Cecil "Joyce" Walker Bonvillain, 78, a native of Birmingham, AL, and a resident of Houma, LA, passed away peacefully at 9:22 p.m. on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center.
A public viewing will be conducted from 9:00 a.m. until funeral time at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Morning Star Baptist Church, 120 Mission Blvd, Houma, LA 70360. (Per CDC requirement/local regulations all guests must wear face masks at all times in building and practice social distancing). Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
Cecil Joyce Bonvillain was born on August 6, 1943 to the late Cecil Brown and Frances D. King. She went home to be with God on October 2, 2021. Joyce, a native of Birmingham, Alabama and resident of Houma, Louisiana, was a proud military brat who traveled the country before meeting the love of her life, James Claude Bonvillain Sr. Together they raised eight children.
Joyce devoted her life to being a good wife and mother. Family was always very important to her. With a knack for cooking, she prepared homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner as part of her daly routine. The soothing aroma of seafood dinners, pound cakes, and candy were common in her home. Many would testify her Gumbo was the best they ever had.
“Lady J.” loved babies. She was a giving mother who made daily sacrifices to ensure the needs of her children were met. Joyce, a principled woman, sang “The Golden Rule” and recited the “Serenity Prayer” to her children. Attesting to her knack for preparation and adoration of communing with family, she loved the process of preparing and attending family events. Almost nothing made her happier than dancing, shopping “at Dillards”, and church retreats. She also found much contentment watching her “stories,” for her family knew never to say a word while she was watching “The Young and The Restless.” If on the phone while the show came on, she politely ended the call and called back later.
Joyce had a demure disposition. She had a way of communicating her feelings and wishes with a simple facial expression. One quick glance and you knew where you stood. The wise measured their moves accordingly. To remain in her good graces, Jimbo always brought her huge bags of chocolate candy, bushels and bushels of crabs and shrimp, sacks of oysters, field peas, okra, and green beans. Instead of a pint, he would bring her cases of strawberries. Once he walked in with her treat, she forgot about everything and got to work.
Lady J. was an excellent and comical story teller. She loved sharing stories of her childhood travels. Dayton Ohio, Kansas, and Washington D.C were home to some of her fondest memories and yielded her best stories. The indelible image of a nine month pregnant Joyce stuck in a cherry tree and discovered by the Japanese homeowner in Washington D.C. will forever be etched in memories of her loved ones.
She leaves to cherish her memory: her husband, James C. Bonvillain Sr. eight sons: Lyman R. Walker III (Rachel); James Bonvillain Jr. (Patricia); John Fitzgerald Bonvillain Sr. (Cheryl); Jody André Bonvillain (Pamela); Keifer Bonvillain, and Travis Lamond Bonvillain; two daughters: Cheramie Vivian Jupiter and Richelle Kay Bonvillain; two step sons: Lonigan C. Valentine (friend-Jackie); James Claude Bailey (Regina); step-daughter, Jane M. Williams (Leonard); thirty-five grandchildren; thirty-eight great-grandchildren; sister, Vivian J. Banton; four sisters-in-law: Emma Bonvillain, Mary Nixon, Josephine Bonvillain and Delores Johnson (Nilo); and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was proceeded in death by a daughter, Kelly B. Bonvillain; grandson, Blake Edward Bonvillain; two great-granddaughers: Ella J. Bonvillain and Cassianna Hill; her parents, Cecil Brown and France D. King (Jessie); her sister, Jean McReyonalds; Mother and Father-In-Law, Willie Bonvillain I and Emma (Susie) Bonvillain; nine brothers-in-law: Albert Bonvillain, Elmon Torrey, Earl Bonvillain, Willie Bonvillain II, Harry Bonvillain, Paul Bonvillain, Chester Nixon, Roy Norman, and Frank Banton; and seven sisters-in-law: Joyce B. Lebouf, Florence Bell Williams, Leola M. Torrey, Ora Mae Norman, Jacqueline Bonvillain, Beverly Bonvillain, and Viola Bonvillain.
Arrangements entrusted to Jones Funeral Home of Houma.
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