Joyce Parker, ministry spouse and GCU supporter, dies at 96

Oct 10, 2023

Joyce Parker, businesswoman, Grand Canyon University supporter and widow of retired Arizona Southern Baptist Convention staff member Bill Parker, died Sept. 25. She was 96.

Joyce Marie Daily Parker was born September 18, 1927, in Pittsburg, Texas. When she was 18, she was working in a diner when a handsome young soldier came in and asked to walk her home. The soldier told her if he walked her home, he was going to marry her. Joyce said yes, and they were married March 23, 1946, in Dallas, Texas. They were married for 57 years before Bill died in 2003.

They had two daughters Patricia MacGregor (deceased) and Barbara Jo Moore.

Joyce was a wife, mother and partner with Bill in the ministry. She was also a businesswoman who worked in a variety of administrative fields, eventually working her way into human resources, employee relations, and training and development.

She excelled in training and development and played an instrumental role in the training and development of employees at the Arizona State Compensation Fund. She served as a member of the Government and Civic Affairs Task Force and the Governor’s Conference Task Force for Arizona.

However, the role she loved most besides wife and mother was in service to Grand Canyon College/University. She helped establish the training and development program, was director of annual funds, member of the Grand Canyon Foundation and GCU Guild, and was the first GCU Scholarship Foundation Board secretary. She served more than 10 years in that role, dedicating her services and expertise for the benefit and success of GCU students.

Parker worked tirelessly to promote the quality, faith-based education provided at Grand Canyon College/University and raised more than $1 million for scholarships, including one established in honor of her husband, Bill, for ministerial students. She traveled all over the United States working with Bill in ministry, representing the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention and endorsing the educational opportunities at Grand Canyon University.

Parker received many awards and accolades throughout her career, including the Willis J. Ray Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Baptist Historical Society, and she was awarded the Doctor of Public Service for her dedicated service to Grand Canyon College.

She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Jo Moore (Harold); grandchildren Autumn Oxendine (Frankie), Blaine Moore (Erin), Bilye Graff (Phil), Joyce Ann Welch, Mel Worters (Bridgett); great-grandchildren Frankie Alan, Cheyenne, Duke, Nash, Georgia, Hayes, Chloe, Alex, Nicholas, Haley, Audrey; and great-great-granddaughters Serenity and Luna. She also leaves behind her brother Bill Daily and many other treasured family members.

There will not be a formal memorial service. If you would like to honor her, in lieu of flowers please consider a donation in her name to the LEO Foundation, formerly the GCU Scholarship Foundation. Please contact Madeline Winney, CEO for additional information, leofoundationusa.org, 602-206-4465.

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