Ms. Gilmore knew she'd met a different kind of person, she said, and the two instantly became friends.
After years of caring for people in their final days, Mrs. Joye, of Evans, lost her battle with cancer on Valentine's Day.
"She was the best woman I've ever known. She was genuine; she loved people," Mrs. Gilmore said. "She was just one of best people you would ever know in so many ways. The world is a much sadder place today."
Mrs. Joye, a mother of five and a grandmother of six, was married to Artis Joye for more than 20 years.
Mr. Joye said his wife, a co-owner of Joye and Co. Auto Sales, was a devout Christian whose faith in God never wavered. He said she loved working in hospice and would make caring for her patients and their families a priority.
Mrs. Joye beat breast cancer when it first appeared in 2003. It reappeared in 2005, and "she put up a good fight until the end," Mr. Joye said. Several of the hospice nurses his wife had trained cared for her in her final days, he said.
"She really cared about her patients. She would get up in the middle of the night to drive to Washington (Ga.)" if a patient needed her, Mr. Joye said.
The Rev. Tom Lunger, the pastor of Christian Growth Center, said there were a lot of things that were special about Mrs. Joye, a member of his congregation.
"I guess the most special thing was her love for God," he said. "She had a genuine love for God, and that helped in every area of her life. And she had a love for people, too."
Her son Sean Joye, 24, said his mother was the person who held the family together and made sure they spent Christmas and other holidays together.
He describes her as a motivator, an inspiration and a faithful wife who always made room for somebody else's problems. Her trust in God is what stands out most in his memory, he said.
"My cousin got a videotape of the last year of her life, and he asked her, if she could say something to her family, what would it be. She said she wanted for her family to make God their salvation and always trust in God and put God first," he said. "She's definitely the rock of this house; she's always there for everybody when somebody needs to call and talk. She's going to be more missed down the road than she is right now."
Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.