JOY CLASON WARD died peacefully on December 26, 2020 in Jacksonville, FL in the presence of her loving husband JOHN J. WARD whom she married on May 24, 1953. They have celebrated many milestone anniversaries and had been looking forward to celebrating the 74th anniversary of their first date on January 18, 2021. Besides her husband John, Joy is survived by her four daughters, Wendy (Art) Billingslea, Susan Ward (Larry Nadeau), Barbara (Jochen) Buehling and Karen (Chris) Cane, her grandchildren Lauren (Buddy), Kristin (Mike), Katie (Luke), John (Erin), Anna, Louisa, Michael, Cameron, Max and Kelly and her great-grandsons Dale, Will and James. MomMom was always there with a loving cuddle and words of encouragement whether watching a grandchild play baseball or soccer, listening to a musical recital or patiently helping someone learn to knit, sew or cook.
Born Barbara Joy Clason on March 10, 1931, Joy was raised in Maplewood, NJ with her sister Jerry who passed away in August 1980. She attended Jefferson Elementary School and Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ, graduating in 1949. Joy attended New Jersey College for Women where she earned a degree in Home Economics. She taught Home Economics at the Timberlane Junior School in Pennington, NJ for many years. Joy and John lived in the same house in Pennington for 55 years and were active participants in St. Matthews Church, Girls Scouts, and the community.
Joy always had a welcoming smile and a warmth that was contagious. She sought to help others and make others comfortable whether welcoming them to the community, showing them houses during her years as a real estate agent or greeting friends and family. She was generous with her time and talents and was often found knitting a hat or a blanket for a new baby, making a quilt for a family member or the Quilts for Kids program, or knitting a “Stocking of Joy”. She knit more than 200 Christmas stockings for family, friends, and children of friends: those stockings will be cherished and enjoyed for many years to come.
Family and friends were always of the utmost importance to both Joy and John. They made heroic efforts organizing reunions, sending cards and planning visits to maintain contact with friends from high school and college as well as friends and neighbors in Cranford and Pennington, NJ and Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. It was especially important to Joy to reach out to her sister Jerry’s family and to share the Clason family connection. They built a very special circle of friends with Marine Corps buddies and their wives who became like family and with whom they traveled together on short vacations. Although Joy never traveled extensively, she and John made over 30 trips to Düsseldorf, Germany, beginning in November 1992, to visit their daughter Barbara and her family, thereby giving tremendous support to them by keeping them within the family circle.
Joy also loved to cook and bake and was a very competent and exacting teacher. For Joy’s 80th birthday, the family collected favorite family recipes and made a cookbook called “Joy Through the World”. There is no better way to describe her. She brought and spread joy through the world, and we are blessed and all the richer for it. She will be forever missed.
Services are pending and burial will take place at Barrancas National Cemetery in NAS Pensacola, FL. Joy will be interred with her firstborn, John Thomas. Memorial gifts can be made to Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Drive, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082.