In the early morning of June 5, 2024, a gifted and loving man took off to the land of an Uncloudy Day, taking with him pieces of innumerable hearts. It is with deep sadness and love that his family announces the passing of Donald E. Joye at the age of 80. Donald left after a brief illness, surrounded by his loving family. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, and he will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of loving him.

Don, as he was known by many, was preceded in death by his loving parents, Robert Bunyon Joye and Sarah Frances “Sally” Lee Joye and his nephew, Robert David Arthur “Bobby” Joye.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 53 years, Brenda DeHart Joye; his adoring daughter, Laura Joye Cochran; his son-in-law, Michael Cochran; and his precious grandson, Fox Cochran; as well as his brothers, Robert Joye (Kathy) and Charles Joye, both of Pensacola, Fla.; George Joye (Amy) of Union Grove, N.C.; and Tim Joye (Kristen) of Northwest, N.C.; and sister, Nancy Joye Bowers of Statesville, N.C. He also leaves many special nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.

Donald was born October 20, 1943, in Hemingway, S.C. He attended schools in Hemingway and was brought up in Johnsonville, five miles away, where he graduated from Johnsonville High. He worked briefly for Wellman Combing Company in Johnsonville before moving with the family to Statesville in 1962 as he and his father were both assigned to the new International Paper Company Container Division there. He worked for IP for 53 years, interrupted by four years of military service.

Donald served his country from 1965 to 1969, being assigned to Korea and then Asmara, Ethiopia, with the Army Security Agency. He made good friends in his term of service with whom he kept in touch through the years. Often, he spoke whimsically in Morse code.

If you knew Donald, you know that he was a devoted fan of Bluegrass music and played the mandolin for over 40 years at any opportunity. His enthusiasm was infectious, and if you drifted near where he was playing he would soon have you participating as a fellow player or singer or a converted listener. He was a member of several local groups, including The Southland Ramblers, Dove Creek, and The Joyeboyes. He was incredibly proud that he passed his love of music on to his daughter and grandson, who were his pride and joy. It brought him immense happiness to make music with them and to know that they would keep the music going long after his song was finished.

Generous with his time, encouragement, and affection, Don was ever stalwart, and after losing his right hand to cancer, he continued to strum the mandolin with a prosthetic device and sing, adding his tenor voice to group harmonies. He was a trouper who neither complained nor succumbed to self-pity. He loved to make jokes and never missed an opportunity to make someone laugh. True to his name, he brought joy wherever he went.

He was also a man who thought an impromptu visit to the Farmers Market in Florence, S.C., on a Saturday morning was well worth the trip just to obtain a bushel of fresh-picked butter beans and a bag of South Carolina peanuts for boiling, both of which kept him in touch with his rural and small town family roots. Forever young, Donald, a man not to be easily forgotten, will be forever missed and his legacy cherished.

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date. Online condolences can be made to the family at The family prefers not to receive flowers. Instead, they would love for you to share your favorite memory of Donald online at (Handwritten memories are also welcome to be mailed to the family’s home address).

Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.