Joyce, who grew up in Abilene, Texas, married Larry Joyce in 1960, beginning a life-long adventure. Shortly after they married, Larry was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army. They moved to Fort Hood, Texas - the first of more than 20 moves over the next 20 years. In that time, Larry served two tours in Vietnam. Joyce's diverse career, from which she retired in 2005, has seen her work as an administrative assistant, a military youth activities director, a Military Family Center director, a Realtor, a program director, a high school and college English/literature teacher, a national program director for youth tobacco issues, and a bed and breakfast owner.
In 1983, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in English (cum laude). In 1986, she earned a Master of Arts in humanities. Her volunteer efforts include serving as volunteer chair and VIP event co-chair for the Granbury Wine Walk, as surviving spouse liaison and a founding member of MOAA Greater Granbury (Texas) Chapter, and as a Veterans' Council member.
She has served on the MOAA President’s Surviving Spouse Advisory Council for six years and will serve as its chair beginning in October 2020. She's also co-chair of the MOAA Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter.
She also conceived and produced the Memorial Day Field of Flags from 2012 to 2020, helped organize Veterans Day ceremonies, and has spoken on behalf of local, state, and national organizations about life in the military and her son and husband's service to their country.
She is a Gold Star Mother. Her youngest son, Sgt. James Casey Joyce, an Army Ranger, died Oct. 3, 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia; the story of the mission is told in Black Hawk Down.