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Dear Brother Branscome,--I will in my weak way try to write a few lines in remembrance of Elder Joseph J. Joyce.


Dear brother Joyce was a son of Alexander and Mary Joyce and was born in Henry County, Virginia, September 26th, 1852, and died February 16, 1908 He was married to Sarah E. Vernon, November 3, 1870 and by which union five sons and eight daughters were born. One son and three daughters preceded him to the grave.


He joined the Primitive Baptist church at Buffalo by experience Saturday before the first Sunday in November. 1879, and was baptized the next day by Elder Robert Hill. He began to preach in a short time after his baptism. He was a great favorite with the brethren and friends; and his preaching was much appreciated by all who knew him. He did not travel far from home, but made many sacrifices for his bereaved family and friends.


He was only sick about two weeks with Pneumonia, and suffered a great deal, and bore his sufferings with patience until the end.


I was blest to be with him the last fifteen hours of his life. He preached and prayed about one hour before he died. He said there was only a small cord and when that was severed be would be at rest" and he seemed to be perfectly easy till the end came.


While it seems hard for us to be parted from such a faithful servant of the Lord, yet we should be resigned to the Lord's will. And I will say to his dear wife, children and friends that I truly believe that he now rests from his labors, and the time will not be long that we will have to remain here below; and I commend you to Almighty God who alone can comfort tile broken .heart, and who alone can till the vacancy in our homes and in the churches which he so faithfully served.


This is written by one who dearly loved him.




Sandy Ridge, N. C., June 1. 1908