Joyce Ann Smith Cecil, age 75 of Louisville, KY passed away October 12, 2021. She is preceded in death by her beloved mother Ruth Smith and father Harold Smith as well as her brother Tim Smith. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, John; her daughter Jennifer; two sister’s, Becky Smith [Janine, Dan and Katie] and Carol Smith; her great aunt Betty Bruce and family; numerous sisters and brothers in laws along with nieces and nephews; and the many close friends she accumulated throughout her life.
Joyce was a graduate of Durrett High school in Louisville Kentucky where she was a Durrett deb. She received her undergraduate degree in education from the University of Louisville where she was a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority. She went on to earn her master’s degree and worked towards her doctorate in education. She never stopped learning and trying to better herself to help those around her.
Although, not particularly athletic herself, she was a dedicated softball mom to her daughter and many of her teammates. This included trudging to the softball field on hot days, rainy days, snowy days and in between to watch and cheer on her daughter. It also included driving non-stop to countless out of town tournaments and practices. This is how she spent her summers off from teaching, teaching in other ways, by unconditional love, kindness and commitment to others.
Joyce was a gifted educator who spent her career focused on early childhood literacy. She was an elementary school teacher for 27 years. She has received many thanks from former students over the years which is a testament to her dedication and devotion to doing what she loved. She was instrumental in bringing Reading Recovery to Jefferson County Public School system. She was a committed and cherished teacher leader too many of her peers who then went on to continue what she started by teaching others. This program is still active and in place in the school system today. After she retired from teaching she went on to start her own literacy consultant business.
She was active in Jefferson County retired teachers association where she served on a variety of committees and facilitated the monthly remembrance for passed teachers. Joyce held numerous leadership positions in the educational sorority Delta Kappa Gamma and was a faithful volunteer at Saint Vincent DePaul homeless shelters.
Joyce enjoyed spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, volunteering and caring for Max the family maltese. She also enjoyed cooking, as well as multiple lunch clubs with friends and fun dinners trying new things with her daughter.
The family would like to express our thanks and gratitude to the dedicated nurses, caregivers and staff at Anthology Senior Living. We would also like to thank Hosparus Louisville for their support during this difficult time.
We invite friends and family of Joyce to Newcomer Funeral Home at 235 Juneau Dr. for visitation on October 19th from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm with a time to share remembrances at 7:00 pm. Burial will be held at Cave Hill Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St Vincent DePaul Louisville or to Home of the Innocents.
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