Joyce Dearyl Simms McNelly

Joyce Dearyl Simms McNelly

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Joyce Dearyl Simms McNelly

Joyce Dearyl Simms McNelly, born July 7, 1930 in Ada, Oklahoma, died May 23, 2020, in Cottonwood, Arizona.

She grew up in Kingman Arizona and then Williams, and graduated from Williams High School in 1948. Joyce worked as a waitress in local restaurants in the summer putting her self through Arizona State College in Tempe and graduated with a BA in Education in 1953. In that year she was chosen the sorority/fraternity campus queen when Louis Armstrong and his orchestra played at the Coronation ball.

Joyce received her masters in education in 1981 from Northern Arizona University. After graduation, she moved back to Williams to teach in the Elementry school. Reading was her primary job as a teacher and was a ferocious reader as well as a crossword puzzle fanatic. She retired from teaching in the 1990s.

Joyce married Dave McNelly at the Williams Community Methodist church on July 31, 1953. Dave and Joyce bought their first ranch in 1956. She continued teaching and became a housewife, mother, and rancher. She cooked for and fed countless cowboys, hauled water at the ranch, and her school paycheck kept the family going through tough times. Dave and Joyce had four children: Marianne (Atlanta), Frank (Joyce, Williams), John (Maggie, Camp Verde), and Dan (Jaci, Williams), six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The whole family learned to ski at the Williams Ski area, skiing with her family, and the ski trips to colorado were some of her favorite times. Joyce was an avid hiker and hiked almost all of the trails in the Grand Canyon.

Her words of wisdom: "Always watch out for yourself and be immaculate with your word."

A celebration of Life will be June 27, 2020, at the McNelly Ranch summer headquarters, Pisel, at noon.

To plant a tree in memory of Joyce McNelly as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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