Joyce Fraser passed away Sunday, July 11, 2021.
Joyce loved people. She leaves behind a large circle of family and friends who will miss her terribly. Joyce was born in Wahoo, Florida on March 3, 1929. Her father, James Albert Bennett, died when she was just 18 months old. Joyce had seven siblings. Ailene, R.J. and Adrian passed away as children, but her sisters Eunice (Hamilton) and Kathrine (Lovett), and brother Emery, lived long productive lives in the Bushnell area. Joyce and her mother, Lula Agnes (Knight) Bennett, moved to Belleview, Florida when Joyce was 11 years old, and then later to Ocala. In 1945, Joyce’s best friend Beverley Berry invited Joyce to a party welcoming Arnold Fraser, Beverley’s cousin, home from his service in WWII. It truly was love at first sight. Arnold asked Joyce for a date, and he proposed on that very first date. Joyce didn’t accept, but she also didn’t say no. A few months later they were married. They kept the marriage a well-guarded secret while Joyce finished high school. She was chosen Miss Ocala High her senior year.
For most of their lives, Arnold and Joyce worked together at Berry and Fraser Bookkeeping Service. Their clients came in to have accounting work done, but also to talk and visit with Joyce and Arnold. Many of those clients were also close friends, and Joyce took care of a number of them in more ways than bookkeeping. She even took some clients/friends to doctors’ appointments in towns as far away as New Port Richey and Gainesville. She loved to hear about people’s lives and had a wonderful gift of listening and showing just how much she cared. She made friends everywhere she went. She and Arnold were founding and long-time members of Druid Hills United Methodist Church in Ocala.
Joyce and Arnold moved to Atlanta in 2006, and Arnold passed away later that same year. Joyce fully enjoyed her life in Atlanta, though. Until she was almost 90, she enjoyed exercising at the Decatur YMCA and dancing with a group of women at Clairmont Presbyterian Church. She took regular sightseeing trips all around Georgia with a group of Senior Explorers. She supported the High Museum, Fernbank Museum, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. She loved the Atlanta Braves. She enjoyed shopping at estate sales and finding bargains of any sort. She loved to travel. In her eighties she took her first trip to Europe and her first cruise. She took a trip to see the coastal redwoods when she was 89.
Joyce also loved animals. From her first dog, Brownie, (who followed her to school) to her last dog, Wolfie, (who was with her when she passed away) dogs and cats and other critters shared her life and home. Telling stories about past and present animal companions was a ritual at every family gathering.
Joyce is survived by her four children, Steve Fraser, Sam Fraser (Donna), Don Fraser and Elizabeth Fraser-May (Randy); six grandchildren, Donald Fraser (Nick), Gerald Fraser, Milana May, Karina May, Scott Sormani and Michael Fraser; as well as many, many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Memorial services will be held in Atlanta and Bushnell, Florida. The Atlanta service will be held at 3 pm on Friday, July 16th at A.S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home. The Florida service will be held at 11 am at Indian Hill Baptist Church in Bushnell on Monday, July 19. Visitation at Indian Hill will be from 10–11am. There will also be a graveside gathering at 2 pm at Greenwood Cemetery in Ocala.