Joy Parsons very peacefully passed away on the morning of July 7, 2020, with her sons Brent and Tim by her side. Joy spent her last five weeks under hospice care in Brent and Laura Parsons’ home in Leander, Texas. She had just recently turned 85 years old.
Joy Arnell Parsons was born in Electra, Texas, on June 17, 1935 to Armel “AI” Ivey and Connie Whitley. She was the younger of two daughters, and her beloved older sister Jackie remained her best friend throughout her life. Jackie preceded her in death in 2004. Joy’s father worked in the oil fields, and the Whitley family moved all over Texas and New Mexico while the girls were small, but the family eventually settled in Jal, N.M., where Joy grew up. By 1950 the family had moved to Fort Stockton, Texas, where Joy attended high school, and once marched in the El Paso Sun Bowl as a Panther majorette. Joy graduated from Fort Stockton High School in 1953, and first met future husband Al “Flop” Parsons while he was in Alpine attending Sul Ross State University and playing baseball for Herbert Kokernot's o6 Cowboys during the summer. Their dating came to an end when Al was drafted into military service during the Korean War in 1954.
Joy and Al reconnected and rekindled their previously interrupted romance after Al was honorably discharged and returned to Alpine to graduate from Sul Ross and pursue a career in coaching. After their marriage in 1961, Joy again found herself moving all over Texas as Al took on high school coaching duties at Post, Texas, Levelland, Texas, and her own Fort Stockton High School.
By 1968, they made their final move back to Alpine where Al took a position as an instructor and assistant football coach on the faculty of Sul Ross, while Joy took classes at Sul Ross and sold Fidelity Insurance.
It was 1970 when Joy first entered into the business that would define her professional life in Alpine, accepting a salesperson position for the J.W. Eddleman Real Estate company. She soon got her broker's license, and in 1972 opened Parsons Real Estate with her first office situated in the duplex next door to the family residence on Avenue B. Joy’s family is very proud of the fact that she was the very first female real estate broker to own and run her own real estate business in Alpine. In 1975, Joy opened the downtown office of Parsons Real Estate on the one-way at 106 West Avenue E, where it would stay for the next 44 years.
Around this time, Al received his real estate license, and joined Joy in the business. Al became a broker alongside Joy, and would remain both Joy’s husband and business partner until his untimely death in 2003, when Joy once again assumed sole ownership of the business.
Joy received a great acknowledgement from the Alpine business community when Parsons Real Estate was honored at the 2017 Chamber of Commerce banquet with the Alpine Ambassadors Business of the Year and Longevity award. Finally, in October 2019, after 47 continuous years of business, Joy announced her retirement and the closing of the Parsons Real Estate office. At her retirement party held at American Legion Post 79 on Oct 12, 2019, a packed room full of friends, community business leaders, and local groups and organizations gathered to celebrate Joy with heartfelt testimonials and loving memories that reflected the huge, positive impact Joy made on so many lives throughout the area over the years.
Joy and Al raised their two sons, Brent and Tim, in Alpine, where both graduated from Alpine High School and attended Sul Ross. Brent married local girl Laura Pattillo in Alpine, and the couple now resides in Leander with Joy and Al’s two grandkids, their spouses, and five great-grandkids living close by. After over a decade in the tech field in Dallas, Tim returned to live in Alpine, and has worked at Sul Ross for 15 years in the distance education area.
Joy and Al were tireless Alpine Buck supporters, and both were involved in the Sul Ross Alumni Association for many years.
Joy stayed constantly active in various community groups and organizations, including serving throughout the 1980s in the Alpine Pilot Club, as a board member for several years throughout the 1990s in the Alpine Chamber of Commerce, and in many positions in the American Legion Auxiliary from 1973 to present. She served most notably in the Alpine Ambassadors Club, and was actively involved with the organization from its start in the 1970s. She was president of the Ambassadors twice, and was also chosen as Ambassador of the Year in 1989 and 1997. Joy also enjoyed spending time with her friends in the Red Hat Ladies club, and was known far and wide as a bridge player to be reckoned with. Casinos all over the nation went on high alert the day Joy retired.
Joy lived up to her name in every way, and will be remembered best for her upbeat, outgoing personality and her active role in the community she loved over many decades. Beloved in Alpine, she was the epitome of small town warmness and hospitality. She could make you feel instantly comfortable in her presence, and always made time to chat and offer guidance and help to anyone who stopped by the Parsons Real Estate office. She was truly one-of-kind - an iconic businesswoman, a loyal friend to many, and a loving wife and partner to her husband of over 40 years.
The most important thing to Joy was family. She was never anything less than supportive, attentive, caring, loving, giving, and always available for her sons, grandkids, and great-grandkids. She will be greatly missed.
Joy is survived by her son Brent Parsons and wife Laura of Leander, son Tim Parsons of Alpine; grandchildren Matthew and wife Leah of Leander, and Brittany and husband Sutton of Salado, Texas; great grandchildren Emily, Everett, Theo, Sybil, and Wylie; and niece Deborah Carr.
Information on a memorial for Joy will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alpine American Legion Post 79, and its American Legion Auxiliary unit of which Joy was a longtime member.