Joyce Lee Ellis Wingate

Published 3:43 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2023

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Joyce Lee Ellis Wingate, age 89, passed away on Sunday, September 3, 2023, after a lengthy illness.  Mrs. Joyce was the wife and “child bride” of the late Calvin “Jack” Wingate of Lake Seminole.

Joyce was born on December 20, 1933, in Connorville, Oklahoma, the third of eight children, to Jasper and Lula Mae Gordon Ellis.  She graduated from Oak Grove School in 1952 and moved to Georgia that summer where she met and married Jack Wingate in the fall of that year.  They worked tirelessly together to build and sustain Wingate’s Lunker Lodge and Restaurant on Lake Seminole, Georgia.

Make no mistake, Joyce was the “woman behind the man” … the steel and glue that held Jack, their family, and that business together for well over forty years before her health made it impossible to continue.  Joyce loved to sing and had a beautiful voice. She could usually be found with a broom or mop in hand, tidying up the dining room, prepping for meals, and minding the store when Jack was away.  She loved flowers, bright colors, bird and critter watching from her kitchen’s bay window, and she loved to eat!  Jack often said, “she’d gnaw a bone ‘til the dogs wouldn’t have it”.  She was a tough but fair boss, and everyone loved her.  She will be remembered for her kindness, her hospitality, as well as her humor and wit.

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Joyce leaves behind her three daughters, Kathy Wingate Kent of Chattahoochee, FL, Peggy Wingate MacDonald of Sylvania, GA, and Jacquie Wingate-Thomas of Sterlington, LA; two grandsons, Windy Kent of Orlando, FL and Jackson Wingate-Ruff of Recovery, GA; as well as a bonus daughter, Dianne Tyus of Jacksonville, FL.  She also leaves behind a brother, Clarence Ellis and a sister Sue Ellis Gay of Oklahoma and a host of nieces and nephews that thought the world of her.  Over the years, she has also “collected” a host of “Yard Young’uns” that loved and respected her dearly.

A memorial service will be held in her honor on Friday, September 22, 2023, beginning at 2:00 PM Central Time (3:00 PM Eastern Time) in the chapel of McAlpin Funeral Home.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to the memorial service.