Joyce Hinson Williams passed away on Sept. 23, 2018, at home in Billings. She was 88.
Joyce was born on Dec. 26, 1929, in Chattahoochee, Florida, to Lillie and Ted Hinson. The third of four children, she attended Florida State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in education. She also met Langdon Gabeler Williams, who caught her eye at the student union; he was one of only a handful of men attending what had previously been the Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee, which became co-ed after World War II in order to accommodate large numbers of veterans seeking university education under the GI Bill. Langdon and Joyce were married in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, on Aug. 19, 1950, and moved almost immediately to Evansville, Indiana, where Langdon began his first job in the oil industry and Joyce taught first grade.
Sons Michael, Ted and David were all born in Evansville, and shortly after David was born, Langdon and Joyce seized the opportunity to move to Billings, where the oil business was booming. In a new town, far from her native Florida, Joyce raised her three boys and created a community for herself in the West focused on her family, her friends, bridge, golf, sewing, First United Methodist Church, book club, Friday night dinners with friends at George Henry’s and, of course, gardening. Every family member and friend has more than one memory of Joyce in her garden tending her sunflowers, vegetables or planters.
After the boys grew up, Joyce and Langdon enjoyed several months on the Hawaiian island of Maui every winter for more than 30 years, reconnecting with one another and enjoying an ever-growing circle of friends on the island. When grandchildren Carolyn and Hank entered the picture, Gamma delighted in spoiling them with back to school shopping adventures, well-researched Christmas presents, Easter/birthday/Valentine’s Day cards and ample opportunities to spend time together, whether it be in Glacier National Park or Alaska, on Maui or in her beautiful sun room on Joan Lane in Billings.
Joyce, ever the determined yet polite lady, always donned the most carefully coordinated outfit, perfect manicure, impeccable grammar and smart sense of humor. She was a loyal, generous and steadfast friend.
Joyce was preceded in death by her husband and her siblings, Mercer Hinson, Kathleen Mawhinney and Jean Stephens. She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law Michael (Lena), Ted (Kate) and David (Gina); and grandchildren Carolyn and Hank. Joyce felt safe and expertly cared for in her final days thanks to the tireless efforts of David and Gina, both nurses, and Michael, who attended to her both at Billings Clinic and at home.
Memorial gifts may be made to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation (2050 Overland Ave., Billings 59102), RiverStone Health Foundation (P.O. Box 1562, Billings 59103), the Billings Food Bank (2112 Fourth Ave. N., Billings 59101), or the charitable organization of one’s choice.