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Columbia Missourian

Joyce Carter loved to laugh and help others

By Nina Pantic
March 1, 2012 | 9:18 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Joyce Carter liked to make people laugh, even in tough times. As a "people person," she was always lending a helping hand to anyone who needed it. 

“No matter what was going on, if Joyce was in the crowd you could be sure you were going to laugh,” her sister Dora May Fuller said.

Joyce Carter of Columbia died Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. She was 77.

She was born July 9, 1934, in Boone County to Jake and Sarah (Davis) Turner. She married Vernon Carter on March 27, 1951, in Columbia.

“Her door was always open, and you could walk in any time day or night,” Fuller said.

When Fuller had appendicitis, Mrs. Carter left her husband alone to prepare supper for their five children and came right away to take Fuller to the hospital.

When another stomach problem ailed Fuller, she called Mrs. Carter again and she came right away and even brought on some laughter.

Mrs. Carter liked to watch television shows such as “Little House on the Prairie” and “Bonanza," both of which are centered on family.

“She knew family really well, great aunts and uncles down to her great-great-grandchildren while most of us were more preoccupied with home and our jobs,” Fuller said. “One way or the other, she went to all the reunions and the funerals and the celebrations and pretty much knew everybody in the family, and she had a lot of friends.”

A belief in God helped Mrs. Carter through all of the problems and trials in her life, Fuller said.

“She felt that God loves and forgives all of us because she had learned love over decades of dealing with sometimes unlovable people, and she loved them anyway,” Fuller said, “That’s one reason she was always willing to extend a hand to somebody who needed help, money or a place to sleep.”

“She was not an angel, but she knew how an angel should act,” Fuller said.

Mrs. Carter is survived by two sons, Russell Carter and his wife, Joyce, and Ernie Carter and his wife, Kim; a daughter, Wanda Hoffman and her husband, Donald; two sisters, Dora May Fuller and her husband, Jim, and Dorothy Critchfield; 12 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; and numerous "adopted" relatives.

Mrs. Carter’s husband, two sons Johnnie and Ronnie Carter, and brother Charles Raymond “Bubby” Turner died earlier.

Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Bus Loop 70 W. Services and interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery at the same address. 

Memorial contributions can be made to The Memorial Fund of Joyce M. Carter at Landmark Bank, 801 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201.

Tributes can be posted at