Cover photo for Joyce Hill's Obituary
Joyce Hill Profile Photo
1947 Joyce 2021

Joyce Hill

February 8, 1947 — February 8, 2021

Joyce L. Hill (Nave) of Pima, Arizona, passed away on Monday, February 8, 2021, in Safford, Arizona. She was 74.

Joyce was born on February 28, 1947 in Telephone, Texas, to parents Virgil and Ellen Stephens Nave. Joyce had three brothers; Raymond, James and Billy; and one sister, Nita. Joyce was the oldest child of a migrant worker. Her father often moved the family between Texas, Arizona and Oregon; moving whenever he “got an itch” or where he could find work in the cotton field or lumber mill. Joyce described her father as being a gypsy of sorts, as he could never stay put. Joyce’s family returned to Pima, Arizona in the 1960’s.

In 1964, Joyce met and married Delbert Boyd Hill on June 5th. The couple had been married for 56 years until Delbert’s death on August 3, 2020.

Joyce enjoyed many activities and was always on the go. She loved spending her summers in Oregon with her sister, Nita. She enjoyed going to wine tastings, casinos and spending time with her family and friends. Some of her hobbies included bowling, crocheting, working in her yard and riding her quad or side by side. She and Delbert also loved to take their grandkids camping and fishing.

Joyce spent most of her years being a homemaker. Then in the 1980’s she began working with the developmentally disabled and was employed with a few group homes and then with GCRC. On May 3, 1999 at the age of 52, Joyce attended the Correctional Officers Training Academy and continued to work for the Department of Corrections until she retired on May 29, 2009. Her coworkers affectionately called her “Baby Hill.” She was small but a spit fire!

Joyce is survived by: her children; son, Michael Hill (Pilar) of Globe; her daughters, Susan Patton (Billy) of Pima and Roxanne Smeltekop (Ryan) of Safford; by her brothers, Raymond Nave (Patty) and James Nave both of Pima; and her sister, Nita May (Calvin) of Lorane, Oregon; her 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren with one more on the way.

Joyce was preceded in death by: her parents, Virgil and Ellen Nave; her brother, Billy Nave; and her grandson, Joshua Smeltekop; and her husband, Delbert Hill.

Memorial services for Joyce will be conducted Saturday, February 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at the Crossroads Baptist Church of Thatcher by Pastor Dustin Willey. Those who would like to attend the services via Facebook Live can join on the Crossroads Baptist Church of Thatcher Facebook page,, Saturday morning, February 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (MST).

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


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