Joseph Gilbert Shryock

Joseph Gilbert Shryock
known as ... Joe
                                born: January 16, 1907
died: August 19, 1974

Married: Gladys Marian Davis
              May 22, 1929
                                born: February 5, 1908

      The first born of nine, Joe was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee. Joe and his wife, Gladys raised a family of two daughters in the community of Forest City, Arkansas. Like his father and several of his brothers, Joe was a jeweler by trade. He and Gladys owned and operated a store in Forest City for many years.

      The reflection below was written by Joe's daughter, Bettye Jo:

      "Christmas was Dad's favorite time of the year, and he made sure everyone around him enjoyed it as much as he did. Back in those days, decorations for Christmas went up the day after Thanksgiving. We would drag ourselves down to the store, still a little woozy from too much turkey, and begin pulling huge boxes marked "Christmas" out from under the front show windows. Dad and Mom were constantly reminding Roz and me to be careful unfolding the rolls of mothball-scented glittered cotton. Dad always came up with a new idea for the holiday window - elves, reindeer, a Santa Claus smilingly opened and closed a treasure chest filled with precious gems made of paste, glistening angels, snow-flocked trees, and a dozen other things that I have long since forgotten. When the decorations were all up and had passed Mom's and Dad's final inspection, we would turn on the window lights. Long years from now, when my sight is faded with age, I will still clearly see the look in Dad's eyes as he watched those lights of Christmas.

      He especially enjoyed the bustle of people coming in to shout their good tidings; especially the visits of two young negro men who had been porters in the store. When Dad learned that they wanted to go to college, he made sure that they were able to go by helping them with expenses. They always stopped by to say "Merry Christmas" and to brag about their grades. Dad was as proud as they were.

      Since this was the busiest time of the year, we all worked in the store. With the crush of shoppers and Christmas wrappings, we usually found our eager anticipation replaced by a feeling of utter exhaustion. We dragged on! Then one day, in the midst of all that hurley, burley of Yuletide, Dad would look at us and give a silly little giggle, and we knew instantly that somewhere in that store, he had hidden one of our Christmas presents. The hunt was on! Each time he bought another gift and hid it he would giggle. Gone was the weariness.

      In its place anticipation again took over. Days of that giggle could carry imagination to a height heretofore undreamed of. Much more than "visions of sugar plums" danced in our heads, and we stealthily watched for the chance to search for the buried treasure. Dad knew us only too well and relocated the booty at frequent intervals. Once, I discovered a wonderful cache, only to find that it was for another family. It was then that I learned of Dad's truly generous nature. He could not bear the thought that any child would miss Christmas. SO, he played a secret Santa Claus to several families who lived down on the river and had no means for buying gifts. What a great time he had trying on a set of toy silver toy pistols that he had purchased for a little boy who dreamed of silver guns, but expected nothing. That child could not have enjoyed receiving them as much as Dad enjoyed giving them. Many times he reached out to give to others - quietly and without a great deal of thanks. But, I saw and remember a generosity unknown to most and enjoyed by many. It was here that I learned that sharing is as important as giving.

      Sometimes at Christmas I still hear that giggle. It must have become part of the universal order because it is a living memory that makes me smile: I smell mothball-scented glitter cotton, and feel that excited anticipation of the coming season, and my eyes begin to search out hidden places. It's Christmas - my favorite time of the year. I inherited it from my Dad."

Joseph Gilbert Shryock
at parents' 50th wedding anniversary - 1956

Family of Joseph Gilbert Shryock
at family reunion - 1989

Family of Joseph Gilbert and Gladys Shryock

In Order by Age - Oldest First

Bettye Jo Shryock ( Bartlett )
( McAnear)
       b. October 24, 1932    d. February 7, 2014
Roslyn Shryock (Call )        b. July 27, 1935    d.

This page was last updated: June 17, 2020
© Copyright 2000 - - William M. Shryock, Jr. - All Rights Reserved