Joyce Howell Brackin, 93, passed away Friday, March 3, 2023 at her home on Brackin Road in Donalsonville, GA, after many years of declining health.
Funeral services for Mrs. Brackin will be held on Monday, March 6, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Friendship United Methodist Church with Rev. Nate Lehman officiating. A private interment will be held at Friendship Cemetery in Donalsonville. The family will welcome visitors at the family home, and regular visitation will be held at the church beginning at 1:00 PM, immediately prior to the service.
Mrs. Brackin was born September 6, 1929, in Iron City, GA, the last of the eight children of James A. Howell and Piety A. Howell. Joyce had a difficult youth, her mother died when she was only weeks old. Mr. Howell married Viola Bowman, but then he passed away when Joyce was only six. She overcame the hardships of losing her parents and the poverty of the Depression years to become Valedictorian of the Class of 1946 at Seminole County High School. She then went on to graduate from Southwest Georgia College and Georgia College with a degree in Secondary Education. With the help of her stepmother, siblings, and friends, she went on to have a productive and rewarding life.
Joyce married Fred Brackin on December 18, 1949; the last wedding to be held in the original First Baptist Church in Donalsonville. Following Fred’s graduation from the University of Georgia , they returned to Seminole County and had a partnership in the family farming business. In 1957, Fred accepted a position with the Soil Conservation Service in Georgia and has served in Canton, Trenton, Sandersville, Hinesville, and Athens. Joyce was primarily a homemaker, but did teach school from time to time in each of the counties in which the family lived, retiring in 1985 as Director of the Friendship School in Watkinsville, GA.
Joyce always became a part of each community and was very active in the typical organizations small towns have. She served in many capacities in the United Methodist Church of each town, being particularly committed to the choirs’ role in worship. Singing solos for worship services, funeral services, and weddings was one of Joyce’s ways of using her God given talent. She was active with groups supporting church, school, music, theatre, scouts, reading for the blind, Elderhostel, and other service, social, and cultural organizations. She loved puzzles and playing board games with the children and grandchildren, as well as being involved with many Bridge and Canasta groups. She also played in duplicate Bridge and Scrabble Tournaments. The Brackin home was always the place kids came to play and adults came for many informal parties.
Perhaps because of her own loss of family, Joyce was even more devoted to her large family and loved them and was loved by them. Members live in many places, but most of them make it home for Thanksgiving. Joyce was always adventurous and loved to travel and made many trips to many places.
Mrs. Brackin leaves to cherish her memory, her husband of 73 years, Fred Brackin of Donalsonville, GA; her children, Cecelia B. Meadows and husband Robert of Fleming Island, FL, Dr. Stephen Brackin of Ithaca, NY, Robert Brackin and wife Gayle of Marietta, GA, and Herbert Brackin and wife Frani of Gainesville, GA; her grandchildren, Paul Brackin of Jacksonville, FL, Benjamin Brackin of Gainesville, GA, Dr. Blair Marquardt and husband Patrick of Dallas, TX, Holly Smith and husband Chris of Louisville , KY, Maria Winters and husband James of Morocco, Allison Jones and husband Greg of Charleston, SC, Katy Stewart and husband Kacy of Jefferson, GA, Carly Meadows of Auburn, AL, and Courtney Meadows of Duluth, GA; 10 great grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Piety Howell; her stepmother, Viola Howell Williams; her sisters, Ouida Croson and Ozzie Kistner; and her brothers, Aaron Howell, Donald Howell, Luther Howell, Julus Howell, and George Howell.