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Eddie Milton Joyce, Sr
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Birth: Oct. 24, 1928
Rockingham County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Oct. 14, 2012
Rockingham County
North Carolina, USA

Eddie Milton Joyce Sr., 83, of 210 South 5th Avenue, Mayodan, N.C., died on Sunday, October 14, 2012, at home. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah. Inurnment will follow at the church columbarium with Military Honors.
Born on October 24, 1928, in Rockingham County, Mr. Joyce was preceded in death by his parents, William Franklin Joyce and Ruby Orr Joyce Kivette; and wife, Evelyn Joan Chisholm Joyce.
He was a United States Air Force, Korean War veteran, a retired teacher and coach of Calvert County School System, VA, and a member of the Episcopal Church of the Messiah. Coach Joyce was a mentor to many young men and a legend in Virginia high school football. He was a political trailblazer in Salem, Va., and was loved and respected by many.
Survivors include sons, Eddie Milton Joyce Jr. and M. Dennis Joyce, both of Mayodan; daughters, Joni J. Bussey (Michael), of Richmond, Va., Jana Gentry, of Roxboro, and Jody Joyce, of Rocky Mount; grandchildren, Daniel and Jessie Bussey, Joseph and Josiah Joyce, Magan, Christin and Emma Gentry, Jared, Jaron and Jude Joyce; and great-grandchild, Madison Collie.
The family will receive friends following the service on Thursday in the church parish hall and all other times at the residence.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, 114 South 2nd Avenue, Mayodan, NC 27027 or Hospice of Rockingham County, 2150 NC Highway 65, Reidsville, NC 27320.
Colonial Funeral Home in Madison, NC, is serving the family. Condolences may be offered to the family at

Published in Roanoke Times on October 16, 2012
Andrew Lewis football coach Eddie Joyce had lasting effects
His 1971 team lost in the Group AAA final to T.C. Williams, a game that became the basis of the movie "Remember the Titans."

By Robert Anderson
Eddie Joyce was the head football coach at Andrew Lewis High School from 1960 to 1974. He also coached the semiprofessional Roanoke Valley Express in the American Football Association and Roanoke Catholic and Natural Bridge high schools.

The Roanoke Times | File 1982

Eddie Joyce was the head football coach at Andrew Lewis High School from 1960 to 1974. He also coached the semiprofessional Roanoke Valley Express in the American Football Association and Roanoke Catholic and Natural Bridge high schools.
His football team had a starring role in the movie, "Remember the Titans."

Few longtime Salem residents ever forgot Eddie Joyce Sr.

Joyce, a former Salem mayor and city councilman who also was the head football coach at Andrew Lewis High School from 1960-74, died Sunday night at his home in Mayodan, N.C.

He was 83.

Former coaching colleague Dale Foster of Salem said Monday that Joyce contracted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus recently and also suffered medical complications from an automobile crash in recent years.

He had been receiving hospice care over the past week, Foster said.

"He had a car wreck two or three years ago and he never really recovered from that," Foster said. "He swerved to miss a deer and went over an embankment. He had a crushed hip, both ankles were broken and he had five broken ribs."

Foster said he last visited Joyce three weeks ago at a hospital in Eden, N.C.

Joyce was the head coach at Andrew Lewis the predecessor of Salem High School for 15 seasons.

His 1964 team finished 10-0 and was crowned Group AAA champion through a points system used prior to postseason playoffs. Andrew Lewis also finished as a state runner-up in 1966, 1967 and 1971.

The 1971 team lost 27-0 in the Group AAA final to T.C. Williams before a crowd of 18,000 at Roanoke's Victory Stadium, the game that became the basis of the movie "Remember the Titans."

Andrew Lewis also won the 1962 state championship under Joyce, but the title was forfeited because of an ineligible player.

Joyce won more than 120 games as the Wolverines' head coach.

Billy Miles, who played for and coached with Joyce at Andrew Lewis and later served as an assistant coach at Salem High, said Joyce's influence on football in the community was immense.

"If you look at the foundation of Salem being a football town, it basically began when he was here," Miles said.

Salem High won six VHSL football championships between 1996-2005.

"He started it all," said Foster, an assistant at Lewis under Joyce.

At the time, Andrew Lewis was part of the Roanoke County school system, and the Wolverines played their games at Salem Municipal Stadium, known today as Kiwanis Field. Now Salem has its own school system, and the high school team's home is 7,136-seat Salem Stadium.

"His impact was on the whole city of Salem," said former Andrew Lewis player Charlie Hammersley, who is a retired Salem Parks and Recreation director.

"If it wasn't for him, I don't think the city of Salem would be the same today. He got civic pride started back in the 1960s. It got the community involved."

Joyce was a Rockingham County, N.C., native who succeeded Hal Johnston Sr. as Andrew Lewis' head coach in 1960, eventually becoming the school's athletic director and assistant principal.

He was a Salem city councilman from 1968-75 and was the city's mayor from Sept. 1, 1970 until Aug. 30, 1972.

Joyce resigned his positions at Andrew Lewis in November 1974. Nearly a year later, a jury convicted Joyce of obtaining $3,940 worth of merchandise for personal use with money from the Andrew Lewis activity fund.

Joyce, who was a city council member when he was convicted, served 15 days in jail and was fined $1,000.

"I was not in town then," current Salem Vice Mayor John Givens said. "That's a bad taste in some people's mouth, but not in mine. He was very inspiring to me as I was coming through high school."

Joyce also was the head coach at two other local high schools Roanoke Catholic in 1979 and now-closed Natural Bridge High in Rockbridge County in 1980.

Joyce spent one season in 1981 as the head coach of the Virginia Hunters of the now-defunct American Football Association with Miles serving as an assistant.

Later, Joyce worked for a company that reconditioned athletic equipment such as football helmets.

"We stayed pretty close to each other for a number of years, too many to count," said Miles, who was the head coach at Franklin County High School from 2002-05.

"He was way ahead of his time. He was extremely organized, very innovative offensively. He was smart enough to work with his personnel."

The 1971 Lewis team was quarterbacked by the coach's son, Eddie Joyce Jr. The Wolverines trailed E.C. Glass 14-0 with six minutes to play in the Northwest Region final before winning 20-14 on a touchdown pass to Billy Sample, who later played for three Major League Baseball teams.

Sample later was quoted as saying that catching the touchdown pass against E.C. Glass was his "most exciting" athletic achievement.

Hammersley, who was named first-team All-Group AAA as a sophomore in 1966, played with five broken ribs in a 13-0 loss to Granby High of Norfolk in a playoff game that determined the state champion under the old VHSL format.

"He was very good with motivation," Hammersley said. "We'd have a big meeting and he'd come with letters to all the captains that he said the other team had written about how they were going to tear us up. Of course, we found later that the coaches wrote those letters."

Former Andrew Lewis players began a movement several years ago to have the playing surface at Kiwanis Field named for Joyce, but no action was taken.
"It never really got any serious traction," Salem city spokesman Mike Stevens said. "It was never a situation where it came up to a vote."

Givens, who played quarterback on the 1966 team, and Hammersley were among many Salem players who saw Joyce for the last time this spring during an outing in Salem.

"He still had his mind," Hammersley said. "He could remember every bad play I ever had."

However, Joyce's former players sensed the end was near.

"He just looked very frail," Givens said. "I guess he's directing some offenses and defenses in the great sky. We'll all miss him."

Joyce is survived by two sons and three daughters. Services for Joyce will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday at Episcopal Church of the Messiah in Mayodan, N.C. 
Family links: 
  Evelyn JoAn Chisholm Joyce (1931 - 2011)
  Eddie Milton Joyce (1953 - 2013)*
*Calculated relationship
Messiah Episcopal Church Memorial Garden
Rockingham County
North Carolina, USA
Created by: Stephanie Nichols
Record added: Jan 20, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103825934
Eddie Milton Joyce, Sr
Added by: Stephanie Nichols
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- Stephanie Nichols
 Added: Jan. 20, 2013

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