Jimmie Joyce Wickham—beloved mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend—went home to be with the Lord on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, age 91.
Jimmie Joyce was born on April 30, 1930, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Elmer and Mabel Atkinson. In her early years, she lit up the stage and television screens with her vibrant singing and dancing. After her mother remarried Clint Mawhinney and her two younger brothers were born, much of her time was spent caring for her siblings. She graduated from Miami Edison High School in 1948 and went on to dabble in many different fields of work. She studied architecture at the University of Miami, traveled across America selling magazines, taught dance at Arthur Murray’s Studio in New York City, sang in the Sweet Adelines group in Miami, and was an Eastern airline stewardess, just to name a few!
In her mid 20s, Jimmie married her first husband and had two children, Arthur “Rodger” and Elaine “Lainey” Marie Voss. In 1966, she met Fred Wickham, a widower who had two children of his own, Freddie and Wendy. They quickly married, and together, Fred and Jimmie had two more children, Ruth Ann and Shawn Lee. Jimmie loved her husband with a deep abiding love through his sudden death in 1995 and well after. She loved to talk about him when asked and could easily be brought to tears with memories of her beloved. Their 6 children combined gave Jimmie 16 grandchildren, who blessed her with many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren before she passed away. Gramma, as she was fondly called, adored each and every one of them. In her last years, she looked at pictures of them on an iPad every day and showed them to visitors proudly.
In her 40s, Jimmie chose to continue her education by finishing her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, graduating from Nova University in 1985, at the age of 55. She was very happy about this accomplishment, however, her teaching career actually started long before that. Jimmie began teaching in the early 1970s at Heritage Christian School in Gainesville, Florida. The family moved often due to her husband’s work, allowing Jimmie the opportunity to teach different grades from kindergarten through 6th grade all across Florida. After moving to Fort Lauderdale in 1980, Jimmie eventually secured a teaching position at Walker Elementary Magnet School near downtown. Jimmie taught at Walker until her retirement in 1998. Over her lifetime, Jimmie taught hundreds of children to read and learn key social skills, developing a love for learning in many of her students. This was the legacy she wanted to leave and what she was most proud of accomplishing.
Miss Jimmie had a strong, unwavering faith in Jesus and was very active in her church, First Baptist Church of Coconut Creek. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years and a prayer warrior who interceded on behalf of friends and families every day. She loved God’s word and her church family, pouring herself out in service to God’s glory. She was known for her love of music, singing in the church choir each week, and performing solos and in ensembles. At home, she frequently burst into song and dance mid-conversation, laughing and charming whoever was there to see. She always wore an incredible smile as she sang her heart out—whether from the stage, the pew, or eventually, her bed.
Jimmie Joyce is preceded in death by her husband, Fred Wickham; children Fred and Wendy; father, Elmer Roscoe Atkinson; mother, Mabel Lucille Mawhinney and her husband, Clint.
Jimmie Joyce leaves behind her son, Arthur Rodger Voss III; daughter, Elaine “Lainey” Marie Forlani and her husband, David, their two children, Tiffany and Jacen, and their families; daughter, Ruth Ann Pickett and her husband, Damian, their children Dana, Damian Jr., and Dakota, and their families; son, Shawn Lee Wickham; grandchildren through Fred Wickham Jr. (deceased), Fred III, Debbie, Julie, Carrie, and their families; grandchildren through Wendy Barthelmess (deceased), Tammy, Jimmy, Christopher, Alan, Stephen, Matthew, Marie, and their families; brother, Tom Mawhinney; and brother, Bill Mawhinney and family.
A celebration of life service will be held at 10:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Plantation Baptist Church, 11700 NW 28th Court, Plantation, Florida 33323 with a reception to follow.
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