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She was beauty personified.
My grandmama, Joyce Martin Staton, 87, of Gainesville, Ga went to be with Jesus on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at her home surrounded by children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Joyce, preceded in death by her parents William Guy Martin and Sylba Smith Martin and siblings Clifford Martin , Johnny Martin and Jenny Sykes, grew up in Gainesville and married the love of her life, Gerald Wayne Staton, Sr. (of Clermont, Ga.), when she was 19 years old. They dated while he was attending the University of Georgia and she was still finishing high school in Gainesville. He knew when he first saw her that he wanted to marry her. They wrote handwritten letters to each other almost every day during their courtship and he didn’t wait long to make her his wife. He often joked that when they married, she didn’t even know how to boil water so he taught her to cook. Together they raised 3 beautiful and kind-hearted children, Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Wayne (Debra) Staton, Jr., Dr. Cheryl Lane Staton, and Lynn Staton (Dr. Daniel Mark) Henson.
Joyce loved to cook and play with her children. She relished in being a stay at home mom, deeply devoted to her family. She loved gardening, exercise classes, and making fresh meals and homemade sourdough bread for her family.
She and Wayne were happily married for 63 years before he passed away in 2012, following a brief illness. Wayne, preceded in death by his parents, Milton Guy Staton and Rubye Cobb Staton and sister Mildred (Ralph) Keith, grew up in Clermont, Ga., just a town away from Joyce. Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Merchant Marines and traveled all over the world during World War II. When he returned from the war, Wayne worked in his father’s used car business, Guy Staton Auto Exchange, in Gainesville. At age 45, he made a career change and became a very respected and successful stock broker with A.G. Edwards and Sons. He retired at the age of 73. Joyce told her family often that every single night of their marriage, before bed, Wayne held her hand and told her he loved her. They enjoyed traveling together, sometimes just the two of them and often with dear friends, exploring many parts of the world. When at home, they loved to share their afternoons and evenings watching the birds from their beautiful sun porch. Wayne and Joyce’s marriage was one of the greatest love stories, crafted and sustained through devotion , forgiveness, laughter , generosity , and the genuine belief that they were better together. They both spoke highly of the other, modeling respect and admiration for each other and leaving all of us the legacy of faithful marriage and family, rooted in and sustained by the love and grace of the Lord.
Together, they cherished their 8 grandchildren: John Caleb (Sara) Henson of Gainesville, GA; Dr. Nathanael Mark (Kristen) Henson of Cusco, Peru; Rebekah Henson (Joab) Rico of Gainesville, GA; William Thomas (Kristin) Henson, Sr. of Yarmouth, Maine; George Stapleton (Lollie) Pilcher of New York, New York; Emily Joyce (Guillermo) Brito of San Francisco, CA; Patrick Landers (Ellen) Staton and Brent Michael (Meagan) Staton, both of Atlanta, GA.
A family favorite memory is that they celebrated each grandchild’s birthday by taking them on a special dinner date. We all cherished that alone time with them and the ways they spent that night, each year, reminding us how proud they were of us and how deeply they cared.
Joyce also enjoyed celebrating the 14 great grandchildren she was able to know and love: Isaiah Joab Rico, Mercy Lynn Rico, Daniel Robert Rico, Mary Rebekah Rico, Abigail Joy Rico, Faith Diasdado, Hunter Rayne Henson, Judah Caleb Henson, Isaac Wayne Henson, Lucas Nathanael Henson, Noah Mark Henson, Silas Roberts Henson, William Thomas Henson, Jr., and Eliana Grace Henson. She enjoyed time with many of them often, laughing through games of Chinese checkers and card games, as she lightheartedly teased them that they couldn’t beat her.
Joyce was full of life and one of the most cheerful and delightful people to know. Many of her family and friends have remarked that they never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She was a loyal and encouraging friend to many. She loved Jesus, knew him as her Savior, and spoke with eagerness about meeting him face to face. She was full of grace, a faithful and loving wife, a caring and compassionate mother, dear friend, a playful and proud grandmama and great grandmama. All our lives are rich with her legacy and we will deeply miss her.
The family is gathering privately to celebrate her life and share memories together.
They have requested that contributions /donations be made in Joyce’s name to:
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.