Joyce Garrett Dickson
Joyce Garrett Dickson
July 6, 1924 - May 16, 2017
Life of Love and Service Lives On
Joyce Avon Garrett Dickson was born
July 6, 1924, in Beaumont, Texas, to parents, Neva Gladys Jones Garrett and
Henry Franklin Garrett. Leon Sherrill “Bottle” Garrett was her older brother
and Thelma Elera Garrett Turner is her younger sister. Having attended South Park Elementary, she
graduated from South Park High School in 1941, where she was a proud member of
the Greenies Drum and Bugle Corps.
She worked her way up to Chief
Operator at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. While there, she met and later married the
love of her life, Leonard Edward Dickson in 1942. Leonard enlisted in the United States Army
Air Corps during World War II taking her to various stateside duty stations
after finishing basic training. They
loved living in Neosho, MO, where she was able to use her skills as a telephone
operator. It was said young corpsmen
would often sit in the waiting room just to see the beautiful young telephone
operator at work! When Leonard was sent
to India for the rest of the war, Joyce returned home to Beaumont to wait for
him. Upon his return they started a
family, welcoming daughters Linda Dickson Cooper and Becky Dickson Mason.
Joyce was an amazing mother,
enjoying the phases of each girl’s growth. Whether it was Blue Birds or Camp
Fire Girls, she participated. She was
always a homeroom mother and tireless PTA worker. She had developed a special relationship with
her Grandma Jones who taught her how to sew and fashion beautiful dresses for
her daughters. As a child Joyce had contracted
diphtheria and facial paralysis, and her beloved grandmother would caress her
face hour upon hour, preventing permanent damage.
Knowing how wonderful the singing
group, Melody Maids, had been for her sister Elera, Joyce always wanted her
girls to be members of the amazing Beaumont group. To make this happen, she would gather with
other Melody Maid Moms, sit on the floor, and trace patterns to sew their long
white satin gowns, as well as other needed costumes. She cooked for endless bake
sales to help earn travel money for the group.
On June 3, 1963, several Churches
of Christ decided to follow the population growth of Beaumont’s west end. The
Dickson family joined sixty members and nineteen children from Westside, South
Park and Central congregations to become charter members of the new Westgate
Church of Christ. Joyce loved the new Christian
family they created at Westgate. They grew their families, their love for each
other, and the love of their community. She especially loved her sisters in the
Ladies Bible Class. Together they served their Lord and their community. The loving Westgate congregation and the
Ladies Bible Class remain a vibrant part of the faith community in Beaumont.
Joyce served on the board of the
Woman’s Club of Beaumont and chaired the Gourmet and Craft Departments. She frequently cooked, served, and cleaned up
after monthly luncheons, as well as having made centerpieces for the tables!
Joyce’s support continued as both of
her daughters became teachers. She made
costumes, magic capes, props, and activities for Linda’s EAGLE Library Program,
and she created a unique motor skills class for students in the school where
Becky taught. Ladies from the Ladies Bible Class at Westgate Church of Christ
faithfully volunteered to put the students through their paces. They also
brought items needed by the students. That quality time with the individual
children was special for everyone.
As her daughters married and had
their own families, Joyce & Leonard retired. Linda and Jack moved to western New York and
Illinois, and “Grammy” and “Granddaddy” began traveling the country to see
their grandkids. Joyce was our dependable Head Baby Nurse. She would arrive
like the cavalry in a snowstorm with huge coats and big boots, sure that we
must not have heat in our apartment! After
having 2 winter births (Kevin and Caroline), she told Linda and Jack --that was
IT-- If they wanted any more children and her help, they better come to Texas.
Even though she loved those big squishy snowflakes and fabulous fir trees, her
services would have to be in warm weather from then on.
Joyce and Leonard became dear
friends with Irene and Charlie Mason. The fact they shared grandchildren (Chad
and Kristin) especially bound them forever.
The Masons’ motorhome became their go-to fun place. Wherever you could
take a motorhome, the Mason-Dickson crew drove there. Over the years, Irene lost her Charlie and
Joyce lost her Leonard. The ladies
remained dear friends and family.
Leonard’s death on November 9, 1999,
from heart disease was the greatest loss of her life. She had seen him through record-breaking
open-heart surgery in Houston by famed surgeon, Dr. Denton Cooley. Their
beautiful years of retirement and fun capped off a beautiful love story. She
grieved deeply, always knowing the Lord had given her the only man she would
ever love. With the amazing strength of other Southeast Texas women of a
certain age, she was the matriarch of her family, ever strong, ever gentle, and
always positive. She was reminded daily that the Lord had blessed her mightily.
Any time her girls left her home, she hugged and kissed them, reminding them to
To “Grammy” her four grandchildren
and four great-grandchildren were the lights of her life, making her laugh and
giving her great hugs!
She left her earthly family in the
early hours of May 16, 2017, to be with her Lord and Savior and to be reunited
with her loved ones who had gone to Heaven before her.
Her loving family includes Elera
Turner (sister); Linda and Jack Cooper; Becky and Chuck Mason; Kevin Cooper;
Caroline Cooper Adair (Wade); Chad Mason (Lauren); and Kristin Mason Lenoir
(Sandy). Her great-grandchildren are
Evie Mason (6); Chase Mason (2 ½); Aiden Lenoir (4); and Piper Lenoir (2).
A gathering of Mrs. Dickson’s
family and friends will be from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 19,
2017, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. Her funeral service
will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Broussard’s, with her
interment to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont.
The family would like to thank the
sweet caregivers from Quality Care Services and Compassion Hospice for the care
Memorial contributions may be made
to Westgate Church of Christ, 6390 Westgate, Beaumont, Texas 77706; or to the
organization of your choice.