Cover photo for Joyce Shelton's Obituary
Joyce Shelton Profile Photo
1939 Joyce 2021

Joyce Shelton

April 18, 1939 — October 7, 2021

Joyce Anne Shelton (nee Dorsett), 82, of Heathsville, VA and Franklin, TN passed away Thursday, October 7, 2021 after a valiant battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Ray and Larissa Barbee of Franklin TN, nieces Marilee Jackman, Watertown, MA, Denise Black of Watertown, MA, nephew Richard Black and numerous cousins.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents Henry Grady (Pete) Dorsett and Mary Lee (Howell) Dorsett, brother Grady Dorsett, sister Evie Holden and numerous other beloved relatives.

Joyce was born April 18, 1939 in Belmont, NC.  She spent her early years in Belmont and Greensboro, NC and Silver Spring, Maryland.  In 1962, she graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in accounting. She received her CPA license shortly thereafter. In 1962, Joyce became a management intern at the U.S. Department of Treasury and thus began a storied government career that spanned several decades. In her early years with the Treasury Department, she served in a number of positions including accountant, auditor and manager of trust fund investments.  In 1969, she was named Director of Central Accounting Operations, a position she held until 1980 when she accepted a position as the Regional Accounting Director for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Kansas City. In July of 1984, she returned to Washington D.C. after being named Director of the Office of Financial Management for the U.S. Department of Transportation. She held this SES executive civil service position, the highest position attainable without political appointment, until her retirement in May of 1994.

After her retirement, Joyce made Bay Quarter Shores in Heathsville, VA her home.  She was a woman of deep faith and an active member of the congregation at Smithland Church. Some of her closest friends were members of her church community. She was also a supporter and member of many groups including the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Northumberland County Rescue Squad, the Red Hat Society, Northumberland Women’s Club and numerous animal rescue groups.

In her personal life, Joyce was an avid traveler and was always on the go.  She traveled across the U.S. and Europe, often with family and friends in tow for lively conversations and great adventures. If she was traveling by car, her travel companions were almost always her beloved dogs.  Her four-legged companions over the years included Nike, Nike Boy, Scooter, Star, Barnie, and most recently Opie and Rudy.

Her smile, enthusiasm and love of family and friends will be truly missed.

Her family invites friends to join them for a luncheon in honor of Joyce at Unique Experience Eatery, 8200 Northumberland Hwy., Heathsville, VA 22473 , Sunday, October 24, 2-5 p.m. (please RSVP to Saddie Piggott at

Arrangements have been made through Williamson Memorial Funeral Home in Franklin, TN. A memorial service and internment will take place in Love’s Creek, NC in the spring of 2022.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Northumberland County Rescue Squad,
412 Reed Avenue, Reedville, VA 22539 .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce Shelton, please visit our flower store.

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