Joy Dean Choate, passed into heaven at the age of 85 on Saturday, July 20, 2019, at Ardmore. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at Trinity Baptist Church of Ardmore with The Reverend Terry Tolbert and The Reverend Jimmy May officiating. Interment is to follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park, Ardmore.

Joy was born in Sasakwa, Okla., on Sept. 26, 1933, to Roy Edward Johnson and Lela (James) Johnson. She was raised on the farm next to RD Choate’s family farm in Seminole County. She married the “boy next door” on Aug. 16, 1950, in the local Missionary Baptist Church.

After a brief time in Tishomingo and Holdenville, the Joy and RD Choate Jr. family moved to a small farm near Tahlequah. Joy worked full-time as a homemaker and mother to their four children, who loved to hear her singing gospel hymns as she cooked and cleaned and cared for them. Her children knew Joy’s cheek brushing across their forehead was as accurate as the best thermometer. They also knew she would kill a snake with a garden hoe or confront any other threat to the family. While living in the Tahlequah area, Joy and her family were faithful members of the Blue Springs Baptist Church. Joy often cooked for church fellowships and enjoyed baptism services at 14-mile Creek. Joy and her extended family loved singing gospel hymns together, and at times would sing through an entire gospel hymnal in one evening.  

Joy went to work for the jean–lee dress shop soon after the family moved to Ardmore in 1964. She began as a seamstress and worked her way up to lead the entire alterations department of the upscale fashion retail store. She was an essential part of the operation until her retirement more than three decades later. Joy continued to care for her home and children throughout her career. Shortly after moving to Ardmore, the family joined Trinity Baptist Church, where Joy was a faithful member of the choir for decades.     

Through more than 64 years of marriage, Joy and RD’s love for each other, which grew from their mutual love for God, was evident to all. Their life served as an example of Godly generosity and unyielding hospitality. Joy always had a well-worn welcome mat at her door, and a well-worn Bible close to her. Joy enjoyed serving her family, and anyone who cared to come, legendary Sunday dinners. Dozens of extended family and friends gathered to enjoy family favorites such as pot roast or meatloaf, with potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans, and at least two or three desserts. Sundays were a time of fellowship, sports, and for many a nap on the recliner, before waking up for another piece of chocolate pie. Joy also loved gardening and nurturing her roses, bougainvilleas and other plants outdoors as well as numerous houseplants. Joy will be remembered as a wonderful cook and hostess to all she served.

She was preceded in death by husband, Rupert Dean “RD” Choate; Jr., parents, Roy and Lela Johnson; daughter, Vickey Mitchell; and grandson, Gerrad Mitchell. 

Joy is survived by son, Rickey Choate and wife Linda; daughter, Karen Choate; and son, Tony Choate and wife, Stephanie, all of Ardmore; grandchildren, Katrina, Jennifer, Sarah, Jamie, Karie, Alexis and Alicia; 18 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and a host of family and friends.

Pallbearers will be David Lowden, Michale Haggard, Blaine Patton, Seth Argo, Keaton Argo and Seth Busetti.

Visitation will be held this evening, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Griffin ~ Hillcrest Funeral Home.

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