Joyce LaVerne (Eoff) Parker of Early, Texas, passed away at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, at Brownwood Regional Medical Center.

Joyce was born on Sept. 24, 1926, in Blanket, Texas, to Floyd Eoff and Jewel Carruth Eoff. After the death of her mother in 1938, Floyd was married to Lydia Boenicke.

Mrs. Parker was a graduate of Blanket High School and was Valedictorian of her class. She then began furthering her education at Tarleton College in Stephenville, Texas, and later graduated from Texas Women's University in Denton, Texas, where she received her Bachelor Degree. After graduation she began her 44 year teaching career with the Early School System as the High School Home Economics teacher. Through the span of these years, she gained so much admiration and respect for the administration, co-workers and students. She also saw several three generation family members come through her class room. She said, "this made her think it might be time to retire." She did make a very difficult decision to retire in 1996.

Mrs. Parker was a big supporter of the Brown County Youth Fair and encouraged her students to participate in the food, clothing, and craft divisions. Her favorite part of the Youth Fair was the clothing division where she served as Superintendent. After retirement she continued to help and served as a clothing judge up until 2006 During these years, she kept a strong and active F.H.A. Chapter. For several years in the summer months, she saw that a Young Homemaker's Program was offered and taught many students in her summer homemaking activities. As a strong and loyal fan and supporter of the Early Athletic Program, she took great pride and enjoyment in being the cheerleader and pep squad sponsor. Her love for the Early Longhorns never waived, and when she could not attend the games, she stayed close to the radio for play by play activity. She was also a member of the Early Church of Christ.

Joyce met the love of her life while attending college. She was married to James Ray Parker on Aug. 15, 1947, in Blanket.

She is survived by one son, Jamey Kris Parker and his close and special friend, Nina Parker and her children and their families. Also surviving are numerous cousins and relatives of the Eoff and Boenicke families.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Jewel Carruth Eoff; her father, Floyd S. Eoff; her step-mother, Lydia E. Boenicke Eoff; father-in-law, Raymond L. Parker; and mother-in-law, Lola Mae Flowers Parker. She was also preceded in death by an infant son, James Craig Parker and her loving husband of 45 years, James Ray Parker.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Heartland Funeral Home Chapel in Early. Interment will follow in the Eastlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

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