Joyce Octavia (Gardner) Lakes was born on April 18th 1947 to parents Rena Roy Gardner and Ernest Gardner Sr. in Saint Louis, Missouri at Homer G. Phillips Hospital and returned home to her Lord on June 26th 2020. The second of seven children, Joyce grew up in an environment filled with family and friends. She completed her secondary education at Sumner High School in 1964 (a great source of school spirit and pride for her) and went on to attend courses at Harris-Stowe State College. However, she did not complete her college degree and withdrew from college following the death of her father. At that time, she began what would be a 30-year career at Southwestern Bell. In 1975, she gave birth to her oldest child, Rodney B. Gardner, and later gave birth to her youngest child, Meaghan T. Lakes, in 1983. Joyce cultivated many interests and hobbies including crochet, gardening, dancing, singing, and especially bowling. As a longtime member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church since childhood, Joyce was an avid participant in multiple church groups and activities, most notably serving as president of the usher board for many years. However, more than any activity or hobby, Joyce cultivated relationships. Though beloved by her family, Joyce has scores of friends, schoolmates, coworkers and acquaintances that will miss her caring nature and positive attitude. She was preceded in death her parents and brother, Randy Gardner. Her nurturing attitude will continue to be cherished and remembered by her survivors, children - Rodney (Kristy) and Meaghan, grandchildren - Taylor, Reaghan, Rylee, and RJ (Rodney Jr), siblings – Doris (Joe), Wanda (Sylvester), Ernest, Glenda (John), Russell, and scores of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
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