CHARLESTON, IL – Joyce M. (Lee) Stratton, age 96 of Mattoon and formerly of Charleston, passed away on Friday, November 27, 2020 at Heartland Nursing and Rehabilitation in Casey, Illinois. A Graveside Service, honoring and remembering her life, will be held at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at Mound Cemetery in Charleston with Richard Vail officiating. Joyce’s family will also host a Celebration of Life Service at a later date when it is safer for all to attend. Memorials in her honor may be made to the Charleston Food Pantry or to a local food pantry of choice. Memorials and cards for Joyce’s family may be mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Joyce was born April 25, 1924 in Tower Hill, Illinois, a daughter of the late Henry Ward Beecher Lee and Aletha Flo (Osborne) Lee. Joyce graduated from Tower Hill High School shortly after her 16th birthday. She later enrolled at Sparks Business College in Shelbyville, Illinois. While attending business college, Joyce worked at a pecan factory to pay her tuition. It was there she met the love of her life, Bill. She told her family she was “nuts” about him ever since. At age 18, Joyce took the train to Chicago and for nearly a year worked as a secretary. On April 15, 1944, she married William A. Stratton and they celebrated nearly 70 years of marriage prior to his death on March 18, 2014. Left to cherish their many fond and loving memories are her children, Sharon (Stratton) Full Love (David) of Petersburg, Illinois, Gail Hildebrand (Tom) of Charleston, and Gary Stratton (Debbie) of Dahlgren, Illinois; nine grandchildren, Tara Full Atchison, Tiffany Full Verma (Mohit), Tamara Full, Rebecca Minor (Jason), Delana Parker (Wes), Cheryl Sanner (Joe), Kip Kubisz, Beth Tidball (Chad Ahren), Brooke Tidball; and 16 great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents and husband, Joyce was preceded by a brother, August Lee; and three sisters, Mylbra (Lee) Jones, Marjorie (Lee) Foor, and Lois (Lee) Canfield.
As a woman of faith, Joyce was a member of the Unity Chapel United Brethren Church in Charleston where she and Bill both taught Sunday School classes. After its closing they attended North Side Baptist Church in Charleston and when living in Mattoon attended First Christian Church.
Joyce utilized her secretarial skills learned at business college working as a secretary and receptionist for the Farm Bureau, University of Illinois Coles County Extension Office, and Trailmobile. Later her interest in antiques led to her to being self-employed as an antique dealer. For many years Joyce and Bill lived west of Charleston where they raised thousands of chickens and for a time operated a Christmas Tree Farm. She was not afraid of a hard day’s work. Joyce was a priceless role model for her family as a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her support for them was always evident and they were blessed by her undying love and devotion.
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