Clara Graham

Memorial Service

11:00 am
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Clawson-Burnley Park
355 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street
Boone, North Carolina, United States

Obituary of Clara Joyce Graham

Clara Joyce Graham, beloved mother and friend to all, took her last breath at 9:19pm on Sunday, August 22, 2021. With great courage and dignity, she chose to no longer be treated after battling three long years of perpetual life-threatening health complications. She was surrounded by family in her final days, preaching the Gospel and singing hymns the night before. She was excited and ready in every way to meet Jesus. Joy, as she was known, was born on July 15th, 1947, in Asheville, NC where she grew up and ultimately attended and graduated Secretarial School. She married Charles "Sonny" Roberts with whom she would eventually move to his hometown of Boone, NC where she would give birth to her two children and spend the rest of her days. She was employed by Appalachian State University, first working for Administration until taking time off for the birth of her first child. She returned to work for the Physical Plant and finally for the ASU Motor Pool from which she retired and made innumerable friendships. True to her name, she spread joy to all that encountered her. Her combination of direct honesty and sense of humor made her a loveable character, and she listened intently with a genuine ear to anyone willing to share. She directed the Children's Choir at Greenway Baptist church for many years, providing accompaniment on auto-harp and piano, and also herself sang with the adult choir. She devoted her life to her family: raising and supporting two children through three collegiate degrees, taking her mother into her own home following her father's death, and seeing two grandchildren grow into fine young men. Never did she fail to send a thank you note for even the smallest gesture, and nor did she neglect a prayer for anyone she thought needed it. She loved God with all her heart and lived her life in His light. Joy is survived by her daughter Heather Michelle Tomberlin and son-in-love Joseph Tomberlin, son Shawn Michael Roberts and daughter-in-love Leslie Roberts, and grandsons Jordan and Jacob Tomberlin. A celebration of life will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, August 28 at Clawson-Burnley Park. Spiritual advisor and confidant while at the Foley Center, Gretchen Piasecny will speak on behalf of Joy's deep devotion to Christ and her fellow humans. Casual dress is requested, and the sharing of memories encouraged. Online condolences may be shared with the family at the website Arrangements compassionately provided by Austin and Barnes Funeral Home and Cremaory. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, to which Joy generously gave every month of her adult life. In her final days, Joy found great strength in the following Scripture for which she declared as her favorite. No doubt she lived by and found courage in these Words. May all who read it perhaps be inspired to do the same. Ephesians 6:10-20 The Whole Armor of God 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
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