Joyce Simon Rials

Published 3:30 pm Friday, April 21, 2023

Joyce Simon Rials, 93, passed away peacefully on April 20, 2023. Born on April 8,1930 in Glancy (Center Point) Mississippi, she was the daughter of the late Sue (Scarbrough) Simon and Luther C Simon.  Visitation will be 1pm-3pm Sunday at Stringer Family Funeral Home in Hazlehurst. Service will be 3pm Sunday at Stringer Family Chapel with burial at Damascus Cemetery.  Stringer Family Funeral Home in Hazlehurst is handling arrangements.

Joyce lived most of her life in Copiah County, graduating from Hazlehurst High School in 1948, and receiving her nursing diploma from the Gilfoy School of Nursing in 1951.

She was employed at Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital from 1952-1993. There she served as floor RN, Surgery Supervisor, and Director of Nursing. She especially enjoyed working in the OB department, where she assisted in many deliveries throughout the later years of her nursing career.

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Joyce was a member of the First Baptist Church of Hazlehurst. There she was a member of the Actioners, the choir, and the Vota Vita ladies class. Each week she looked forward to the Wednesday morning “Sunday School” class taught by Mrs. Judith Brewer. She delighted in the word of God, and soaked in all of the information she could to share with others. During her illness, when she was no longer able to read, her eyes lit up when she listened to online services and David Jeremiah’s podcasts.

Joyce had so many wonderful friends over the years, including Pat King, Sue Marx, and Rachel Goodson- who called each evening to check on her. She loved to travel with Rachel Newman and Faye Coke to her favorite destinations including the Blue Bonnet Trail, Niagara Falls and to the east coast to view the fall foliage. Her love of country music brought many trips to Nashville to attend “Fan Fair, and to see her favorite country artist Ricky Van Shelton.

After attending her grandson Nick’s high school football games, she developed an appreciation of the sport. Football season was highly anticipated at her house each year- both college and NFL. She tried not to miss a game (though occasionally having to take an extra blood pressure pill if the game was a “nail-biter”). Other hobbies Joyce enjoyed were reading, needle point and gardening. She especially loved yellow roses, and always had them blooming in front of her house.

Joyce was blessed to be a grandmother and great-grandmother. Called “Joycie” by the grands, and great grands, she was able to visit with all of them on her recent 93rd birthday. The house was full of laughter and fond memories were enjoyed by all.

Preceding Joyce in death were her parents; brothers, Billy Simon and Jack Simon, a loving son, Keith Rials, and her special pets Peanut and Doodle.

Those left to cherish her memory are her daughter Dana Gunter and husband Ricky, of Wesson, MS., Steve Rials, and wife Dana, also of Wesson, MS; Grandchildren, Heather Gunter, Nick Gunter, Summer Rials, Madison Rials Mahaffey, and Makenzie Rials Leary; Great-Grandchildren, Merrill Gunter, Laurel Gunter, and Rylan Gunter.

Joyce is remembered as a sweet, compassionate and humble soul. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.