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Anita "Joy" Hickman Lovelace Taylor, age 64, died peacefully and gracefully with her loved ones by her side at the home of her daughter in Fairfield, Texas on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. She fought cancer like a warrior and never let it steal her "Joy". Throughout her cancer battle, she could always be found with a smile. Joy was born April 12,1953 to Garland and Mildred White Hickman in Wylie, Texas. She was the 7th and final child, which would earn her the forever "baby" status. She was preceded in death by both parents and all 5 of her brothers, Paul Wayne, Leo, Glenn, Rodger, and her beloved David. As well as niece Elaina and nephew Ernie. She is survived by her sister Geneva Williams, who resides in Whitewright, Texas. Her beloved sisters- in- law, Clarice Hickman of Plano, Roberta Hickman of Irving, Nelda Hickman of Dallas, Texas, Glenda Hickman of Cumby, Texas. Nieces and Nephews Sandra and Roy Norcross, Nancy and Brian Middlebrook, Paula Butler, Connie Valencio, Collin Hickman, Laura Baggett, Alisa and Chad Carroll, Angela and Howard Myers.
She grew up in Blue Ridge, Texas where she graduated from High School in 1971. She remained a BHS Tiger until the end. Her entire school days were spent in Blue Ridge, and she has remained lifelong friends with many of her classmates, one very dear friend she spoke with on the phone the morning of her death, Dian Short Key. She knew from her first day of school when asked that she wanted to teach, and teach she did. She went on to graduate from Grayson County College, Denison, Texas and The University of Texas in Tyler, Texas.
During her childhood years, she loved growing up in the country. And when she was just six years old her nieces and nephews began arriving in the world, and she spent the middle years of her childhood bossing them around. They developed close relationships with her, especially the oldest girl "Sandy" and oldest boy "Ern" as the family grew there weren't any nieces, nephews, all the way down to the great -great's that she didn't hold in high regard and love with all of her heart.
She married Vernon Jr. "Sonny" Lovelace and grew to love his family as her own. Together they had a daughter, Laura Anne on January 24,1974. Sonny preceded her in death in 2003. She considered Debbie Lovelace and Clifton Lovelace, both of Paris, Arkansas her brother and sister until she drew the last breath. She dearly loved her nieces and nephews Misti, Wendi, Josh and Jesse as well as
She began her teaching career in Scurry, Texas, and taught there for many years before moving to Detroit, Texas she left behind many favorite students and friends who she remained in touch with. Teaching was her life and love and she blessed many with her "joyous" spirit. These past students brightened her life until the end.
In 2005 she continued her journey, but found a new partner. James Arland Taylor became her partner in crime otherwise known as shopping buddy, football cheering, nascar watching love of her life. They enjoyed many adventures together and moved to Fairfield, Texas in 2009 to be near her daughter. She started a second career as a QIDP at Mexia State Supported Living Center and continued to work there until 2017. She loved the clients she served and the many friends she gained during this time. When marrying James, she gained many more family members as well a daughter Edith. She leaves behind Edith and Richard Swiney, Haley Myers, Chris and Elisa Swiney, Dean Swiney, of Eustace, Texas. Special great-grands Harmony, Hunter, Katie, Ashlyn, Dolly, Alexis, and Ethen. And many more extended family members.
She loved her daughter very much and shared many adventures through the years with just the two of them. She leaves behind Laura and son-in- law Marvin O'Pry, who she loved to be aggravated by as well as special adopted grandchildren, Chylsea Dunn of Paris, Texas, Dylan Dunn of Wyoming, Lee O'Pry and Aubrey Cobb of Corsicana, Texas and Alexis, Adam and Trey O'Pry of Farifield, Texas. Johnathan, Tristan and Elizabeth Myers, of Whitewright, Texas.
Joy loved the Lord and now is at peace in Heaven. She was a member of the Church of Christ.
Services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28th at Bright-Holland Funeral Home with burial following in Knights of Honor Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.