Joyce Tuten Milligan

Published 1:23 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Joyce Tuten Milligan (1936 – 2024)

Joyce Tuten Milligan, a cherished resident of Washington, NC, passed away on Sunday, February 18, 2024, at the age of 88, surrounded by the love of her family, at the ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville. A memorial service to honor her life will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at the First Baptist Church in Washington, NC, officiated by Dr. Greg Barmer.

Joyce was born on February 11, 1936, in Beaufort County to the late Elmer Warren Tuten and Hazel Harris Tuten. She was a graduate of Washington High School, class of 1954, and attended East Carolina University. Joyce shared her life with her beloved husband, David “Dave” M. Milligan, until his passing on April 11, 2011.

Throughout her life, Joyce was deeply rooted in her faith and community. She was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church, where her melodious soprano voice graced the congregation and uplifted hearts in song. Her talent extended beyond the church walls; Joyce’s angelic voice resonated through the halls of the Greenville Choral Society, weddings, funerals, and even the airwaves of radio and television during her youth.

Professionally, Joyce excelled as an Employee Benefit Supervisor in Human Resources for TexasGulf, leaving a lasting impact on those she worked with. However, it was her warmth, compassion, and unwavering dedication to her family that truly defined her legacy. Joyce’s devotion to her son, Michael “Mike” Allen Milligan, was unwavering, and she took great joy in being an integral part of his life.

Joyce’s memory will be forever cherished by those who survive her, including her son, Mike, her brother Terry Tuten and his wife Susan, and her loving dog, Kelly, as well as her extended family and friends. In addition to her devotion to her son, Mike, she was a much-loved aunt to Gloria Wynne Blake, Dr. Tracy Tuten, Renee Tuten, Jimmy Wynne, Ryan Smith, Jeannie and Jennette Tuten, and a doting grand-aunt to Bailey and Robert Blake and Haley and Reagan Denny, and more. She was preceded in death by her brothers, William Warren Tuten and Gene Tuten, and her sister, Jackie Tuten Wynne.

She leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, and grace, as remembered by her grand-niece Bailey, who aptly said, “Aunt Joyce was always exactly where she was meant to be for all of us.”

The family expresses heartfelt gratitude to Joyce’s dedicated home health caregivers, Pat Hodges, Mattie Moore, and Sylvia Wallace, for their compassionate care during her final days.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, 113 N. Harvey Street, Washington, NC 27889. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family online at

Joyce Tuten Milligan’s presence will be deeply missed, but her legacy of love and music will continue to resonate in the hearts of all who knew her.