Joyce Lorraine Stokes Rather was born on February 4, 1933, to the late Samuel T Stokes and the late Marguerite P. Harris Stokes, of Chester, PA. She was the second born of 15 children. She received her heavenly wings on January 12, 2023 in Boston, Ma. She was surrounded by family. Joyce was supposed to be named Martha it was a tradition to name the first daughter after her mother’s mother but her parents went against the tradition and named her Joyce, in Latin meaning Joyous, but everyone called her Joycie or Joycey.
When she was in the fifth grade she won many awards, such a bright little girl, it would be a surprise if she didn’t, she was in many plays and performances. She was very curious and being nosey she told her siblings she was going to the bathroom, but she peaked in the room where her mom was giving birth to her sister Sandra, and she also was sitting next to her dad being curious again Joyce again watched her mom about to deliver again this time it was the twins. Barbara and Patricia. Joyce went to Chester High where she completed 10 grade and on to grade 11. She was two years shy of her 18th birthday, but at 16 she was ready for the next phase of her life even though her parents where legally responsible for her., she couldn’t drink, smoke or get a driver’s license (she didn’t do any of the three) but vote (yes).
She meets her future spouse in 1949, his name was Horace Leo Rather they called him (Shony). He came up from Crewe Virginia, they fell in love and dated for a year. February 4, 1950, Joyce L. Stokes and Horace Leo Shony Rather were United in holy matrimony, another significance of that Saturday it was her 17 birthday at her parents’ house who had gave her consent and she lived there for 5 years.
She had two stillborn children she was a fighter, in 1952 she was blessed with her first daughter Tamara and following a year later in 1953 she had her second daughter Deborah she was 20 years old, but that summer of 1953 she decided to move to Boston, Ma. Coming to Boston wasn’t so easy her parents and siblings was so upset when she left, but she had 8 more children God had blessed her with. She found a church home, Resurrection Lutheran church, she devoted her time to her church, she was a Sunday school teacher, usher and help with alter guild , she was in a couple of plays at the church with her daughter Deborah, the Amen Corner and Gods Trombones, plus a fashion show wearing hats, that was her passion her hats, she went to night school and got her Ged, she also went to Bunker Hill Community College and Wheelock College where she got her degree to become a teacher, she worked at Orchard Park day care center after she left there she went to work at Walnut Park Day care center she was a teacher for 15 years . Then one day she came home said I’m leaving the little children and going to work with the big kids (umm).
She went on to work at Berklee School of music for 3 years, she left there and went on to work at M.I.T where she retired in 1995. Joyce was well known for her handwriting, she had the best handwriting in the world, she could draw, put a bulletin board together in a minute, she was always being asked if she could do the posters as well, she was blessed with so many gifts and talents. She cooked like she was a chef in a restaurant, them fried potatoes with onions was the bomb, she loved doing puzzles, watching games shows, westerns let’s not forget the soap operas (Debbie said she would come home from school and ask what you are watching we couldn’t say anything all we remember is (Days of Our Lives, The Guiding Light, All my Children, Bold and the Beautiful, Young and the Restless, General Hospital, she loved playing cards, scrabble any board games, going to bingo and the casino . But most of all she loved her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
Joyce was preceded in death by her husband Horace Leo ‘Shony’ Rather, whom they celebrated 51 years together, five daughters. Tamara Brooks, Brenda Rather, Sabrina Rather, Pamela Rather, Patricia Rather, two granddaughters Lakeisha Brooks, Sabrina Rather (little). Her parents, two sisters Lyndell Stokes and Valora Mills, four brothers, Norman, Theodore, Leonard, Darryl Stokes.
She leaves to cherish her memory 3 daughters Deborah Mosley (Tyrone) of Boston, Ma. Donna Rather of Boston Ma, Teena Clayton (LC) of Boston Ma, two sons Bruce Rather (Pauline) of Boston Ma, Shawn Rather (Irene) of Lawrence Ma. Stepson Michael Farley Rather of Boston, Ma, Son in law Willie James Brooks of Boston Ma, Sisters Gloria Allen of Chester, Pa, Janice Alexander (Rahn) of Chester, Pa, Sandra Porter (Ron) of Grafton Ma, Barbara Stokes Hammond of Chester Pa, Patricia Cooper of Brookhaven Pa and Sheila Joyner of Wilmington, De. Brother’s Lamont Stokes (Cynthia) of Chester, Pa, Derek Stokes (Ruth) of Hampton Virginia. One sister-in-law Roberta Stokes of Chester Pa.
29 grandchildren Lloyd, Rashaun, Anthony, Twan, Tyana, Shayne, Tremaine, Tamika, Shamica, Shawn, Keon, Tyrell, Tyreik, Joey, Tamera, Tanisha, Shaquana, Joyce, Aaliyah, Crystal, Selena, Wakila, Lisa, Bianca, Melissa, Yolanda, 38 great grandchildren, 5 great-great grandchildren. A host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, great-great nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Sorrowfully Submitted The Family