08/23/1944 - 06/19/2020
Interment: Gilbert Memorial Park, 2100 East Queen Creek Road, Gilbert, AZ 85297

Joyce Anne Bearden, age 75, of New Orleans, passed away on June 19, 2020 at Touro Infirmary.

She was born August 23, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan to Dorr and Arlene Lillywhite. She attended Hudson High School, Michigan State University, and served with the National Guard.

If you knew Joyce, you know she marched to the beat of a different drummer. She lived life the way she wanted – on her own terms, following her own path. During her life, she worked and resided in Reading, Hudson, and Ypsilanti, Michigan before finally settling in New Orleans, Louisiana where she loved the warm weather and local culture and cuisine – even after Hurricane Katrina, she chose to rebuild rather than relocate. She loved Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard.

She was a loving mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, and was a fighter to the end – she will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

Surviving are her son and daughter-in-law, Jody and Pao Bearden, granddaughters Cyra Bearden and Ann Fang, sister and brother-in-law Kay and James Distler, sister and brother-in-law Amy and Gary Sturtevant, and nephews Nick Distler, Tony Distler, and Mark Sturtevant. She leaves behind a host of lifelong friends, caring neighbors who looked out for her in her times of need, and a stray cat – one of many she took in over the years.

Per her wishes, Joyce has been cremated. A private ceremony for the family will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to your local animal shelter.


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