Edral Joyce Ridley Driskell

by Lynn McMillen
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Edral Joyce Ridley Driskell of Athens, Alabama passed away peacefully on Tuesday evening, September 26, 2023.  Joyce was born on December 1, 1932, the daughter of Otto and Ila Ridley in McKenzie, Tennessee. She attended Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee and, taking care of unfinished business, completed her degree at Athens State College, Athens, Alabama.
Joyce worked to help support her family during a time when that was not common.  She began her career in a sewing factory in Blountsville, Alabama.  Management recognized her work ethic and organizational skills and transferred her into the administrative office, which launched a successful business career working in a number of industries, including Decatur Transit in Decatur, Alabama, Revere Copper and Brass in Scottsboro, Alabama, Rankin Insurance in Decatur, Alabama, and lastly as an Advising Counselor at Athens State College.  
However, her passion was her children and grandchildren.  Joyce always made time for everyone.  She provided love, support, and encouragement, working tirelessly to provide opportunities for her family.  Joyce (and Bill) frequently helped their children and grandchildren move locally or across the country MULTIPLE times.  
Joyce took care of each of her grandchildren at some point, usually while their parent(s) were furthering their education or working.  End of summer always meant a shopping trip for school clothes and supplies.  Joyce always said “grandmother’s babies don’t have to eat anything they don’t want” at her house, but she always served their favorite foods. Her family will forever cherish her.
Her undying love for Bill was an unbreakable bond that withstood the test of time. It was love at first sight when they met at Bethel College in 1950.
Joyce is survived by five children, Debra (Gary) Noblitt, Pat (Karen) Driskell, Denise Rizzo, Chris Driskell and William (Melissa) Driskell, ten grandchildren Julie (Wade) Paterson, Bryan Bean, Audra Willyerd, Josh Driskell, Jon (Annie) Driskell, Christine (Alex Pate) Driskell, Tyler (Megan) Rizzo, Bryan (Emily Roman) Rizzo, McKenzie (Gunnar Grabb) Driskell and Emily Driskell, twelve great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.  In addition to her parents and her devoted husband Bill Driskell, Joyce was predeceased by her brothers Duane Ridley, Bobby Ridley, Joe Ridley, her sister Ruth Ridley Carr and son-in-law Rick Rizzo.
Visitation will be at Spry Funeral Home, Athens, Alabama on Sunday, October 1 at 12:30 pm followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 pm.  Pallbearers will be Emily Driskell, McKenzie Driskell, Bryan Rizzo, Tyler Rizzo, Christine Denise Driskell, Jon Driskell, Josh Driskell, Audra Willyerd, Bryan Bean, and Julie Paterson.
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