My Journey – In My Own Words195697559
On June 23, 1948, I, Margaret Joyce Williams High was born to the late Robert Williams and Gladys Williams Clark. Yes, you are reading correctly because I wrote my own obituary. Of course I wrote as much as I possibly could (smile). I departed my life on March 10, 2020 at Sagepoint Senior Living Center, LaPlata, MD. I was baptized by Rev. Closs at age 10 and joined Wake Chapel Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC. I always loved going to Wake Chapel which was co-founded by my great-great uncle. In fact, I was teaching my own Sunday school class at ages 15-16.
I grew up in Raleigh, NC (Wake County) and attended Jeffreys Grove Elementary School from 1954-1962. Since my elementary school consisted of grades 1-8. I did not attend a separate middle school. It was considered a consolidated school. I kept the same friends all the way through 8th grade.
In 1962, I started Berry O’Kelly High School in Method, NC. There I met new people because my new school combined students from my elementary school and other schools. Although I met new people, I still kept my old friends but accepted a few new friends. I learned a lot from my elementary/high school teachers. One thing was, although my schools were segregated, I was just as smart as anyone. My teachers made me strong and respectful. In my high school English class, I had to learn a poem, “MYSELF”, by Edgar Guest. Please read it. I kept this poem in my mind/heart all my life.
MYSELF by Edgar Albert Guest
I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am,
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
but here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know that
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
whatever happens I want to be
self-respecting and conscience free.
Just like the poem states – I have to live with myself and I want to be self-respecting and conscience free.
I graduated from West Cary High School in 1966. I knew I was headed to college. I chose St. Augustine in Raleigh, NC and majored in Sociology. I still remember my strict speech teacher who was Ms. Julia Delany. I learned so much from her and later learned who she was and why she was so firm. If you get a chance, study the history of the Delany family and how the children grew up on St. Augustine Campus. Also, watch the movie about The Delany Sisters.
After graduating from St. Augustine in 1970, with a BA degree in Sociology, I headed to Washington, DC. There, I met a man by the nickname of “Blue”, and in less than a year, he became my husband-Ananias High, Jr. Yes, love at first sight. We have two children, Robert (Chris) and Sherrie. Boy, I remember those years of trying to be a good mother and a role model. Always taking/not sending them to Sunday School and church services.
I received my teacher certification from The University of DC, Advanced Professional Certificate from George Washington University and M.A. Degree in EAP, Counseling from Trinity Washington University.
I joined Zion Baptist Church in 1977. I taught Sunday School for 12 years and worked with the youth over 20 years. I became a Deaconess under Rev. William A. Thorpe. I would like the youth to know that there are opportunities in life. Reach for your dreams and have goals, but also remember God. Keep trying and work hard. I lived by Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote which is “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
I met my best friend, Gail Spellman-Hogue at Chopticon High School in 1981. We were the sponsors for the class of 1986. I taught Social Studies at Chopticon High School in St. Mary’s County for over 30 years. I have been nominated, and was selected, to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, which honors our nation’s most respected teachers. I was featured in the 2002-2006 editions.
I retired from Chopticon High School on July 1, 2009. I was featured in Chopticon’s yearbook, “A LONGLASTING STORY”. I was involved in many professional and church organizations.
I loved to travel with my husband. In fact, when I retired, he took me on a cruise, August 13, 2009, to Bermuda, to celebrate my retirement. Family, friends and church members joined us on the cruise, which made the trip more exciting and enjoyable. We sailed out of Baltimore on The Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas and had so much fun.
I was known to my grandchildren as Mama Joyce. My mother’s grandchildren called her Mama Gladys and my great grandmother was known as Mama Nora. So, I carried on the tradition of Mama Joyce. To my grandchildren, Lorenzo, Jaden, Shandi and Kae’son : Enjoy every day!
I was preceded in death by my parents and brother, Charles Williams.
I am survived by my devoted, loving husband, Ananias High, Jr.; devoted children, Sherrie High Mitchell (Gary) and Robert Christopher High (Chris); grandchildren, Lorenzo Malcolm High, Kae’son Bracey, Jaden Ananias Mitchell, Shandi McKinsey Mitchell and Diamond Mitchell Hoey (Kyle); great granddaughter, Kyloni Hoey; adopted sister, Gail Spellman-Hogue; Godchildren, Cameron and Ceyonna Hogue and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Family and friends will unite on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 for visitation at 10 am until time of service at 11 am at Zion Baptist Church, 8105 Annapolis Woods Road, Welcome, MD. Interment will be on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery, 11301 Crain Hwy, Cheltenham, MD 20623.
Heaven has certainly gained an Angel! Joyce was such a wonderful, kind and thoughtful person who always greeted you with a warm smile and generous heart. We will always be forever grateful to her and her husband for their thoughtfulness and generosity they bestowed upon our late Parents. The High Family will forever be in our hearts.
To the High Family,
Elder Starks and I are sorry that we were unable to attend the service for your loved one. Please know that our heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with you. We pray that God will strengthen and console each one of you during this time. Be encouraged by the Word of God knowing that even in your time of sorrow, God’s grace is sufficient to take you through.
Continue to look to God and he will strengthen your heart. May God’s loving and healing grace sustain you and remember that earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal.
God Bless You!
She is and was a true saint of the most high God. Sending our condolence and prayers to the High Family and those that knew and loved her. The Lee Family
My condolences to the High Family. My prayers and love for you during this time. Mama Joyce had a sweet personality.
For the Lord shall comfort.
Isaiah 51:3 KJV
Kenneth & Nicole DeVIlle, Family
I went to school with Joyce and she was one of the most humble,sweet and loving person I have met. May God Bless her family I last saw her at Berry o Kelly reunion and she had not changed at all.
I grew up with my cousin Joyce in Raleigh, NC. Where Joyce and I were born and raised. I remember going to school and Joyce, me and my beloved brother Dwight would all sit together on the bus. Joyce and I attended the same college and both pursued the same career as being a teacher. Joyce helped me obtain my teaching career in SMCPS. I will always remember Joyce for her kind words and warming smile for every individual that she encountered.
She was truly a beautiful person.
Robin Harris Harvey
Mrs. High was truly a blessing to all that had the pleasure to know her. She taught me at Chopticon. We worked together when she worked as a substitute teacher at Chopticon. She would always tell people I was one of her Favorite student’s. Mrs. High made sure she kept up with her former student’s lives. She genuinely cared about others. She was a beautiful person inside and out! Her pleasant demeanor and ever present smile will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to The High Family and all of her special friends. God bless you all!
I was a neighbor for a short time in Waldorf
when we lived on Pagnell Circle. Such a sweet person and a wonderful family. My deepest sympathy. Linda Cox
My deepest condolences go out to the High family. May God be with you during this time of bereavement.
My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mrs. Joyce High. I met Mrs. High about 20 years ago. One memory I would like to share was the way she often spoke of herself in the third person especially when she was dealing with a troubled student. She would say, “You know Mrs. High don’t like ugly.” Mrs. High was always very soft spoken which impacted her students as well as her colleagues. She will be missed.
My deepest sympathies to Joyce’s family and friends. Joyce was my next door neighbor at Chopticon for many years. Such a kind and generous person! I used to say to students if they didn’t like Mrs. High they were the ones with a problem. She was always willing to go out of her way to help students and other teachers. In fact, when I was studying to be a teacher, her class was one of the first that I observed. Always patient with her students, she made such a significant impact on many young people. She will be missed but every memory I have of her is a pleasant one. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of sorrow.
Mrs. High meant so much to so many. The impact we have on others are the memories that will live on long after our time here on Earth. Mrs. High had a positive impact on so many and we will cherish our memories of our time together. I will remember the times we shared working together at Chopticon High and the her soft and quiet tone. I admired her patience and understanding, her great sense of humor, and the quiet way she led by example. Heaven has truly gained an angel. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Sorry to hear about the passing of Joyce. Joyce and I grew up together on Snelling Road. She was always sweet, kind and very soft spoken. I know that she is now smiling upon us from Heaven.
Sincerest sympathy to you Blue & your children Chris & Sherrie. Joyce was so soft spoken & nice. Great to have you as neighbors in Waldof.
My Heart is really crushed to a million pieces right now. I’m trying so hard to hold back my tears typing this. God has truly gain an Angel. Theses last few weeks I’ve spent with you just laughing and reflecting on old times has been a blessing. I will continue to push through and watch over Daddy Blue. Also, I will pass down the many life lessons you’ve taught me down to my children. I love you for life! This isn’t a goodbye, because we will meet again. But until next time Mama Joyce, keep watching over the family. Love your son/Grandson -Lorenzo
Mrs. High had the heart of a teacher. Just being in here presence made you feel loved and cared for. A wonderful member of the Chopticon Family. Rest in Peace.
Our prayers are with the High Family at this difficult time in the loss of one so dear to you. Joyce was a great friend, always there in the time of need. Her friendship will always be remembered. Family, know that she is with the Lord and keep the faith.
Pauline and Robert L. Thomas
I worked with Joyce in the CETA program over the course of 4 summers IN THE 80’S. SHE WAS SO THOUGHTFUL AND DEDICATED TO HELPING YOUTH DEVELOP GOOD WORK SKILLS.
Mrs.High’s teaching legacy touched many lives in wonderful ways.May she rest in peace.
Mrs. High was an Angel on earth! She will be dearly missed! She always made me smile! I know she is with The Lord!
My prayers are with Mrs. High’s family and friends. I was blessed enough to be one of her students at CHS. She was such an amazing teacher and person and will be truly missed. To say that she made an impact on my life would be an understatement. How lucky Heaven is to have welcomed home such a precious angel.
My condolences and prayers for Joyce’s family and friends. Joyce was full of grace. She was kind, thoughtful, intelligent, giving, an inspiration. So many people are better for having had her touch their lives.
I wish you well through your time of grieving. Know that she was a quiet, positive force and made a difference.
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Mrs. High. She was such a delightful lady. My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones.
May God Bless Blue, Chris and Sherrie as you proceed through this unplanned season of living. Joyce was part of a strong foundation for the students that she taught and mentored as well as staff at CHS. Her soft spoken words were well received. As a friend, co-worker and humorous car pool buddy she brought calmness, prayer and many blessings to me. Joyce exemplified pride inside. Condolences from my family to yours.
You are a rock of Chopticon, your presence is still her in the halls. It was a pleasure to have known and worked with you. OI miss your smile and ever present positive outlook on life. You will be missed. Kurt
Joyce was a wonderful, loving, caring teacher and co-worker. I was blessed to have known her.
Rest in peace Mrs. High u where one of my favorite teachers in school.
My condolences to the High family. I was her student for US History back in 1989. I also had her for homeroom two years. She was one of my favorite teachers at Chopitcon and made my high school years a little less daunting. Her smile lit a room up and she always had one. Heaven got a true angel. God bless.
Condolences to the family. God bless you at this time of great loss. Joyce will truly be missed. This has been a 40+ year friendship of the High’s & Robinson’s full of a beautiful display of kindness and Christian stewardship. Thank you for sharing Joyce with us.
Alonia, Tonya, Lisa & Vincent
Mama Joyce you will be missed. I’m definitely gone miss getting them inspirational quotes. Rest In Heavenly Peace. Tell my pop pop hi for me. Love you always. Erica
Although Joyce may have left this earthly plain, she will live on forever in the hearts of all the students she taught. She had a beautiful soul, and all those who met her were truly blessed. I will always remember her smile that could light up a room. What a joy it was to be her colleague at Chopticon High School! Rest in Peace, Sweet Joyce.
My condolences to Joyce’s family and friends. She was a great inspiration to me at Chopticon as a new teacher. She was always positive and gave me great ideas for the classroom.
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
You will be missed! I loved having you as a teacher. You were always kind, funny and stayed engaged with your students. Never a dull
Minute in your class. RIP. Becky Johnson
I considered Joyce on of my dearest friends. She was one of the sweetest and most genuine people I ever met. Our friendship began in 1987 when she took this new teacher under her wing. We often joked that she taught me everything I needed to know about teaching. She did teach me so much, not just about teaching, but about life. Joyce was a wonderful educator and an even better person. You were an angel on earth and now you have your wings. My deepest condolences to Blue, Chris, Sherrie and family.
Still doesn’t feel real. I’m grateful for everything you’ve done.
Aunt Joyce its really hard to believe that you’re gone. Thank you so much for the love you gave this family. Until we meet again
I miss you and love you Mom. See you again in heaven! Love your favorite daughter 🙂
I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to work beside you as a colleague. Your warmth, class and genuine goodness will be greatly missed in this world. May the Lord grant you the eternal peace and rest that you so richly deserve.
Joyce was always kind, professional and considerate. The world needs more people like you. Sorry to hear about your passing.
Jim McGrath/Colleague at Chopticon High School
If you were here to read this message, you would have no problem believing: you were a friend indeed, I loved you so very much, and you will be greatly missed. I don’t know why God called you home. However, I know He does not make any mistakes; and, His will has been done. As a believer in Christ, I’ll see you later. Continue to wear that smile that you were always sporting. Don’t worry about Gail, your adopted sister, I’ll keep an eye on her for you. You will always be a beautiful memory in my heart and soul. Joanie Titus
My deepest condolences to Mrs. High’s loved ones. She was a remarkable lady full of kindness and a genuine caring for others. She was a wonderful friend. Our moms were ill and coincidentally shared rooms together more than once. We checked in on each other’s mom and looked after each other. She also taught my children. She always had a smile and a positive outlook on life. She was an angel here on earth and we were blessed to have her be part of our lives. You will be missed Joyce High. Rest In Peace. God bless you!
Our deepest sympathies to you all from the Snelling family.