Ms. Shirley Joyce Wallace, 78, of Barbourville, passed away Tuesday morning, December 20, 2022 at the Barbourville ARH Hospital with her beloved sisters, Peggy and Mayme, at her bedside.  She was the cherished daughter of the late Chester and Katherine White Wallace born on January 31, 1944 in Barbourville.

Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of eighteen months, her parents refused to allow this diagnosis to define her or limit the possibilities for her future.   Desperate to find a cure, they sought expert medical treatment which was very scarce in the area at the time.  However, their greatest resource turned out to be her physician, the late Dr. T. R. Davies.  While guiding them through the reality of such a diagnosis, he also gave them hope and encouragement.  Family and friends were also a great source of support not only during the early years but throughout, Shirley Joyce’s life.  She attended Rosenwald Elementary School from kindergarten thru 6th grade and was enrolled in the Barbourville Independent School System along with the other children in the community in the 1955-56 school year.  Shirley excelled in reading and spelling. The faculty, staff and her classmates at both schools were every supportive and protective of her, but when it became evident that her health would no longer permit her to remain in public school, her mother sought the expertise of a retired teacher in her community Mrs. Carrie J. Hurst to continue Shirley Joyce’s education. However, her greatest teacher and most constant companion was her mother, Katherine, who taught her everything from how to make cornbread to how to embroider pillowcases. Most of all she taught her independence and gave her self-confidence.   While she and her parents faced many hurdles throughout her life, through much prayer, their dream of a long, productive life for Shirley was certainly realized.  In the years since their death, her sisters of whom she was so proud and loved so dearly, made sure that she lived out the dream that her parents had for her so many years ago.

Shirley Joyce was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church, Church Street, where she attended Sunday School, Bible study and prayer meeting when her health permitted. When she could not attend, she enjoyed participating in online services.  She looked forward to the first Sunday of each month when we observed the Sacrament of Communion.  It was a special time for her.  She also looked forward to visits from her pastor and others who came to pray with her.  She also faithfully read her Bible as well as three daily devotionals: The Upper Room, Our Daily Bread, The Power of Prayer and her Sunday School lesson.  Shirley Joyce was a faithful tither and prayer warrior.  She prayed daily for family, friends and herself.  If she was unsure about something, she prayed about it.  In earlier years, she taught the Primary Boys Sunday School Class.  She was also a charter member of the Barbourville Women of Vision Club.  She was known to be meticulous about her dress and appearance.  She was an avid reader enjoying two daily and one weekly newspaper, her favorite magazines, Good Housekeeping, People and various catalogs.  The Price is Right, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune were some of her favorite game shows and she enjoyed watching General Hospital.  She loved Dolly Parton, working puzzles, shopping, eating out and feeding and watching the birds. She most loved and looked forward to her daily telephone calls with family and friends and visits from them.

Shirley Joyce loved her family and friends unconditionally and that love was returned tenfold.  From an infant on she was showered with countless gifts and acts of love.  We will all remember and cherish every moment we spent with her.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by grandparents, Ed and Mayme White, Lena Wallace and Ben F. and Loretta Brown; several aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, cousins and friends.

Survivors include two loving sisters, Mayme Wallace and Peggy Wallace both of Barbourville; an aunt, Joan Thompson of Old Town, ME; uncles, Ed White and wife, Deloris, of Lorain, OH and Ernest Thompson of Murrieta, CA; beloved cousins, Tonya Buckley and husband, Tony, of Louisville, Jacqueline Pillay and husband, Lloyd, and son, Donovan, of Barbourville, Douglas Allen Jones Jr. and Betty Jones of Detroit, MI; her best friend, Pauline Hooker and family; a host of cousins; her church family; among other loved ones and dear friends.

Her funeral service will be conducted in the chapel of the Knox Funeral Home Thursday, December 29 at 3 P.M. with Rev. Craig “Pete” Clark and Rev. Mark Clark officiating.  She will be laid to rest in the Rosenwald Cemetery.

Casket bearers will be her cousins.  Honorary bearers will be Jack Brown, Thomas Buchanan, Clay Butler, Jerrad Butler, Dr. Logan Davies, Sam Davies, Samuel Davies, Christopher Girdner, Frankie Hooker, Tommy Hooker, C. Pittman, James K. White, her First Baptist Church family and the members of St. Gregory Catholic Church.

Friends may call at the funeral home Thursday after 12 Noon until the funeral hour.

While flowers are welcome, gifts to the Pew Fund at First Baptist Church, 308 Church Street, Barbourville, KY 40906 in her memory are also welcome.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Knox Funeral Home.

Send a condolence to the family of SHIRLEY JOYCE WALLACE.

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