Cover photo for Joyce Palmatary Mays's Obituary
Joyce Palmatary Mays Profile Photo
1936 Joyce Palmatary 2020

Joyce Palmatary Mays

March 24, 1936 — October 13, 2020

View Funeral Webcast Joyce Palmatary Mays was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1936 and died peacefully surrounded by her family on October 12, 2020. She was the daughter of the late Dr. Ernest and Frances Palmatary. She attended E. C. White grade school and Southwest High School graduating in 1954. She earned a BA in Journalism at the University of Oklahoma in 1958. While at OU, Joyce served as President of the Oklahoma Alpha chapter of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She married her college sweetheart, Terry Mays, in February 1958 and moved to Tennessee. Their oldest son William Terrence Jr. (Tad) was born in Jackson, TN in 1959. They moved to Columbia in 1961. Son Carter Allen was born in 1963 and daughter Katherine Linnette (Katie) in 1969. Joyce was a member of the James K. Polk Auxiliary, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, was active in the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia and Graymere Club Golf Association. She enjoyed golf, tennis, bridge, OU sports, traveling and walking with good friends. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She loved and served others exceedingly well. In addition to her loving husband Terry of 62 years, she leaves son Tad and wife Susan and grandsons, William Terrence III and Justin Taylor of Memphis; son Carter and wife Jenny and grandson Carson McGuire and granddaughter Madeline Joyce of Franklin and daughter Katie and son in law Guy Dewees, granddaughters Ella Kate and Sarah Frances and grandson Cater Patrick Dewees of Birmingham, Alabama. She was predeceased by her brother, Allen Palmatary, of Wichita Falls, TX who is survived by wife Delores. The Mays family is especially grateful to Joyce’s devoted doctors and caregivers including her primary caregivers, Joannie Shively and Melissa Cannady. A private burial service will be officiated by Reverend Chris Bowhay with a memorial service to be held at a later date at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors are assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials would be welcome at the Boys & Girls Club, 210 W 8th St, Columbia, TN 38401; St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 311 W. 8th, Columbia, TN 38401 or the James K. Polk Home, 301 W. 7th, Columbia, TN 38401. Condolences may be extended online at


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