Joyce Nelson

Obituary of Joyce LaRae Nelson

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Joyce LaRae Nelson


January 2, 1936 – May 2. 202024


Joyce LaRae (Downey) Nelson, of rural Wagoner County, Oklahoma, passed away Thursday evening, May 2, 2024, at the age of 88 years and four months. Joyce was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to her parents William Ray Downey and Henrietta Constance (Lazewski) Downey on January 2, 1936. Joyce married John Daniel Nelson on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1992 and enjoyed 32 years of marriage at their home near the marina on White Horn Cove peninsula in rural Wagoner County. Joyce and Danny attended the First Baptist Church in Wagoner, Oklahoma. She dearly loved singing in the choir and meeting with the seniors Sunday school class. She also loved playing the organ and had one in her home.


Joyce was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Leona Bays and Sandy Starr, and an infant brother, Robert Wayne Downey. She is survived by one brother, Johnny Downey. 


Joyce graduated from Owasso High School on May 19, 1953 and earned a diploma from Tulsa Business College. She began developing her skills in accounting, business, and banking over the next 10 years. In 1964, she was hired by the owners of a new bank, Republic Bank and Trust at 17th and Sheridan in Tulsa and its eventual successor, the Central Bank and Trust of Tulsa. She worked at the banks for 22 years rising to the level of Assistant Vice President of the Finance Department. In 1986 she was hired by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Tulsa as a Claims/Settlement Specialist. In 1988, Thrifty Rent-A-Car hired Joyce as an Accounts Receivable Supervisor.


In 1989 Joyce was hired by the Resolution Trust Corporation in Dallas, Texas, as an Accounts Payable/Cashier Supervisor in charge of a staff of nine. She worked in Dallas for the RTC until 1995 when she retired. She kept her home in Wagoner which she had built in 1979.  During the last four years of her seven years at the RTC, she and Danny were married, each holding jobs in separate states, which required a lot of week-end commuting both ways from their home in Wagoner and Joyce’s apartment in Dallas.     


Joyce loved working in the business world after graduating from high school. She often said she wished she was back in the work force, especially banking.


Once she and Danny retired, Joyce became what many would call a “home-body.” Nothing pleased her more than to sit in the large swing enjoying the gentle breeze of her quiet shaded surroundings on a spring or summer day with a book in hand. Joyce was an avid reader who made numerous trips to the Wagoner Public Library. Over the years she became so well known to the local librarians such that they knew what Joyce liked to read and would put books back for her until she came to the library again.


In the business world Joyce was a hard-working, devoted, and trusted employee who strived for excellence in all she did. One can know this by the numerous awards received from her various employers. To know Joyce on a personal level was to find her to be a friend who was a deeply loving, caring, and giving individual. She will be missed.  

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Funerals Service

10:00 am
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Green Hill Funeral Home Chapel-Owasso
9901 North Owasso Expressway
Owasso, Oklahoma, United States
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Joyce Nelson

In Loving Memory

Joyce Nelson

1936 - 2024

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