Sterling, Joyce


Joyce Lanier Milner Sterling loved and was beloved by family and friends and spread an abundance of joy to all!

She lived 91 years, passing away on October 18, 2021 in her home in West Palm Beach, FL, with family by her side, following an extended period of declining health.

Joyce Lanier was raised in Atlanta with her sister Carol Lanier Goodman. She was preceded in death by her parents, Hicks and Helen Lanier and her husband Gene Milner of 41 years, and her second husband Robert Sterling of 21 years.

Joyce was born on February 22, 1930, was a graduate of the National Cathedral School in Washington DC, and attended the University of Georgia.

Joyce and her first husband had three children, to whom they were totally devoted.

Joyce prioritized family, friends and philanthropy.

She was a member of the Cathedral of St Phillips, Atlanta Junior League, Atlanta Forward Arts, Peachtree Garden Club and served with honor on the Piedmont Hospital Board of Directors.

Joyce and Gene Milner established a second residence in Palm Beach, FL in the early 1980s, where Joyce similarly became involved civically and philanthropically, as she donated both time and resources to many Palm Beach charities. She had a special interest in The Society of the Four Arts, on which she served as a Trustee and the Preservation Society for which she volunteered and chaired its annual Ball. She was later recognized for her work by being named Honorary Chair of Preservation's annual Ball.

Joyce was a member of the Piedmont Driving Club, Cherokee Town Club; and in Palm Beach, The Everglades Club and Bath and Tennis Club; in New York she was a member of The Colony Club, Meadow Club and Beach Club.

Following the death of her first husband, she remarried Robert Sterling from New York City. The Sterling's split their time between New York, Atlanta, and Palm Beach. Mr. Sterling predeceased Joyce 5 years ago.

Joyce loved her family and friends and was fiercely loyal to both. She shared a love of fashion, decorating, travel, bridge, current events and entertaining. She excelled at decorating, fashion and entertaining, for which she had a passion and talent. Her friends described her as glamorous.

Joyce is survived by her children Hicks Lanier Milner (Rosina Sydel); Gene Whitner Milner Jr., (Rhonda); Helen Gordon (John). Joyce was blessed with nine grandchildren: John (Darcy), Spencer and Grayson Gordon; Whitner (deceased), Kathryn, Cason (Ashton) and Scottie Milner (Clark Miller); and Charles (Megan) and Lanier (Nicole) Milner. Joyce also had two great-grandchildren – Edwin Miller and Caroline Milner daughter of Lanier and Nicole.

Services will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Phillip on Tuesday, October 26 at 2 PM with a reception following at the church in the Lanier House.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Shallow Water Blackout Prevention in memory of Whitner Milner III ( or The Atlanta Forward Arts or the Palm Beach Society of the Four Arts .