Joyce Kathleen Giddens Matthews passed away on Saturday, April 5, 2019. She was born in Refugio, Texas on October 15, 1947 to J.T. and Effie Giddens. She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, George, her niece Sarah and nephews Charles and Aaron. She leaves behind a loving family including her mother-in-law, Marguerite Matthews, sister in law, Cecily Cano (husband Roland), brothers in law Dennis Matthews (wife Cindy) and Charles Matthews. Although Joyce was an only child her life-long friendship with Ronnie Koliba existed as a sibling relationship.
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Joyce graduated from Victoria High School and attended Our Lady of the Lake and graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio during the late 1960’s, a time of great political change in the city and for which she was a strong supporter and activist.
Joyce’s first passion was art. She worked in mediums of oil, watercolors, and lithography. Her capabilities in all means and methods started at an early age where the paintings were winning prizes and selling on the open market even before she was out of high school. Over the years her medium turn to latex when she began designing and painting sets for shows. This started while she was still in high school painting the sets for The Music Man and My Fair Lady. It continued for many years with work on other VISD productions and productions for Victoria College as well as for The Victoria Community Theatre.
Joyce was also passionate about the fine arts. She worked as stage/production manager with the Victoria Fine Arts Association and the Victoria Symphony for more than 28 years. She sang with the Victoria Bach Festival during its early and formative years and supported the festival activities each year. For nearly forty years Joyce worked with Theatre Victoria designing lighting for many plays and musicals. She was a founding member of Victoria Summer Musical Reportory Company. She served as technical director for musicals at Victoria College for over 24 years designing and building sets and creating lighting for many shows. A particular favorite were productions with the Victoria Children’s Chorus. Another special event was Swan Lake at the Duck Pond held in the Riverside Park in 1983.
Joyce married George Matthews on August 16, 1980. Although they had no children of their own they mentored many actors and techies over more than thirty-eight years, many of whom now work in professional theatre or are involved in theatre productions in their current hometowns.
Joyce was an avid historian which included the Texas of 10,000 years ago. She was a member of the Texas State Historical Commission and helped organize a state-wide meeting in Victoria while still in high school. She went on many field trips in Victoria County but also in many summer archaeological digs around Texas. She, along with her parents found many artifacts, some of which reside in the Museum of the Coastal Bend.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm with a funeral service at 4:00 pm at Grace Funeral Home. A private burial will be held Friday.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to any of the arts organizations Joyce supported during her lifetime.
Thoughts and memories may be shared online at www.gracefuneralhome.net. Arrangements and services under the personal care of Grace Funeral Homes & Cemeteries