Joy French Nelson left this Earth on Aug. 14, 2013, to join her father, mother, brothers, and daughter on the streets of gold with our Heavenly Father. Her earthly body finally lost it’s long battle with cancer. However, her soul and spirit are celebrating a wonderful family reunion in Heaven today!
Joy was born on March 30, 1930, in Coke, Texas, to Leonard and Viola French. She was the second of their four children together. She was also blessed with many stepbrothers and stepsisters. She graduated from Winnsboro High School in 1950 and attended Droughon’s Business College in Dallas from 1950 to 1951. She moved to Ft. Worth where she began her career as a keypunch operator for Williamson & Dickies Manufacturing Company. While in Ft. Worth, she met John Cecil Nelson Sr. of Milan, Ga., who was serving in the military as an officer stationed at Carswell U.S. Air Force Base. They were married in October 1952. John received his honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1954. They moved to Macon, Ga., where Joy worked as a keypunch operator at the Air Force Base located in Warner Robins, Ga. In 1956, they moved to Atlanta where she was employed by Texas Gas & Oil Company. Her first child, John (Cecil), was born in 1957. Later, she was blessed with three more children, Joyce, Janecia, and Ricky. Joy moved to Greenville in 1962 and started a 28-year career with L-3 (formerly LTV Aerospace and E-Systems). Her keypunch operator days ended when she retired in 1990.
Joy was preceded in death by her father, Leonard; mother Viola; stepfather George Franklin Short; her brothers, Lee Odis French of Sulphur Springs and LeVohn French of Coke; her daughter, Janecia Nelson Burch of Greenville; and her ex-husband, John Cecil Nelson Sr. of the Phillipines.
She is survived by her son, John Cecil Nelson Jr. of Greenville; daughter and son-in-law Joyce and J.P. Perez of Celeste; son and daughter-in-law Richard Lynn (Ricky) and Peggy Nelson of Lone Oak; sister Kathy Lynn French of Winnsboro; four granddaughters, Aleigha Perez Campos, Alyssa Perez Lindsey and Alora Perez, all of Greenville, and Emily Nelson of Lone Oak; three grandsons, David Perez of Dallas, Micho Campos of Greenville, and Jon McDaniel of Lone Oak; two great-grandsons, Tony Campos and Cameron Luke Campos of Greenville; and many nieces, nephews, and longtime friends.
Joy lived long enough to see her second great-grandson born last Friday. The joy she must have felt to hold little Cameron Luke in her arms for the first time! Jesus is now holding our dear sweet Joy in His arms for the first time!
Joy has been a faithful member of Family Fellowship Church (formerly Lamar Baptist Church) since 1965. Even though she will be greatly missed by her many friends and family, there is much comfort knowing she is in a better place with her Jesus where there is no more sorrow or pain. As the old hymn says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere, beyond the blue.” Another piece of our family treasure is up there now, and we all look forward to joining Joy someday soon in that ultimate family reunion.
Family visitation is Saturday from 6 to 8 pm at Coker-Mathews Funeral Home located at 5100 Interstate 30 Service Road in Greenville.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at the funeral home. Burial will be at Memoryland Memorial Park in Greenville following her service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Gideons International Ministry in memory of Joy French Nelson. All donations will be used to purchase Bibles for the distribution to children in Hunt County and around the world. Monetary donations should be mailed to: The Gideons International; P.O. Box 8976; Greenville, TX 75404 or made online at www.gideons.org.
Online condolences may be made at www.cokermathews.com and www.heraldbanner.com.