A new star appeared in the sky on May 23, as nature claimed its final victory in the 91-year life journey of Joyce Janice Terry Meitzen Davis Clark. She was born 1929 in Blessing, Texas to Robert Edmond and Hallie Ray Trousdale Terry and died peacefully after battling Parkinson’s Disease for over 30 years.

In her early years, Joyce lived on a farm near Blessing during the Great Depression. She enjoyed numerous country adventures and raising her beloved pet pig. She liked telling stories of her devoted mother and father, a butcher and rural postal carrier. After the family moved to Palacios, she fell in love with music and learned to play the piano, organ and clarinet. She continued to play clarinet in the high school band and later in the orchestra at her college. She became a church organist during high school and continued as an adult.

Joyce graduated from Palacios High School as valedictorian, Southwestern University (BA Cum Laude 1950) and the University of Oklahoma (Master of Natural Science 1966). Further postgraduate education was accomplished through summer programs at Texas A&M and the University of Iowa.

After college, Joyce was employed at Chance Vought Airlines in Dallas. When she moved to Port Lavaca, she worked at Union Carbide, Seadrift Plant, in the 50’s and 60’s as a statistician. There she became the first woman to wear a hardhat and enter the plant and the first person to use their computer. Changing careers, Joyce became an educator, teaching an array of mathematics courses for many years. She taught mathematics at Calhoun High School in Port Lavaca and became a professor at Bee County College in Beeville, where she also served as department chair. Throughout her tenure at Bee County, she was actively involved in education-related organizations.

After Joyce’s retirement from Bee County College, she edited textbooks and volunteered for the Soil Conservation Service, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the AARP tax aid program. She lived in both Mineral and Pleasanton, then Edna. There she was a member of the Eastern Star, the Eleanor Brackenridge Literary Club, Jackson County Retired Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, the Ladies Investment Club, the Golden Crescent Nature Club, but devoted the most time to the activities of the First United Methodist Church.

Joyce was a keen supporter of the arts and sciences, particularly music, sculpture and painting. Her fondness for owls and kaleidoscopes developed into delightful collections of each. She also was an avid birder and nature enthusiast. She especially enjoyed fishing; astronomy; hunting for arrowheads, fossils, and rocks; and gathering seashells and swimming at the beach. She explored and camped at many state and national parks throughout Texas and the U.S. Her favorite trips more recently were to Mexico for viewing monarch butterflies and observing sculpture production. She treasured her time watching her grandchildren in various sporting, musical and dance events.

Joyce is survived by her son Terry E. Meitzen and wife Peggy Meitzen of Batesville, Arkansas, her daughter Dr. Mae Ellen Kelver and husband Kenneth Jencks of Galveston, her step-children Micki Davis Yoder of Troy, Patricia Davis Hutton of Tulsa, David W. Davis of Irving, Beverley Clark Hobratsch of Edna, Douglas N. Clark of Edinburg, daughter-in-law Patricia Meitzen of Cuero, and their families including 20 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, her son John Robert Meitzen, her husbands Robert N. Davis, Noel D. Clark, and former husband Reverend Ernest Meitzen.

A service celebrating her life will be held 1:00 pm Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at Moody Methodist Church in Galveston, Reverend Ray Pinard officiating. Graveside services will be held 12:30 pm Thursday, June 3 at Memory Gardens Cemetery 1300 Kleas St in Edna, Reverend Paul Beard officiating. Remembrance contributions may be made to the Texas Ornithological Society or your local Salvation Army.

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