Joyce Wessells


With profound sadness, the family would like to announce the passing of Mrs. Joyce Wessells, their loving and devoted grandmother, mother, and friend to all whose lives she touched, on Dec. 30, 2022. She left peacefully at her home in Chincoteague. She was in her 88th year.
Born to Margaret Hancock Layton and Wilford Layton, Joyce was originally a boardwalk baby. She shared memories of living in Ocean City, Md., with her brothers.  She is preceded in death by three brothers: Raymond Layton, Wilford Layton Jr., and Stanley Layton. She met the love of her life, Donald Edwin Wessells, and they married Nov. 20, 1954. She would begin a new life and adventure on Chincoteague Island, where they would start their family. She welcomed a daughter into the world in 1955. As her own family bloomed, Joyce nurtured relationships in her community. She was a devoted member of the Union Baptist Church on Chincoteague, teaching Sunday school when her daughter entered the church and remained for 60 years. Joyce was known for organizing the Lottie Moon Christmas in July and participating in Bible study groups. She continued her connection to the community by working at H&H Pharmacy. She was a familiar face and smile at the pharmacy for 60 years.
Joyce was the beloved mother of Deborah “Debbie” and mother-in-law to Jefferson “Jeff” Stevens. She was a proud grandmother of Stephanie, Jeffrey, Donnie, and James. She was a dedicated great-grandmother to Annie, Gene, Jeffrey Jr., Christian, Bronson, Kaelin, Daniel, Destin, Trinity, Jaedin, Kimber, Mikaela, James Robert Jr., and Thomas Jefferson “T.J.” She loved her new title of great-great-grandmother with the addition of baby Easton and anticipated arrival of baby Katherine.
When you joined the family, Joyce immediately was your grandmother, too. Gene, Tiffany, Tomalea, Rebecca “Becky,” and Lauren were added to her quiver as grandchildren-in-law and with open arms, she looked forward to welcoming more when she met Brianna, Phillip, and Destry.
She lived a full life as a wonderful mother, grandmother, and dedicated employee. She loved to cook, read her Bible, do anything and everything for her family, and enjoyed her weekly outings to church and visiting friends.
“Mom Mom Joyce” will be remembered for the legacy of love, faith, and steadfast values she strove to instill in her children and grandchildren. Her warm smile, hugs, and light will be dearly missed. Her loved ones will remember to “always love one another.”

A celebration of Joyce’s life was heldTuesday, Jan. 3, at 2 p.m., at the Union Baptist Church, 6365 Church St., Chincoteague. In lieu of flowers or monetary gifts, please make donations the Union Baptist Church in her memory.
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