Joy Dean Heatly McElmurray passed peacefully from her earthly home to her Heavenly home Thursday morning, August 15, 2019.
Joy was born November 2, 1925 in Crawford, Texas to Aubrey and Johnnie Heatly. She was the third of fourteen children Joy’s fondest, early childhood days were living in Novice, Texas where she attended school through the 8th grade. Life-long friends were made during this time.
The family moved to Trent where she found her skill for basketball. She was an outstanding basketball player, going to state her senior year, an accomplishment she was very proud of. She graduated from Trent High School. In February 1944, she married a handsome young man, Clovis McElmurray. They had sixty wonderful years together until his passing in 2004.
In earlier years, Joy was a member of the Trent Methodist Church. She was a sponsor of numerous youth activities and a choir member. She loved to praise the Lord in song. Years later she joined the Trent Baptist Church to be with her mother. She taught Sunday School, was involved in the kitchen ministry, was a song leader, member of the Big Country Adult Choir and Walk to Emmaus Community. Her smile, contagious laugh and heartfelt hugs made her a perfect greeter. Church was Joy’s life. She was faithful servant of the Lord and a powerful prayer warrior.
Joy supported Pam and Ricky in every school activity they were involved in. Her heart was full of love for her precious children, grandchildren, great-grands and family members, and friends. Christmas at White Flat was special because Joy made it special. Celebrating the birth of Christ and having her family at home brought her such contentment. The Christmas feast would have to be reheated on numerous occasions because of her lengthy powerful prayers thanking the Lord for all of the blessings she had received in her life.
Joy also loved to travel and this desire was fulfilled when Clovis was director of the Taylor Electric Coop. This position took them to many states including Washington D.C. yearly. She traveled abroad to Europe twice, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, National Parks, Boston and the Northeast. In all these travels, she never met a stranger. Her travel companions, Pat and Billy Bob Neff, took extra special care of Joy on these trips, especially at the airports!
Surviving Joy are her son Rick and wife Debbie McElmurray of Baird, daughter Pam Welborn of Trent.
Amy Mares and husband David of Spring branch, TX, Angela and husband Kelton Fiedler of Comfort, TX.
Rob Welborn and wife Shelly of New Braunfels, TX, Patrick McElmurray and wife Kyla of Hutto, TX, Reed Stafford and wife Lauren of Abilene.
Eleven great grandchildren- Caleb ,Reelyn, Rynlee, Reynee, Jameson Shelton, Connor, Emma, Maggie, Jack, and Brynn. They loved their Meme big!
Surviving Brother is Kenneth (Janie) Heatly of Abilene. Sisters: Grace Bright of Abilene, Emma Lois Watson of Merkel, Nelda Hobbs of Trent and Sherry Fellers of Glen Rose. Sister in laws: Lynda Heatly of Albany, Nancy Heatly of Big Spring and Lonelle and husband Glenn Teaff of Merkel.
Preceding her in death were her parents, husband Clovis and son- in- law Bob Welborn. Brothers: Bill Heatly, J.M. Heatly, Byran Ray /infant, Johnny Heatly and Jerry Heatly. Sisters: Margaret Thomas, Ruby Faye (Poopie) Sipe and Elsie Keenan.
The Heatly family Reunion was always a special, much anticipated event in Joy’s life. She attended her last one June 22, 2019.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to Lyndale Retirement Center, Lyndale Memory Care and staff and Hendrick Hospice for their outstanding compassionate care for Joy, Abilene is blessed to have these services available to loved ones.
Donations may be made in Joy’s honor to : Trent Cemetery Fund-First Financial Bank, Trent, TX 79561, Trent Baptist Church , Trent, TX. 79561, Hendrick Hospice 1651 Pine Street, Abilene, TX 79601
The best gift given in her honor would be to have Jesus in your heart. Our precious, vivacious Joy Dean is singing with the Gaither Choir sitting in her rocking chair with a majestic view. Her sweet spirit will live on in the heart of those blessed to have been in her circle of life. A life well-lived. All is well, All is well
Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00Pm Sunday, August 18, 2019 at Starbuck Funeral Home in Merkel, TX. Funeral services will be held Monday, August 19, 2019 at 10 am at the Trent Baptist Church, Trent, TX officiated by Tyler Shields and C.V. Blake.
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