Sarah Virginia Joyce Dodson passed away February 18, 2021 surrounded by love with her family at her side.
Born on June 14, 1939 in Stokes County, NC, Sarah was the third child and first daughter of Walter Frank Joyce and Ila Virginia Sheppard Joyce. Her siblings are Walter Frank Joyce, Jr (Sarah Elizabeth Forbis Joyce); Raeford Joyce (Mary Helen Shaffer Joyce); and Martha Joyce Amos (Donnie Amos) and they have remained close throughout their lives often visiting each other and planning trips together.
For sixty-one years, she was married to Keith Douglas Dodson who she’d known since fourth grade. They married on November 21, 1959 in Keith’s senior year of college at High Point University and she worked at Jefferson Standard Life Insurance while he completed his degree. Upon his graduation, they moved to Brooklyn NY for him to attend graduate school and she worked at American Fore Loyalty Company. While in New York, they enjoyed going to Broadway plays – something they continued to share for the rest of their marriage often taking trips back to New York to see shows. While in Greenville, they attended events at The Peace Center. Their love of the arts was a constant in their lives and a source of great joy to Sarah.
She and Keith settled first in Asheville NC then moved to Greenville where they raised their children, Melinda and Stuart. Sarah’s naturally creative nature and love of flowers led her to become an active member of the Greenville Council of Garden Clubs and eventually volunteer manager of the Kilgore Lewis House in downtown Greenville. She was also active in the Greenville Junior Women’s Club, serving as President in 1973, volunteering with Friends of the Greenville County Library and serving on Mayor Max Heller’s Greenville Beautification Committee.
When Keith retired and began a second career, the couple moved to Hilton Head Island, SC where they remained for 26 years until returning to Greenville in 2018. On Hilton Head, Sarah found another Garden Club home with the Avid Gardeners, volunteered at church and at The Bargain Box charity store.
Church served as an important part of Sarah’s life and she served as Worship Chairman and Altar Guild Chair at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Greenville and Altar Guild Chair at St. Andrew By-The- Sea United Methodist Church on Hilton Head Island.
Sarah’s children and granddaughters were sources of great joy – especially the grandgirls! She was Nana to Katie, Wylie and Willa and host at ‘Camp Nana’ at her Hilton Head home for many adventures for them all. Any family event she hosted was full of wonderful food, festivity and love. Sarah was known for her cooking and impeccable sense of style from hosting and setting a table to her beautifully decorated homes and for her ability to make everyone around her feel her warmth and hospitality. She was a true Southern Lady through and through.
She is survived by her husband Keith Douglas Dodson and children Melinda Dodson Newton (Richard) and Stuart Andrew Dodson (Katherine Crawford); and her beloved granddaughters Kathryn Joyce Newton, Wylie Skye Dodson and Willoday Tiger Dodson.
The family thanks the staff of The McCall House in Simpsonville, SC for caring for Sarah in her final journey to the Lord.
There will be a small service at Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Thursday March 4, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. for family and friends who feel comfortable attending in person and following AUMCSC COVID19 guidelines of required mask wearing and social distancing (min 6 feet). The service will also be streamed live online by Aldersgate, and the family encourages using the online option to participate in celebrating Sarah.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church at 7 Shannon Drive, Greenville SC 29615.
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
7 Shannon Drive, Greenville SC 29615