Cover photo for Joyce Jordan Harris's Obituary
Joyce Jordan Harris Profile Photo
1943 Joyce 2022

Joyce Jordan Harris

October 22, 1943 — August 30, 2022

Joyce Harris was born to James and Edith Jordan on October 22, 1943, in Bessemer, AL. She died at home in Sedona, AZ, on August 30, 2022, at 78 years of age.

Joyce was the third eldest of six siblings, Shirley Chandler, Billy Jordan, Jimmy Jordan, Danny Jordan and Joe Jordan. Shortly after her birth in Alabama, Joyce’s family moved to the Houston area, where she grew up. After she finished high school she enlisted in the United States Air Force. She served in the Air Force in San Antonio, TX, at Lackland Air Force Base. She was proud to serve her country in the military and especially proud to serve during that time of crisis as her service coincided with the Cuban Missile Crisis and other critical global events.

After her military career, she devoted herself to being a full-time mother to sons Jeff and Kevin. When she then became a single mother, she worked as a realtor in Houston to support her family but knew that she wanted to attend college. Her higher education career began at the University of Houston and continued at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) where she was awarded a scholarship in the Education Department. It was there that Joyce earned her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies which led her to her next career, teaching middle school reading in the San Antonio Independent School District.

She met the love of her life, Richard Harris, in San Antonio and the two were married in 1994. After adopting their daughter, Zita, in 1998, Joyce left her teaching career to once again devote herself to being a full-time mother. It was during that time that Joyce also decided that she was not done with her educational career, and she began taking classes in the graduate program of the UTSA English Department. As a result of this reconnection with her undergraduate alma mater, she and Richard established the Sapience Foundation which awarded scholarships to students in the UTSA English program, much like the one she had received herself. In addition to the financial donations, Joyce graciously hosted scholarship recipients at her home, getting to know them and their writing.

Joyce loved her home and had a special interest and great talent in decorating - both every day and during the holidays. Her homes in San Antonio, Allentown, PA, and Sedona, AZ, were all special creations that reflected her enthusiasm for life and its wonders. She was not satisfied with the typical and strived to find unique pieces that she loved to share with others.

While she created beautiful home environments, she and Richard also loved to travel and visited many spectacular locations including a month spent in Italy, the exploration of Canada from Vancouver to Newfoundland, river cruises through Europe and even spending a week “glamping” in Rock Creek, WY.

Joyce was impatient in the best way possible. When she had an idea, she was ready to make it happen. Whether it was seeing the tulips bloom in the Netherlands or taking a hot air balloon air ride in Jackson Hole, Joyce was ready. And it was usually Richard who brought these ideas to fruition!

Joyce was generous with her family - sending beautiful gifts and support when they were needed, for holidays and special anniversaries or “just because”. Gathering the family together was another passion of Joyce’s and on several occasions she arranged for travel and lodging for the extended Jordan family to ensure that they could be together for important occasions such as the joyous celebration of Zita’s adoption.

Joyce is survived by her devoted husband, Richard Harris, her three children, Jeffrey Pixler, Kevin Pixler and Zita Harris, and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. She is also survived by her two devoted dogs, Jacque, an adorable poodle-Lhasa Apso rescue, and Cody, a Bichon-Shih Tzu mix with a great personality. All who knew her will miss her hearty laugh, her wry quips and her enthusiasm for life.

Joyce’s funeral service will occur on Wednesday September 7, 2022. A viewing will be held at 10 am at Greer’s Mortuary, 2725 W. State Route 89A, Sedona, AZ. The graveside service will be held at 11 am on the same day at the Sedona Community Cemetery, 199 Pine Dr., Sedona, AZ.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce Jordan Harris, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Greer's Mortuary and Crematory of Sedona

2725 West State Route 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336

Graveside Service at Sedona Community Cemetery on September 7, 2022, 11:00 AM

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