Joyce DeBolt Miller, 90, of Bridgewater, passed away on Saturday, August 5, 2023 at Sentara RMH Medical Center.
She was born in Fayette County in western Pennsylvania, on September 14, 1932, to the late Chester and Leota (Corder) DeBolt. She was the oldest of three children. Her sister, Roma Holloway, lives in Bridgewater. Her brother, Gerald, died in 1994.
On August 21, 1955, Joyce married Richard Ralston Miller (1931-2016), causing a bit of pearl-clutching when it was discovered that one layer of their wedding cake was chocolate. She and Richard made their home at Long Glade Farm just south of Bridgewater, where Richard raised sheep and cattle. With her green thumb and love of landscaping, Joyce always kept the place looking beautiful.
Joyce came to the Shenandoah Valley in 1950 to study at Bridgewater College, receiving her B.A. degree in 1954. Joyce taught in the Rockingham County school system for 25 years, teaching elementary and junior high at Bridgewater Elementary, Pleasant Valley Elementary, and John Wayland Intermediate (now Pence Middle).
She was a faithful and active member of the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren and was instrumental in building the new church in 1999.
She enjoyed pursuing family history and spent many months writing an extensive account of the Ralston branch of her husband's family.
She was a lover of life, a nurturer of plants and people, a lifelong sports fan, a skilled quilter, a joyful traveler, and an optimistic realist. She loved her family, her friends and neighbors, and her church. She was happiest outside working in her garden, which she managed to do into her late 80s. She was an outstanding cook and quite possibly the best pie-baker in the county. She was open-hearted and generous and understood deeply the value of community. She was also a bit of a rebel, in the best possible way, and tended to live life on her own terms.
She is survived by son Rod Miller (Candy Hulvey) of Bridgewater; daughter Cheryl Scarvey (husband Dave) of Salisbury, NC; sister, Roma DeBolt Holloway of Bridgewater; and four beloved grandchildren: Spencer Scarvey (husband Francisco Marrero) of Savannah, GA; Quinn Scarvey Rizzo (husband Gary) of Salisbury, NC; Genavieve Day-Miller of Norfolk; and LillyAnne Day-Miller of Bridgewater.
A memorial service will be held at 7:00 PM, on Saturday, August 12, 2023, at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, with the Rev. David Miller officiating. A small gathering for family will be held at 5:00 PM, prior to the service at the church.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.johnsonfs.com. If you would like to make a memorial contribution, Heifer International and Doctors Without Borders are good choices - or select your own favorite charity.
Arrangements are entrusted to Johnson Funeral and Cremation Service in Bridgewater.