On July 23, 1955, Charlie W. Pace and Fannie Kate Dunn-Pace welcomed their twin daughters into the world. They took us home to meet our two other siblings, Patricia and Linda, awaiting with expectation of our arrival. I have been with my sister since we were in my mother’s womb; imagine the bond that we had. She was not only my twin for 65 years, but she was my best friend. No matter how many people have touched or influenced my life, none of those experiences could compare to what her love did for me. Since we were young, we would always share a room with each other. Janice and I would always sleep next to each other. We would laugh all night long, with mama in the background, saying in a loud voice, “Turn the light off and go to bed!” We received several warnings before she threatened to come into our room with a switch. When I think of the fights we had and how we suddenly used to make up, forgetting what we were fighting about and to start a new episode of adventure...
She was always the fast one who could finish her task quickly. Mama would always say, “Wait for Joyce and help her out.” She would always respond, “Hurry up, Joyce. You need to finish up!”, supervising all the way.
At the age of 10, Janice gave her life to Christ at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, under Reverend Mallory’s pastoral leadership. Without even acknowledging or preparing her twin sister for her spiritual awakening, with the nodding of my mother’s head and the gesture of her hand, from the choir stand, I quickly ran up to stand next to her, trying to figure out, do you know what you are doing? Why did you not tell me that we were joining the church today?
Janice attended St. Martin Deporres School and Gadsden High School, later graduating from Nancy B. Oden. While attending Gadsden High School, she met the love of her life, Neal Rodger Madden. They became husband and wife, married at Fellowship Baptist Church, and welcomed their first-born daughter, Tomekia Dionee, the most beautiful baby in the world, and all of her close-knit family bonded and nurtured her with a showering of love.
While handling her busy role as a mother, Janice began her studies at Gadsden Business College to become a licensed cosmetologist and later received certification as a nursing assistant. Later, she worked as private sitter, forming a close-knit bond with all her patients, who loved her sense of humor.
In 1986, Janice ran into an old neighbor twin, Joseph Carlisle. They began to date and shared many commonalities and eventually made the decision to get married. They were united in holy matrimony at Fellowship Baptist Church, under the pastoring of Reverend Gene Davis. They became husband and wife, and to this union, one son was born, Maurice Joseph Carlisle.
Janice loved the Lord and wanted to serve and give in any way that she could. She loved Gospel music and had a beautiful voice, which eventually led her and a longtime friend, Phyllis Harris, to start a singing group, and they performed, singing for different church functions. She shared this talent with her son, Maurice, enrolling him in voice lessons to heighten his God-given talent. She and Maurice would often sing together at different functions. Their last singing duet was at the funeral of our father, Charlie W. Pace, on June 14, 2020.
Presently, she and her children had reunited with the Fellowship Baptist Church, under the pastoring of Reverend Scotty Rice.
Janice lived a beautiful life. She was always the life of a party; you knew that in her presence there would be a lot of laughter and joy. She taught me how to open my eyes to see the world. She taught me how to forgive people and not hold a grudge. When people were rude to me, she would always take up for me; even Tricia and Linda could not give me any directives unless they were approved by her. She gave me the approval of my spouse, John W., as she affectionately called him. She was always cheerful, bursting with positive energy, always encouraging and praising me for my accomplishments. She would always say, “Joyce, you did enough, you did good. Now you have my permission to go somewhere and sit down.” She had the leadership spirit that moved people. She was genuine and unique inside and out. She will forever be missed and loved. It’s not easy to go a day without her, but we will meet her again; her presence will always be by our side.
Our mama, Fannie Kate Dunn Pace-Suttle, and our father, Charlie Willie Pace, preceded her in death.
Janice leaves to cherish her memories: her daughter, Tomekia D. Johnson; her son, Maurice J. Carlisle; her sisters, Patricia Ann Harvey (Richard Lawrence) and Linda Marie Mason (Marcus Lavon); twin sister, Joyce (John Wesley); two granddaughters, Jasmine Desere and Indyia Sole Johnson; great-grandchildren, Zavier, Miller, and Zovia-Miller, affectionately known as “Gray” and “Blu”; a host of nieces, nephews, other family, and friends; and close friends she cherished, Phyllis Harris, Iva Lynn Taylor, Cynthia Watson, and Gussie Dixon.
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