Joyce Edwards Sands

Joyce Edwards Sands, 95, passed away September 9 under the care of Spanish Oaks Retreat in Savannah, where she was lovingly cared for, and known by all as “Sweet Mama J”. Born and raised in Claxton, she attended the University of Georgia where she studied journalism. For a number of years, Joyce taught kindergarten at her home in Claxton, devoting her energy toward the education and physical, as well as moral growth of children. Joyce’s life was lived with a contented and positive attitude. She loved people, had many lifelong friends and appreciated the beauty of nature, especially flowers and birds. She has a special place in her heart for animals, especially loving Little Bo and Zazu, her granddaughter’s dogs. She was guided in life by the instructions of Psalm 100; “Make a joyful noise unto The Lord … and serve The Lord with gladness and come before His presence with singing”. Joyce lived by the teaching of Corinthians 13: “Love is patient and kind; love does not insist on its own way; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Joyce was a lifelong member of The United Methodist Church in Claxton where she was very active in church programs and activities. She was dedicated to raising her two children in the way they should go, such that later in life, they would not depart from it. She later moved to Virginia after her marriage to James Forsyth Sands, a retired Navy Commander, who had grown up in Daisy. In her later years, she and Jim resided in Statesboro, and after Jim’s death, for the last nine years in Savannah, to be near her daughter and granddaughter, Ruthie and Lauren. She was preceded in death by her husband, James Sands, as well as her parents, Grover Cleveland Edwards and Ruth Grice Edwards; brother, Grice Edwards and sister, Kathrine Edwards Sands. Surviving are a son, Henry C. Hearn, III (Mariel) of Okatie, S.C.; daughter, Ruth H. Young (Arnold) of Savannah, Ga.; granddaughter, Lauren C. Hook of Savannah, Ga.; and grandson, Brett (Michelle) Hearn of Huntsville, Alabama. A memorial service will be held at a later date at NeSmith Funeral Home in Claxton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sands Field Cemetery Fund, 716 West Main Street, Claxton, Ga. 30417; or your choice of charities. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.