Tributes to a life too short

Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Joyce Clarke was just 29 years old when she died after a police shooting in Geraldton.
Camera IconJoyce Clarke was just 29 years old when she died after a police shooting in Geraldton. Credit: Geoff Vivian The Geraldton Guardian

Joyce Gladys Clarke has been remembered as a fighter who never gave up, with details emerging at her funeral of how she faced challenges from birth.

Ms Clarke — who died in a police shooting in Geraldton on September 17 — was born on March 18, 1990 at Meekatharra District Hospital. On a family trip to Carnarvon two weeks later, baby Joyce fell ill with a condition that kept her in hospital for the next five months.

“Our little baby Joyce showed very early signs of a strong-willed and brave little fighter, as she did not once give up,” her eulogy said.

“Only a very short moment lived, our baby Joyce was already a living example to many showing us how precious and delicate life is.”

These words set the theme for the eulogy in Carnarvon on Friday that told of a medical recommendation for follow-up care that led to her adoption by the Aboriginal couple who ran the local children’s boarding home.

Joseph McKenzie (now deceased) and Anne Jones also had three older children.

“Baby Joyce’s strength inspired our family,” Ms Jones said. “Baby Joyce loved the spotlight from everyone and was very humble with the change.”

Joyce began her schooling in Carnarvon, moving later to Mullewa and then Rangeway as her adoptive father became ill. She frequently accompanied him on his medical trips to Perth as they made their home in Geraldton.

Joyce later met Caeser Jackson Sr and bore his son and her only child, Caeser Jr, in 2012.

She was 29 when she died.

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