Peggy “Joyce” Bryant, was born on January 18, 1936, in Skiatook, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of the late Robert “Tade” Smith & Elsie Creech-Smith. During childhood, she attended Lone Jack, Pawnee, & Blackburn Public Schools.
In 1950, while attending the 1st Assembly of God Church in Blackburn, Oklahoma, Joyce met the love of her life. Two short years later, at the age of 15 ½ years old, she married Walter Leroy Bryant, on June 6, 1952. After marriage Joyce began attending Ralston Public Schools. However, before her graduation, she chose to join her husband on the road, as he traveled & worked on the oilrigs for Gulf.
Joyce was the mother of two beautiful daughters, Peggy Lee Bryant & Vickie Rae Speece. Both of whom she was extremely proud of for becoming R.N.’s & serving in the medical field for over 20 years.
The phrase, “Home is where the heart is,” couldn’t be truer when it came to Joyce, for her heart was her family & she loved to be home with them. When it came to trade, she was a genuine homemaker & nothing pleased her more than caring for those she loved. However, in 1964 she decided to attend Stillwater Beauty Collage with her sister, Betty, where both of them received their Beautician’s license. Joyce then worked as a beautician, but after a short while, her heart called her back to the home.
Joyce was raised in church & was saved at an early age. Anyone who knew her, knew she loved Jesus more than anything. She was always faithful to attend service, tithe, pray & read the Word of God. In fact, she ALWAYS kept her Bible next to her, wherever she was. Joyce was a spirit filled member of the Assemblies of God church in Pawnee, where she attended until her health prohibited it.
Joyce loved to fish, as well as hunt & was a top marksman when it came to shooting. She also had a great compassion for animals & was always raising orphaned squirrels, rabbits & deer. She enjoyed gardening & life on the farm, where she cared for their dogs, cows, horses & chickens. Her favorite part of farm life was delivering baby pigs & out of all the farm animals, she loved her milk goats the most.
Joyce also loved to travel, crochet blankets & make needlepoint pictures. She didn’t go anywhere without her bag of yarn & before she was unable to crochet, she had made each of her grandkids, their own blanket. Joyce loved her family & was proud of each of them, but her grandkids was her world. She always enjoyed taking them on vacation & doing special things for them, like maintaining her pool each summer. Joyce also loved to give back to the community & spent years fostering children for DHS. At times, there were as many as 4-5 children living with her at the same time.
In 1985, her husband became the Sheriff of Pawnee County & began the Pawnee County Reserve Unit. Joyce was one of the first to become a Reserve Officer & gain certification & receive a badge. For the next 14 years of her husband’s term, she served beside him & helped transport prisoners. She enjoyed serving her community & was proud to be a Pawnee County Reserve Officer.
Joyce was deeply loved by many. Her life on this earth, brought joy & light to those around her. She was a beautiful godly woman who had an influence, that will forever remain in the lives of all those who knew her. She quietly departed this life on Monday, July 8, 2019 at Grace Living Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. She was preceded in death by her Father, Robert “Tade” Smith, her mother, Elsie Creech-Smith, a brother, Bobby Joe Smith & another brother, Kenneth Rae Smith.
Today we gather, not to mourn her passing, but to celebrate her life & legacy of love. She will forever be cherished in the lives of her two children: Peggy Lee Bryant & Vickie Rae Speece…Her five grandchildren: Angie Brumley, Rachel Buchanan, Chase Speece, Rebecca Lewis & Jeremiah Whitteberry…Her five great grandchildren: Zac Buchanan, Alayah Lewis, DonTaelynn Lewis, Dejuaquan Lewis & Shaklya Lewis, all of Pawnee, Oklahoma, her sister, Betty Bryant of Blackburn, Oklahoma, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins & dear friends.