ALBANY -- Mrs. Joyce Menefee McKibbins, 67, of Albany died on September 9, 2011 at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on September 17, 2011 at Oakridge Baptist Church with Rev. Richard Pogue officiating. Interment will be at Floral Memory Garden Cemetery.

Joyce Elaine Menefee-McKibbins was born in Birmingham, AL on February 12, 1944. She was the second child of the late Rev. Dr. Eugene J. Menefee and Mrs. Ethel L. Bradford Menefee. When she was 2 years old the family moved to Waycross, GA where she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age at Greater St. Paul Baptist Church under the pastorage of her father.

She joined the Jr. Usher board, sang in the Jr. Choir, participated in the Jr. Mission programs (Sunshine Band, Jr. Red Circle, Sr. Red Circle), BTU, and all of those activities that children of Baptist preachers were expected to do in church. She loved attending Associations, State Conventions, National Baptist Congress, and National Baptist Conventions. She became the musician for the "Voices of Victory", a teenage girl's gospel singing group that included her sister and four of their teenage friends. She and her sister rotated playing piano and organ with their mother for one of the choirs at Greater St. Paul Baptist Church.

She was a 1962 graduate of Center High School, Waycross, GA; attended Bennett College in Greensboro, NC; and received her Bachelor's degree in Clothing & Textiles, with a minor in Art in 1967 from Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN.

She began her 41 year teaching career as a second grade teacher in Blackshear, GA in 1968 and in succeeding years taught in Stockbridge, GA and Marietta, GA. In Atlanta, GA she made her most significant transition as a kindergarten teacher at Gideon Elementary School where she loved and nurtured young minds for 36 years until her retirement in May of 2009. She was a positive influence in the lives of the many young children who studied in her classroom, often providing clothing and school supplies for some of her students.

She was also an accomplished seamstress, fashion designer, artist, musician, and writer. She designed and sewed wedding dresses, men and women's suits and dresses, choir robes, ministers' robes, covered shoes with fabrics to match her clothing designs, and was known for her flair and love of color and decorative outfits where everything had to match. She served as pianist or organist for several church choirs in the state of Georgia. She wrote many sermons for ministers, and special occasion addresses and speeches for family, friends, and co-workers. While living in Atlanta she was affiliated with and was the musician for several churches.

On May 12, 1991 she married Bobby Rayford McKibbins who preceded her in death in January 2011. With this marriage she became a stepmother and step-grandmother.

Shortly after her retirement she became ill and moved from Atlanta to Albany where her brother and sister-in-law became her loving caregivers in their home. At the time of her passing she was a member of Oakridge Baptist Church, Albany.

She leaves to cherish the memories of her well-lived life her sister Merilyn Faye (Robert Rochell) Freeman of Jackson, TN and her brother E. Jerome (Willa) Menefee of Albany, GA; two aunts, Mattie Menefee Sams of Sanford, FL and Viola "Vickie" Campbell Menefee of Sanford, FL; two step-daughters, four step-grandchildren, three sisters-in-law, three brothers-in-law; her special friends Ms. Glenda Beale and Ms. Marilyn Sheffield both of Atlanta; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Meadows Funeral Home

Albany 229/439-2262