In Memory of Rejoyce
By Carrie Campbell and Kathleen Russell
Rejoyce Stovall-Moss will be remembered as a strong voice in Oakland and in our Dimond community. She not only had a powerful singing voice but also a straightforward voice on the Dimond list, where she usually ended her posts with the phrase “just my thoughts.”
Her postings often included comments about youth in the Dimond, as she had a particular interest in youth having raised two sons. Rejoyce posted this last May 8: “You good parents out there, hold your head up high and move forward. You parents that have given up on your kids, seek help. They are still your children or should I say, our children. Just my thoughts. Blessings, Rejoyce”
Rejoyce died suddenly last Dec. 10. Her memorial celebration was held at the Leona Lodge on Sunday, Dec.16, when her family and community gathered to remember her remarkable life. Her sons, Tony and Jason, led the memorial.
Many family members and friends spoke of Rejoyce’s unique life and accomplishments. Mayor Jean Quan brought sentiments and condolences from Rejoyce’s “other family” — the Dimond community and all of greater Oakland who loved her.
Rejoyce served as a board member of the Dimond Improvement Association and was a District 4 Local Hero in 2012.
She was well known for gospel singing as one of the Stovall Sisters, and sang with her sisters Lillian and Nettie (who are also Dimond residents) at many events in Oakland and beyond.
Rejoyce Lillian and Nettie
Barbara Dane, jazz singer, commented, “Things just won’t be the same around here (or on the planet!) without the warm smile, the beautiful voice of Rejoyce.”
Local resident Richard Reineccius posted “Rejoyce has passed from us, but we really need to rejoice in the fact she shared her humanity with us, here in our humble community … a true Humanist … and always full of hope.”
And Gen Katz wrote: “She was our local hero — our eyes on the street, a soft voice to tone down anger, a constant presence on this site.” Julie Johnson from Fruitvale Senior Center wrote that Rejoyce’s voice “filled every corner of the hall and every heart and rang up to heaven and if God did not know about the Fruitvale Presbyterian Senior Center before, he sure knew about it when Rejoyce sang.”
Rejoyce was remembered at the Oakland City Council meeting on Dec. 18 with a proclamation read in her honor. This proclamation can be viewed at the Dimond Branch Library.
Rejoyce, her talent, presence and voice in the community, will be missed and we close this tribute in her words. “Just my thoughts. Peace, Love and Blessings to you all from me! Rejoyce.”