994, my son, Cheikh, was born. This connection forces me to think about the constancy and continuity of the “circle of life”. I have come to view transition as a process similar to a butterfly emerging from its cocoon as an entity entirely different from the caterpillar it was before. I can assure you that where Maxine is now she has no COPD. May God bless Maxine and keep her spirit in His embrace.

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