Joy Loftis Myers, (Bugga, to her family) 89, of Gahanna, Ohio, was born in an upstairs bedroom of the Loftis family home on Main Street in Saint Albans, West Virginia, on October 13, 1932. She died in the loving care of her daughter, Ann (Mrs. Jeff) Harr, at Ann’s home, Jackson Road, Circleville, Ohio, on June 10, 2022, following a long illness.
She is preceded in death by her mother Alma White Loftis, born on Peach Creek, Logan County, WV, and her father Charles Fleetwood Loftis, of Saint Albans, WV.
She is survived by her husband of almost 68 years, William Myers; her children, Mrs. Ann (Jeff) Harr of Circleville, OH, Mrs. Jo (Craig) Thompson of Morral, OH, John F. (Karen) Myers (LtCol., ret.) of San Antonio, TX, David W. (Julie) Myers of Cincinnati, OH; her grandchildren, Mrs. Susan (Scott) Miller, Mrs. Kathryn Joy (Jeff) Gorney, David J. (Lindsey) Harr, Mrs. Valerie (Andrew) Bockos, Mrs. Jennifer (Roger) Samaniego, Chantel Harr, Anthony T. Harr, Alana Harr, Mason W. Harr, and Alex Harr, Rachael Joy Myers, Ryan D. Myers, and Alexandra Joy Myers; 21 great grandchildren; dear cousins of the White family; stepbrother-in-law, Patrick C. (Devona) Myers, of Teays Valley, WV; and the special friends that are her cousins-in-law of the Myers and Hamrick families.
Joy excelled as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a teacher, a leader, a social worker, a professional parliamentarian, a friend and counselor to many who knew her, and as an active citizen of her nation and community. Her greatest love was her family and she gloried in their successes, mourned their stumbles, and worried about every possibility of what she thought might possibly threaten them. She said that she “changed her career every ten years” but in truth she had more careers than she had decades.
Charles Loftis, her father, was a machinist and auto dealership serviceman. During the early days of Joy’s life he traveled frequently following available jobs. Joy went to a different elementary school every year. Alma, Joy’s mother, was always a homemaker. Early 1940’s saw Charles settle to work at the Naval Ordinance Plant in South Charleston, WV. There Joy formed stable friendships and blossomed. She graduated from South Charleston High School in 1950; she was a varsity cheer leader for four years and she was the lead performer as “Peaches” in the Senior Class musical comedy. Attending Marshall College for her freshman year, because she was needed at home to care for her mother following injury in a car wreck, she transferred to West Virginia University as a sophomore. She graduated with a BS Ed., degree and an elementary school teaching certificate in 1954. She had subsequent post-graduate work related to her Social Worker licensing at The University of Dayton, Hocking Technical College, and The Ohio State University. She studied endlessly, attended many seminars, and taught regularly in reaching the highest possible qualifications as a professional parliamentarian with the American Institute of Parliamentarians, CPP-t, and the National Association of Parliamentarians, PRP.
Joy began dating William Myers following a blind date in April 1952. Their relationship grew and after graduation from WVU, they were married during the summer of 1954. William had entered the Army, the Korean War was nearing its end, and their first home was Fort Knox, Ky. During the three subsequent years of assignment at Fort Knox, Joy became the mother of Ann, 1955, and Jo and John in 1956. Army assignment then took the family to Germany with the next three years spent with the Army of Occupation stationed there; touring around European countries was a benefit. Together, Joy and Bill decided that when they returned to the United States they would leave the Army and Bill would return to school to become a physician; Joy would work as a teacher to provide support. She taught first grade in Columbus City Schools for five years, until Bill graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1965. Together they accomplished that. Also in 1965, Joy gave birth to her fourth child, David.
There were three major vocational activities in Joy’s life: teacher, social worker, professional parliamentarian. She was a poll worker and precinct chairman for the Pickaway County Board of Elections for many years. As a high school student, she worked one summer assisting in a dental office. Joy first taught as a substitute teacher at Fort Knox, KY, schools in 1954-55. Her major period of teaching was with Columbus City Schools, mentioned above. Her social work employment was in Pickaway County, first with the Board of Health, then with the Board of Education.
Great interpersonal skill and qualities of leadership lead joy to high office in every one of her activities. Her standards of perfection resulted in wanting to do everything to the very best of her ability, and then learn how to do it better. She discovered that there were organizations where individuals could learn to be better leaders and how to conduct better meetings; of course she began the study of parliamentary procedure. Joy became among the fewer than twenty-five highest qualified parliamentarians in the United States. her first employment as a professional parliamentarian began with the Ohio State Medical Association and continued for twenty years including a wide spectrum of not-for-profit organizations both large and small, local and international. Joy was employed by major church divisions, private detective groups, governmental bodies, large professional organizations, large recreational groups, and even a nudist convention. She loved the variety of people and was outstanding in the work. She wrote two books to guide everyone toward better meetings, FACTS AND FORMS and POCKET BOOK OF INVOCATIONS, INSPIRATIONS, INSTALLATIONS, AND IN MEMORIAM and wrote countless articles published in parliamentarian professional journals.
Joy and Bill decided on the city of Circleville, Pickaway County, as the place for Bill’s medical practice and so they moved there to begin forty years of work in a small town; it was a wonderful choice for their careers and for raising their children. Bill’s uncle, George Hamrick, was an active resident of that community and his beloved wife, Dorothy, became Joy’s closest friend and advisor. Joy became deeply involved in her church, Community United Methodist; over the years she held many responsibilities including Chairman of the Board and Delegate to the West Ohio Conference. She served in the Pickaway County Medical Association Alliance, called “Auxiliaries” in those days as president, then progressed into the Ohio State Medical Alliance where she also served as president. She was subsequently Parliamentarian with the Alliance for twenty years. With a founding group of friends from the Community United Methodist Church Adult Sunday School Class, plus the help of the physicians of the Pickaway County Medical Society, Berger Hospital, and countless devoted volunteers, Joy and Bill began and operated the Pickaway County Free Women’s Health Clinic. That Clinic served for ten years until it was included into the much larger and better funded Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio which more services were offered. She was a life-long advocate for women’s health, education, and equality. Joy was a founding member and served as chairman of the Scioto-Paint Valley Mental Health Board, a tax funded organization that developed and provided out-patient mental health services for five Ohio counties including Pickaway. Joy expressed her concern for children by accepting appointment to the Pickaway County Children’s Services Board, she became chairman. Early in our life in Circleville Joy received the prestigious invitation, which she could not refuse to join the Monday Club, an organization of erudite, elderly, educated, exclusive ladies of Pickaway County who met weekly to share deep discussions of selected current events and to take turns “presenting papers.” Joy became the youngest member, loved the ladies and the meetings but the organization disbanded after a few years due to members dying from old age.
Joy was a founding member of the Circleville Branch of the American Association of University Women, served her turn as president, and became a life member. She was a member of the Circleville Garden Club but then aided a group of members of that club in forming a second club in Circleville, the Gardenwood Garden Club. In Gahanna she became a member of the Oakhaven Garden Club. She became involved with the governance of the Garden Clubs of Ohio and served on their Board of Directors for more than fifteen years. Encouraging her own children’s involvement in 4-H Clubs leading to her becoming a club leader; her interest was sewing and clothing design and her leadership continued for about ten years. Circleville is famous for its Pumpkin Show, one of the many Ohio Festivals. Joy worked on the Arts and Crafts Committee of the Pumpkin Show for many years assisting in all the necessary parts of operating that annual, autumn show. Joy’s involvement with election politics led her to several years as county chairman of the Pickaway County Republican Party. She served on the Circleville Municipal Court Mediation Team.
Travel was important to Joy’s enjoyment of life, and she has visited all fifty of the United States as well as over thirty-five foreign countries. Favorites were the eastern Mediterranean, India, and Brazil. Beginning in her mid-forties Joy became an accomplished downhill skier. Skiing took her to Ohio slopes and annually for twenty years to Boyne Highlands, MI, where she saw most of her grandchildren learn to ski; she also had twelve visits to Davos, Switzerland, plus trips to Steamboat Springs and Snowmass, CO, and Stowe, VT.
Joy’s excellence in her life and her work was recognized by many honors including the following:
The West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services Jasper N. Deahl Award alumni recognition program designed to honor CEHS alumni for career achievement, community engagement, and/or loyalty to West Virginia University.
Outstanding Educator of the Ohio Association of Parliamentarians, the award was created for her.
Arkansas Traveler Award 2007, a public relations award from the Governor of Arkansas.
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Exceptional Volunteer Service Award in 1981.
Volunteerism in Action Award by PPG Industries, Inc., in 1983.
“One Special Lady” Award, 2013 created for her by “all the sisters” of Psi Iota Xi, a service sorority.
Woman of the Year Award, American Association of University Women, Circleville Branch, in 1984.
National Garden Clubs, Inc., Award of Distinguished Service in 2011.
Twenty Year Service Award from the Ohio State Medical Association Alliance.
PLEASE COME TO a Celebration of Joy’s Life which will be held on July 23, 2022, at Stonybrook Methodist Church, 485 Cherry Bottom Road, Gahanna, OH 43230, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The service conducted by Pastor Bob Thomas will begin at 1:00. Snack foods provided by the Stonybrook United Methodist women and mingling and mixing by all present, Joy’s specialty, will follow. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the West Virginia University Foundation, College of Education and Human Services,
Joy’s favorite scripture is Psalm 121 which begins:
I will lift up my eyes unto the hills,
From whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, – – –
Her cremains will be delivered to the hills which she loved.
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Published by Cook & Son-Pallay Funeral Home – Columbus on Jun. 13, 2022.