GRAYSVILLE - Loretta Joyce Heffington, 86, left this life and gained eternal life on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

Joyce was born on Dec. 11, 1934, in Graysville, Ga., to the late Frank Whitlow and Effie Mae Brown Whitlow. Joyce was a graduate of Ringgold High School, Class of 1951. Her lifelong girlfriends from school and the community were a special joy to her. She owned and

operated Graysville Road nursery in East Brainerd for many years.

A lifelong resident of the Graysville, Ga., area, Joyce was known far and wide for her knowledge of plants, shrubs and trees. She had a green thumb and her yards were always full of blossoms.

Her sweet, happy spirit and wit will be missed by all who knew her.

Joyce loved the color purple, old country music (not the new stuff!), mustard, tomatoes, and

German shepherd dogs. She leaves behind her next-door-neighbor German Shepherd who was her best buddy and rescuer, Ranger.

A long-time member of New Liberty Baptist Church where she taught children in Sunday School,

Joyce enjoyed her later years as a member of Graysville United Methodist Church. She enjoyed

many friends there especially those in the Adult Sunday School Class.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Heffington, her only daughter, Debra Lynn Graham and her brother Charles (Sonny) Whitlow.

She is survived by two grandsons, Joshua Thomas Palazzi of Rochester, PA and Jacob Nathaniel

Graham of Chattanooga. She is also survived by a nephew, Charles "Cotton" (Robin) Whitlow, Jr., niece, Cheryl Whitlow Simmons, three great grandsons, several great nieces and nephews and her sister-in-law, Geraldine Bennett Whitlow.

Special thanks to the staff of NHC Fort Oglethorpe especially Nurse Pam and CNAs Amber, Kirsten, and Terry.

Funeral services for Joyce will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Graysville United Methodist Church with Rev. Ash McEuen officiating.

The family will receive friends prior to the service from 10 to 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Chattanooga National Cemetery.

Donations in Joyce's memory are appreciated and can be sent to the Humane Society of

Chattanooga, 4155 Randolph Circle, Chattanooga, TN 37406 and/or the Catoosa County Animal

Shelter, 101 Almond Lane, Ringgold, GA 30736.

Please visit to share words of comfort to the family.

Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Rd