Joyce was born May 16, 1946 in Sayre, Oklahoma. Her father, Allie Conway was 46 and her mother Bessie (Dykes) Conway was 44. Joyce was the youngest of a blended family, joining siblings: William R. Hilts, Juanita (Conway) Gaines, Katherine (Hilts) Jones, Haskell Conway and Vida Lee (Conway) Montgomery. She graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1964. She married her first husband, James D. Smith in Sayre, Oklahoma. They welcomed twin babies Jama Ann and James D. Smith, Jr. in 1964. Shortly after the birth of the twins the young family moved to the state of Washington to be close to her parents and sister and brother in law, Katherine and J.W. Jones.
They returned to Oklahoma where James worked for a construction company. He died tragically in 1967 while on the job. As a young widow with small children, Joyce moved back to Vancouver, WA to be near her parents. She attended Business School and graduated with high honors. She was hired by the Federal Court System working in the Portland, OR office where she remained until her retirement. She was proud of her job and the judges she worked for often complimented her for her accuracy and attention to details. While living in Vancouver, she met and married another Oklahoman, Bobby G. Shelton. He passed in 1998.
Joyce is survived by her children, Jama McLeod and James Smith, Jr. and grandson Johnathan James Smith, all of Vancouver, WA. A grandson, Jamie Lee McLeod died in 1997.
Although Joyce was preceded in death by her siblings she is survived by numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends who all dearly loved her. She never missed a graduation, wedding or little trip with any of them. While her mother, Bessie Conway, was alive Joyce spent weekends visiting her in Raymond, WA. Anyone who knew Joyce remembers her as always smiling and happy. She endured many tragedies in her life but always remained positive and outgoing. A gathering of friends and family is planned for May 18, 2019 in Raymond, WA to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to your favorite charity in her name