Joyce was blessed to have been born as a descendant of Frank Hudson, through her mother, Carrie, who was the last direct Valdosta descendant. Frank was a prominent citizen in his time. In 1865, Frank Hudson, along with others, initiated the establishment of the historic St. Paul AME Church in Valdosta, GA. The Hudson family were long-standing contributors to decent housing for working families which led to the first and only Black housing project at that time, being named for the Hudson family as well as the Docket family, who had the only Black drug store in Valdosta. The Hudson Estate located at 606 South Lee Street, served as a beacon of light for the Black community as its tall two-story antebellum statue stood high. Its white paint, picket fencing, and brick columns made it a structure to be admired by any family. The 600 block of South Lee Street, across from the Hudson House, served as the Hudson Stores Headquarters - a chain of 4 stores founded in 1906 which served the community for over 70 years. The properties adjacent to the store was the warehouse for the store chain, which later turned into a home and met the needs of many families throughout the years. Two other duplexes that sat on the 600 block also served as housing for numerous Black families through the years. To this day, in the Hudson House, the community continues to be served. On February 19, 2014, construction was completed for Daughters of Zion Refuge Center to serve as housing for men who were pursuing services for their drug addictions. The Hudson properties were donated to the Ministry of TEACH. The Hudson legacy has empowered and given a road map to the Daughters of Zion Refuge Center and TEACH Outreach Center to function and serve as “Our Brother’s Keepers,” continuing the legacy of community service. Today, the city of Valdosta continues to honor the Hudson family’s valuable contributions with buildings such as The Old Haven (a shelter for women on Lee Street), the naming of Hudson Docket (housing authority assisting low-income families with decent, safe, and affordable housing opportunities), and Hudson Street.
Joyce grew up as a military child. She was raised in the Catholic faith and attended Catholic schools throughout her adolescence. Later in life, she attended Valdosta State University where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She then went on to work at the Doctor’s Lab as a Toxicology Drug Tester. She enjoyed singing and listening to music. Her favorite hobbies were doing word-find games, getting her hair and nails done, and watching television. Her special family/cultural traditions were Catholic traditions and communion. She preferred face-to-face communication. She was a very effective communicator. Especially when it came to vocalizing what she felt strongly about, her likes, and any displeasures.
Left to cherish her memory are: her daughter, Wakia C. Mason; stepmother, Jean James; brothers; James Barnett - Retired Army (Elaine) and son Terrell; Cornell C. James (Courtney) and their children Cornell Robinson, Matthew James, Cornell James Jr., and Nova Grace James; Salomon C. James - Retired Army Master Sergeant E8 (Laura) and their children Nila, Nadine, and Stephen; and David James; sisters; Vivian R. Heggins – Retired Army Sergeant First Class E7 and her children, Leroy and Lewis; Melissa Perkins and her children Mylan Mason, Tristin Perkins, Merciah-Solomon Perkins, and Avery Perkins; and Floristine “Coco” L. Black (Jeremy) and their children, Jalen, Jorian, Orlando and Jazmine Rose; best friend, Flavious J. Lee and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
Preceded in death by her father, Solomon James – Retired Army Staff Sergeant E6; mother Carrie Edith Thomas – Retired Army and stepfather Jimmie Lee Lewis – Retired Army Sergeant First Class E7; sister, Floristine B. Cleveland; nieces Tracy, Cathleen Robinson; nephew, Lindsay and Nelson
Memorial service will be held on her birthday, Tuesday, 09 January 2024, at 3 pm, at the Ammen Family Cremation & Funeral Care 950 Malabar Rd SE located in Palm Bay, FL.
The repast luncheon will be held at the home of Floristine “Coco” and Jeremy Black following the service. The address is 1497 Hero St. SE, Palm Bay, FL. All are welcome. You may contact Coco at 321.446.8960.