The Obituary for Mrs. Joyce Mozelle Summerlin (Clay & Tuscaloosa Counties)


Graveside services for Mrs. Joyce Mozelle Summerlin, age 88 of Northport, will be held on Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. at Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery with Elder L.C. Harris officiating. Under the current COVID-19 public health mandates, all in attendance are required to wear face coverings.

Mrs. Summerlin passed away on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at DCH Regional Medical Center. Joyce Mozelle Spears Summerlin was born and raised in Delta, Alabama.

Joyce married Russell Eldered Summerlin two days before he was drafted for the Korean War, and she spent all of her married life as a military and law enforcement wife. She was defined by her love for her family and her children, and she spent her life selflessly supporting and caring for them.

Through all of the frequent moves necessary because of her husband’s career path, Joyce was there behind the scenes, making sure that houses were packed up, school transfers were handled, belongings were organized and moved, and that all the other small details were taken care of to ensure that her husband and children never suffered from the disruption of change. She worked diligently to ensure that her children had everything they needed.

That same selfless support and care extended to her grandchildren as well. She provided care for each of her grandsons in her home when they were small so that their parents could work and support their families. Whenever she was needed — day or night—she was there. She took great joy in doing so; it was never a burden or inconvenience. Each day in her presence, they were fully surrounded by her love and attention. Even as they grew into adulthood, nothing made her happier than to talk with or spend time with her grandchildren.

Joyce was also defined by her love for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She gave her life to Christ as a teenager in Clay County, and her faith was refined and strengthened through the experiences and trials of life. She knew her Lord personally, spending hours studying His Word, praying and communing with Him. She felt a specific calling to serve the Lord in the manner that she could and was faithful to live out that calling to the very end. She gave sacrificially of her resources. She prayed continually for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

While her loved ones have to say goodbye temporarily, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will continue to feel the love that she had for each of them and be strengthened by her example.

She is survived by one sister, Shirley Lyner, one daughter, Deborah “Debbie” Rubio (Greg) of Northport; two sons: Michael Summerlin of Delta, and Tim Summerlin (Renae) of Northport; seven grandchildren: Dale Mitchell (Melissa), David Jordan (Beth), Michael Gene Mitchell (Tommie), Danny Jordan, Brian Rubio (Meagon), Joseph Summerlin and Jacob Summerlin; eight great-grandchildren: Sarah Mitchell, Tyler Mitchell, Abigail Mitchell, Dalton Mitchell, Aron Mitchell, Delaney Johnson, Ben Jordan and Abigail Jordan; and four great-great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by the father of her children, Russell Eldered Summerlin, her parents, William Grady Spears and Ila Mae Spears, brothers Calvin Spears, Arnold Spears, Norman (Pete) Spears, and Jimmy Spears, and sister Evelyne Robinson.

Benefield Funeral Home in Lineville is in charge of the arrangements.