Joyce Darnell Thompson

March 25, 1929 ~ December 21, 2019 (age 90)


Joyce Darnell Thompson, 90, of Rabun Gap, GA passed away on December 21, 2019 in Toccoa, GA. She was born on March 25, 1929 to the late Brye L. Darnell and Pauline Norton Darnell.


Joyce was a loving wife, mother, sister and aunt. She was born in the Betty’s Creek Community into a large loving family during the depression years and learned to work hard at a very early age. Even though times were tough there were always enough brothers, sisters and cousins around to have a little fun. She loved her heritage and the people from “The Creek”.


Joyce graduated from Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in 1947. Prior to her graduation she worked and stayed at the Bynum House in Clayton during her summer breaks. The Bynum family has always held a special place in her heart. This was perfect for her as she loved meeting different people and, thus, began her career in the hospitality industry.


At 18, she left the mountains and went to Miami to find work. It was there that she met and married her first husband, moving then to West Palm Beach Florida where she raised her children. However, she always stayed in touch with her family and friends at Betty's Creek. Vacation time was always at “The Creek” and staying in the family home place.


After her children were raised she traveled extensively with her second husband and resided in both Nevada and California. When it came time to retire however, she heard the mountains calling and came back to Rabun County where she was the happiest.


In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband Steve Thompson, brother Ross Darnell, sisters Floss Sitton, Katherine Hyatt, Sarah Ann Darnell, Lillian Smith and Jacqueline Darnell. She is

survived by her son, Vancil B. Garner, Jr (Lynn) of Hobe Sound, FL; daughter, Cami Joy Francis (Al) of Clayton, GA; two grandsons, Zack Hopper of Clayton, GA and Adam Hopper of Savannah, GA; one brother, Brye L. “Bud” Darnell, Jr. (Joyce) of Cumming, GA; one brother-in-law, Jack Smith of Lakemont, GA; and numerous nieces, and cousins.


A Celebration of Life service is planned for Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 11A.M. at Betty's Creek Baptist Church with the Rev. James Turpen officiating. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter in care of the National Processing Center - Alzheimer's Association P.O. Box 96011 Washington, D.C. 20090-6011.


Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Georgia, is in charge of the arrangements. If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at

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Celebration of Life
January 11, 2020

11:00 AM
Betty's Creek Baptist Church
130 Bettys Creek Church Lane
Rabun Gap, GA 30568

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