Joy Lee Lawson from Oroville, Washington, was born on November 1, 1933, in Cash, Arkansas and died January 26, 2019.
She was the second of three children to Weldon Jackson Wooten and Ressie Alma Wooten. Her father was a cotton farmer and a Church of Christ preacher. Her mother cared for the children, the garden, and also helped in the cotton fields. She learned the value of hard work, and to belief in Jesus Christ from both of them.
Joy married young and gave birth to two children, Beverly and Jimmy. In 1952, Joy became a single mother of two small children and moved to Oroville, Wash. to be close to her parents and start a new chapter in her life. She worked as a waitress in several cafés in town, made a modest living and a home for her little family in the Legion housing project.
In 1955, she met John Lee Lawson. He also had two children, Mike, and Greg. They married on Jan. 11, 1957, and the two small families blended to make a family of six followed a few years later by the birth of another daughter, Kally.
John later worked for Lester Roberts, Orville Watson and Tom Dull managing their orchards. Joy was a housewife, worked at the Cascade Market and packed apples for various apple warehouses in the area. Both of them put their work ethic to the test. Joy went back to school in 1975, and received her GED. Later, she took an accounting and bookkeeping class, followed by classes in computers. Her re-involvement in education allowed her to be employed in the accounting department at Gold Digger, one of the first warehouses she had packed apples in. She remained there until her retirement at 62-years-old. Retirement just did not fit well with someone used to working, so she took on the job of secretary/treasurer of the Oroville Cemetery District. She continued that job until 2014.
There is not much Joy could not do once she set her mind to it. She worked hard while raising five children and still found the time to sew clothes for herself and her children, wrote and self-published a book, learned to water ski, snow ski and play the guitar. She loved her children, stayed faithful to and loved her husband. She had strong beliefs and would debate them for hours. Her faith in God was never up for debate. We are all richer for having her in our lives.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, Miles Wooten; sister, Janice Stidman; step-sons, Michael Lawson and Gregory Lawson; granddaughters, Christie Clay and Amy Davis; great grandson, Leelynd Lawson; all of her brother-in-laws and all of her sister-in-laws. Her husband, John Lawson, preceded her in death by two months to the day. Joy was the last person in her family’s generation.
She is survived by her daughter; Beverly Patrick and husband Bob, of Yakima, Wash. one son, Jimmy Davis and wife Linda, of Yakima; daughter, Kally Berlinger and husband Aby, of Oroville; 24 grandchildren, 51 great grandchildren, two great great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held at the Oroville Free Methodist church at 1 o’clock on February 23, 2019.
The family would like to thank all of the caregivers and volunteers who assisted in her care.