Joyce “Jody” Ainley Denning, 77, of Newport, NC went to her heavenly home on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.
Mrs. Denning was born October 23, 1943 in Corning, Arkansas to the late Dorsey Wiley Ainley and Ruth Bray Ainley. She made Carteret County her home in the early 70s and was married to Mr. L. Shirley Overman until his death on October 15, 1974. She met Art Denning in 1976 and they were married on May 5, 1978. Although Mrs. Denning did not have any biological children of her own she was the stepmother to seven.
Mrs. Denning worked as a florist in the early 70s in Morehead City and then worked as a social worker at Carteret County Social Services until the mid-1980s when she went to work in her husband’s land surveying business. She loved her family, friends, pets, gardening, painting, and making crafts. She made many stuffed bears and dolls during the 1990s and enjoyed traveling to craft shows where she would display her work. She survived five of her close friends of which Art referred as “Steel Magnolias.” Of these was her closest friend, Chris Cannon who passed on April 24, 2012. For many years if you were to see Jody in town Chris would be nearby. These two ladies shared many common interests and lived life to the fullest.
Mrs. Denning was a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous since July 11, 1975. She served and traveled alongside her husband, Art when he was the NC State Delegate and when he held many offices at the state and local level. Over the years she worshipped in the following churches: First Original Freewill Baptist Church, Croatan Baptist Church, Open Door Baptist Church and CrossPointe Community Church.
A public memorial service will be held at Bridgeway Church in Beaufort, NC at 2:00 PM, Saturday, July 24, 2021 with her stepson, Dr. Rich Denning officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. A private burial will be held at Amariah Garner Cemetery in Newport, NC.
She is survived her stepdaughter, Vicki Denning Bennett & husband John Bennett of Wilmington, NC; stepson, Rich Denning & wife Teresa Denning of Lynchburg, VA; stepson, Tim Overman of Newport, NC; stepdaughter, Jeannie Kelly & husband Kevin of Cary, NC; step grandchildren: Hope Denning, Will Denning, Jonathan Denning, Jessica Denning, Joshua Denning, Sam Overman, Amber Cartwright, Josh Lyle, Tyler Pake, Robert Pake, Joshua Pake, Theresa Kelly, Robin Greulick, Shelly Brown, Brady Overman, Kelly Overman, Magen Overman, Kathleen Overman, and Caroline Overman.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dorsey Wiley Ainley and Ruth Bray Ainley; husbands L. Shirley Overman and Arthur Randle Denning; stepchildren: Howard Overman, Kathy Overman Pake, and Don Overman.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are being received to help purchase a memorial marker. Donations may be sent to: Noe Funeral Service for Joyce Denning, PO Box 798 Beaufort, NC 28516.
Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at www.noefs.net
Arrangements by Noe Funeral Service, Inc. of Beaufort, NC.