Joyce Claiborne

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2021

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Arrangements have been made for the late Joyce Marie Johnson Claiborne. The funeral service will be held Saturday, July 24, at 10 a.m. at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, located at 63428 Jones Creek Road in Angie. The Rev. Dr. Linza Rae Cotton is pastor. Cook Richmond and Sons Funeral Home, located at 638 Columbia St. in Bogalusa, is in charge of arrangements. Immediate family only. COVID-19 masks and social distancing required.

Joyce Marie Johnson Claiborne was born Dec. 3, 1945, to Henry and Rebecca Forbes Johnson in Angie. She was born the seventh of eight children. The Lord called Joyce home on July 13, 2021, at the age of 75 years, seven months, and 10 days.

Sis. Joyce was a proud graduate with the Class of 1968 at Wesley Ray High School in Angie. During Joyce’s high school years, she was active in many capacities.

At the tender age of 6, Joyce lost her mother. She was taken in and raised by Joseph and Elizabeth Morris Family in Varnado. They became Daddy Joe and Momma Lizzie. She lived with the Morris Family until she got grown and married.

Sis. Joyce confessed Christ at an early age and joined New Zion Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. A.L. Owens for 41 years. During her youth, she sang in the choir, attended Sunday Church School, Junior Mission, Baptist Training Union, served on the usher board and participated in the Second Springhill District Association annually. She was a faithful servant of the Lord.

Through the course of her life, she used her gift of service in various ways. If the church doors were open and she was able to attend, she would be in the Lord’s House on her post ready and willing to be of service. As an adult she worked tirelessly under the leadership of her pastor of the last 29 years, Rev. Dr. Linza Rae Cotton. She was active member serving faithfully on the Usher Board, Assistant Adult Women’s Church School Teacher, Senior Women’s Mission Auxiliary President, Chairperson of the Comfort Ministry (Repast Committee), a regular participant of the Outreach Ministry, and served in any and every way she could to assist in the growth of her church family. Joyce Claiborne loved her church family and she loved her pastor. Sister Joyce showed her love just as often as she attested to it verbally. She was a bouquet of beauty in the New Zion Church family until her health failed. Every opportunity Sis. Joyce got to participate in the church conference call worship service, she praised and thanked God for all He had done and was doing for her. She kept the faith and believed her healing would come, and it did just the other day.

Joyce married Boatswain Chief McArthur Claiborne in 1966 and they were parents to three children. Upon the death of her husband, she moved her family back to the Varnado-Angie communities where she was reared, to raise her children.

She has served her community for several years. She retired from Washington Correctional Institute, now known as the B.B. “Sixty” Rayburn Correctional Institute, after 23 years of service as a Tower Guard, Canteen Guard, and retired from the mailroom. She worked six months as Washington Parish Sheriff Deputy.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and a loving friend who will forever be remembered for her smile, that laugh, and her warm and friendly and generous spirit. Not only was she kind and greeted everyone with a smile, she was also a devoted Christian student always studying the word of God. She was a people person and she enjoyed her family. Sis Joyce loved all her children and grands but she and her oldest grand, Devionne had a very special bond. She would take off and travel to Texas at the drop of the hat to be with her great-grands and stay gone for months at a time. Those great-grands gave her a glow that was unexplainable. What family member could have gotten Sis. Joyce to join the TikTok Nation other than Devionne and her boys? They got her to participate and she enjoyed every minute of it and all of her friends and family who got to see it enjoyed it too!

Not many months after returning from a stay in Texas with her great-grandsons, Sis. Joyce gave her nieces a helping hand during the COVID pandemic in caring for her sister Gloria who became very ill. Unfortunately, Sis. Joyce also got sick and was stricken with COVID and was admitted in the same hospital as her sister on Aug. 26, 2020, and since that date Sis. Joyce suffered and struggled. She received healthcare from Louisiana to Houston, Texas, getting rehab and hospital treatment back and forth. God blessed her to get back to the place she loved and called home to take her final rest.

Sis. Claiborne was preceded in death by her husband, McArthur Claiborne; her son, Noel Claiborne; her parents, Henry and Rebecca Forbes Johnson; her maternal grandmother, Martha Forbes; her godparents, Joseph Morris and Elizabeth Morris; her sisters, Gloria Johnson Spikes Brown, Ernestine Johnson, Bessie Morris and Margaret Hemphill; and her brother, Ernest Johnson.

To cherish her memory: she leaves her three children, Walter André Smith of Angie, Kenneth (Angie) Claiborne of Houston, Texas, and Joycelyn (Nolan) Kirton of Uniontown, Pa.; a step-daughter, Rose Gladen of Portland, Ore.; 13 grandchildren, Kela Jones, Kimberly (Lee) Jackson, Larry Jones, LeKenya (Kenderic) Porter, Kenneth (Tamara) Claiborne Jr., Keneshia (Dustin) Sumrall, Devionne (Janerio) Douglas, Devon Cotton Jr., Laporcha Foster, DeVante Claiborne, Kenneth Claiborne, III, Donté Carter, and Chinieca Claiborne; a brother, Hosea C. Johnson of Angie; a sister, Ruby Nell (Conrad) Weary of Bogalusa; 25 great-grandchildren; bonus siblings, Clorinda (Kenneth) Roberts and George Quinn; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and her loving 1968 high school classmates and friends that will miss her dearly.