Joycelie “Joy” Warren Whiteman of Boise passed away at home on June 22, 2019 at the age of 85. She was born in San Antonio, Texas, and was the daughter of Augusta “Gussie” Lewis Warren and Charles “Charlie” Warren. After graduating from high school in La Porte, Texas, she married Edward Fincher in 1952. In 1967, having followed other family members to Idaho, she married William “Bill” Whiteman of Boise and they enjoyed nearly 52 years together.
Joy was a true survivor. She grew up during the Great Depression and the challenges of World War II, in which her father served. Although there was no lack of love in her childhood home, there were periods of dire poverty—the family resorted to living in the car and eating pecans from trees on the roadside for their meals—as well as disease and constant instability. During part of her childhood, she lived in a tuberculosis preventorium while her mother stayed in the sanitorium. Joy developed a tumor as a child, but the local doctors could not spare resources from the war effort to treat her, and thus she was left deaf in one ear and with impaired hearing in the other. She also faced several heartbreaking challenges as an adult, which she approached with unswerving faith.
Joy lived up to her name by caring for others in tangible ways. She was a tireless and highly skilled home cook and baker; her pies were legendary among her circle of family and friends. For her grandson’s wedding she baked ten pies in several different flavors! One year she decided that the family was taking her pumpkin pie for granted, and so decided to try a new pumpkin pie recipe she found in the newspaper. It was possibly the worst pumpkin pie on the planet, essentially forming an astringent pumpkin soup. Never again did she deviate from her proven pie recipes! Joy was known for her Southern hospitality; she was always willing to host friends passing through town and was ever-vigilant in asking if visitors needed anything—in particular, visitors had to be offered a beverage immediately upon arrival. Joy also regularly hosted chapter meetings as a sister of Beta Sigma Phi sorority, through which she developed many treasured friendships. Likewise, she was known as a caring and generous colleague in the various credit organizations in which she worked for many years, including The Credit Bureau and Sears Credit Department.
Joy loved her Savior and lived as a peerless exemplar of Christian service. She taught children’s Sunday School for over 50 years and used her prodigious creative talent at crafts and storytelling to help children learn. Countless babies in metro Boise benefited from her ministry of knitting and crocheting booties and hats for preemies. Joy enjoyed baking treats for the church’s hospitality hour (holding firm to the family motto: If we bring it, it had better be good!) and even after Alzheimer’s robbed her of her baking skills, she insisted on bringing store-bought pastries to uphold her class’s commitment. She treasured the traditional hymns of the church and served in the choir many years; poor hearing and respiratory problems eventually ruined her singing voice, but, not to be daunted, even in the hospital she insisted on croaking hymns at such deafening volume (as she couldn’t hear herself) that the staff had to ask her to stop bothering neighboring patients. Fittingly, her memorial service will include plenty of Joy’s favorites!
Joy was predeceased by her parents, and is survived by her husband, Bill, of Boise, who tenderly cared for her at home until the end. In addition, she is survived by her daughters, Robin Mitchell (Paul), J. Paige Fincher (Nick Spencer) of Medellín, Colombia, and Amy Whiteman Sherrill (David) of metro Atlanta, GA. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Matthew Groves (Lisa) of Boise and Kathryn “Katie” Spencer-Kociol (Matt) of Frederick, MD; four great-grandchildren, and loyal friend and caregiver, Julie Catlett.
Funeral services will begin at 11:00 am Thursday, July 11, at Pierce Park Baptist Church, Boise, followed by a lunch reception. A private burial will follow at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. For those wishing to make a memorial contribution, donations may be directed to Pierce Park Baptist Church, 5350 N. Pierce Park Lane, Boise, ID 83714, or to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, alzfdn.org.