As you may know, Joy has been battling cancer for the second time since June, 2008. She has courageously fought the cancer via chemotherapy and radiation. Since December her condition has steadily worsened. She has been hospitalized four times since mid-December. I am sad to tell you that her cancer is terminal. She is now at home, resting comfortably and being cared for by hospice and by her family. Joy has maintained her beautiful smile and engaging personality throughout her battle and has never once complained. I am comforted by the wonderful times we have had together, especially the many trips we have made throughout the world and the great friends, former students/postdocs/visiting professors like you that we are blessed to have.
Don Sparks

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Thank you for visiting. Please click on COMMENTS below to leave a message for Joy and Don.


  1. Challenged by both technology and by my glasses, I finally was able to make the slide show run full screen so I could actually see all these wonderful photos. I've watched twice, printed a copy of the picture of Joy with the congress delegation that included the Busker kid messing up the photo, and have smiled back at the smiling faces. It's obvious from the pictures, that contagious smile has brought Joy to so many - but we all knew that before we saw these photos. My love to you both - Charmayne

  2. Charmayne "beat me to it" with her comments about Joy's contagious smile. What wonderful photos that reflect such a full life so generously shared with all of us! Thank you, Joy, for all you've done ... and do ... Thank you, Don, for so generously sharing Joy with us! Our love and prayers are with you! Judi and Spicer Leaming

  3. Hi Joy and Don. You probably don't remember me, but my name is Neha, I am Balwant Singh's daughter from Sydney, Australia. You came to our house a few years ago and I remember having a really nice time with you both, but in particular a great chat with Joy. I am so happy that I was able to meet you and I will always remember your smile and bubbly personality. My thoughts are with your family at this time.

  4. Joy,
    Your a beautiful person inside and out, do you think I got my sense of style from you?(smile) I will never forget Chicago 1993 National 4-H Congress. As a state winner I was able to go, but I must tell you, I was more impressed with your fur coat then the trip! We had the best time strolling the streets of Chicago. You showed us young people a touch of class! Thank your for always believing in my artistic talents. You always told me I would make it, and I have! I hope I have made you proud. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
    Your friend always,
    Chuck Ivins

  5. Dear Joy, dear Don,
    we think of you and remember your wonderful warm smiles. I dedicate some toughts to you in my own words (with a translation into English):


    Ein Blick
    im Dunkel
    vergeudet ins Nichts
    irrt scheu umher
    flieht in sich zurück
    und sinkt
    unter der Last seiner Reise.


    A glance
    in the dark
    wasted into nothing
    wanders about
    flees back to itself
    and sinks
    under the weight of the journey.


    Sagt mir, Winde,
    wen tragt ihr auf euren Flügeln?
    Wäre mein Herz zu schwer,
    euch zu begleiten?

    Wen versammelt ihr um euch?
    Wen wählt ihr, euch zu begleiten?
    Liegt Hoffnung bei euch?
    Oder nichts als unendliche Einsamkeit?

    Kraftvoll rauscht ihr über mich hin,
    zupft an den Saiten der Harfe,
    deren Klänge
    hoffnungsvoll mit euch ziehn.


    Tell me winds
    who do you carry on your wings?
    Would my heart be too heavy
    to follow you?

    Who do you gather around you?
    Who do you choose to accompany you?
    Can hope be found near you?
    Or nothing but infinite loneliness?

    You blow forcefully above me,
    plucking the strings of the harp
    whose sounds auspiciously
    sway along with you.


    Wenn die Verzweifelung
    nach dem Wohin fragt
    wende ich mich ab
    oder weise ihr einen Irrweg.

    Wenn du, Trostengel,
    erscheinst, groß und
    gewaltig, lächelnd
    vor mir stehst,

    vergesse ich den Zorn
    und die Enttäuschung
    und beuge mich
    deinem sanften Willen
    zum Frieden.


    When Dispear
    asks me to show him the way
    I turn my back on him
    or send him onto the wrong path.

    When you,
    the Angel of Consolation,
    sublime and awesome
    appear before me smiling,

    I forget my anger
    and the disappointment
    and accept your gentle
    aspiration for peace.

    With love from Bruni
    and also from Winfried, Melanie and Daniel Blum

  6. Dear Don and Joy -- Joy, in my short time at University of Delaware, I have received so many emails and updates with all your successes here at the University and in the community, which is such an inspiration to a young professor! Thank you for being such a role model, and for always opening your house and heart to us! Much love, Nicole

  7. What beautiful photos of such an amazing woman! You have really brought "Joy" into everything you do (family, work, fun, etc.) We appreciate all you have done and continue to do for Delaware 4-H. You have been a great role model for many 4-H families.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep smiling that joyous smile!

    Aaron & Jill Jackson

  8. Joy,
    You have truly touched my life. I also accompanied you to Chicago for a National Congress. It was 1978 and we got stuck in Chicago in the snow. You were great and kept us calm. Over the years our paths have crossed again and again. I loved working with you on the Board of the 4H Foundation. You were truly the woman behind the scenes. Thank you for all of your help. I loved the retreat weekend we spent at your beach house. My husband loves you for getting him those great Delaware tickets at the basket auction. He had to win bidding on the basket! Thank you. You and your family will be in our prayers.
    Mardi Pyott Spangler

  9. Dear Joy,
    I can't say in written words what you have done for me and my family! You became my county agent when I was a teen. Some where inside me, you saw potential. Sometimes I felt you were the only one.
    Once a year I have the opportunity to visit the Conrad Hilton in Chicago. Every time I enter an elevator, I chuckle thinking of the time that we handcuffed you to a chair in the elevator and pushed all of the buttons and sent you for a ride! You laughed all of the way up and down.
    And I will never forget the day I picked up my oldest son, Chris, from his first camp experience. There you were laughing at me. "Denis, the apple doesn't fall to far from the tree"
    You are such a positive role model and inspiration in all facets of my life! I can't thank you enough for all that you do for me!
    Your parents knew what they had when you were born by naming you Joy! Because you are for everyone you touch!
    Don, I would like to thank you for sharing Joy with all of us!
    Love always,
    Denis Shaffer

  10. bawoods@iastate.eduFebruary 4, 2009 at 1:00 PM


    You have made working on the CYFAR efforts a joy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Keep smiling!

    Barbara Woods
    Your CYFAR liaison

  11. Joy,
    I have to share the same as Denis states. You have become the role model for us all in community service and just how to be a great human being. You have lead us all in so many ways that we all hope to model your behavior in what we do and how we mentor our younger members.
    It has been a "Joy" to remain in 4-H and raise my children in this wonderful community and to have you touch the lives of my children in a special way. You have given them the golden touch to appreciate this wonderful special "club" known by us all too. We are so blessed by all the ways that you spear head our committees and steer us in the right direction to continue to grown the NCC 4-H and State 4-H community. Wow we even went abroad who would have thought of that, yet we have enjoyed that beyond measure. The kids that came to our Delaware soil will be forever changed by our 4-H ers.
    Thanks so much for all your love and dedication you have brought to each of our families.
    All our love,
    Jacqui Reardon and family

  12. Konstantinos MakrisFebruary 4, 2009 at 1:06 PM

    Dear Joy and Don,

    I have not met Joy before, but judging from the 108 web pics of you both, it seems that you have been always in true love, being role models not only for students, but also for couples. The best pic of all is the one at your wedding together..

    Life is temporary for all of us, and the permanent life is up in the sky..Your strength, patience and courage of you both is admirable and only feasible through your mutual love. And true love can not be touched or defeated by any burden of disease..

  13. Don and Joy. This is a fantastic blog. The pictures are so you guys! I know the battle you have been waging against cancer was exactly the way you have been the many years I have known you, determination, a great spirit, incredible grace. Its so hard to put in to words the feeling, through the tears and the smiles and the warm heart we all feel. We have missed you already, yet cherish the times together. there were so many times that i was glad to have your voice around the table, one of reason, but candor..always saying what needed to be said but never any anger or frustration..well maybe a time or two when i drove you nuts:). We are all better because of you and this great 4-H movement is so much better off because you have helped lead it.
    Carolyn and I have been praying for you and know that soon you will surely be in the sweetest place of all. God bless you both! don floyd

  14. Wow, as someone who has seen this dreaded disease firsthand, and lost several loved ones to it, I am again saddened and troubled that it is taking another wonderful person in my life. Joy, I am who I am today because of you. The Delaware 4-H program has given me everything I hold dear, not just my youth, but my family, friends, and greatest memories. If it wasn't for you, I can honestly say that life as know it wouldn't be what it is. You have done more for youth, and adults, than you can ever know. You never know who you touch when you embark on a task and project, but it is safe to say you have touched thousands upon thousands, or more.

    Thank you. God Bless,
    Stan Bradley

  15. Dearest Joy-
    I have known you for most of my life. You have helped shape, mold and prod me as a 4-H'er, leader and a person. You were destined for your work in 4-H - where else could you have touched so many and left such a profound mark in this world! Your smile is contagious and your friendship is a privilege. Now my three sons have also had the opportunity to be shaped in some way by you - each of them is all the better for it. Denis stole my "apple doesn't fall far from the tree story." At least he knew which tree you were talking about! You are a gift to one and all and Don has been so gracious to share you all these years. We love you.


  16. Joy,
    Along with your magnetic personality, I have always admired your sense of style as illustrated in this fantastic photo album.
    I’ll never forget the Achievement Banquet where you awarded me the Foods and Nutrition Award along with a box of Foley kitchen gadgets which I still use to this day!
    Delaware 4-H is so fortunate to have your leadership and expertise. You could have pursued any number of careers but chose to put your passion into Delaware 4-H. We will be forever grateful.
    In addition, I enjoyed serving with you on the DSF Board and appreciate and marvel at the countless hours you have volunteered for the fair.
    Thinking of you often with love and admiration,
    Betsy Morris

  17. Joy,
    I have had the pleasure of knowing you as an 4-H'er and a colleague and am very gratfeul for both. You have been a wonderful mentor and I have learned so much from working with you. Your guidance has always helped me in my work with 4-H and I feel so fortunate to have been able to work so closely with you.
    You and Don are both in my prayers

  18. Joy,
    Thank you for being you! I still remember haveing a crush on you during many years at the State Fair. We have had many fun times at the Fair, way back when we were a little younger right up until today. I am proud to have you as a dear friend. We also had a great time at Sarah's Moore's wedding.

  19. Dear Joy - Just a note to tell you my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You are a wonderful person, It has been my pleasure and honor working with you on the Fair Board If I can do anything for any of you, just let me know. Gene

  20. Joy,
    I remember the first time I met you--two years ago, when Matt and I had just arrived in Delaware and were still getting our bearings. You and Don took us to brunch at the Deerfield, and we had such a great time--it was like having family with us in a brand-new place, which was incredibly comforting. You both have made us feel so welcome here--you are a huge part of the reason we like Delaware so much. Your sense of humor, intelligence, and remarkable ability to provide fabulously perfect quotes for every UDaily story I have ever written that relates to you are inspiring. Not only are you a true "class act," you really "get" people and how the world works--and you make it a better place. Thanks to both you and Don for making life more fun for all of us! Lots of love, Katie Ginder-Vogel

  21. Joy: What a testament to you. Your name was well given. Although I didn't have as much contact with you as many of the other people writing, whenever I did have the privilege you were always upbeat, smiling and ready to help in any way possible. It's hard to find a person like you! I'll always remember you for all your dedicated years with 4-H and other agricultural pursuits. It was always great seeing you when the opportunity arose. JoAnn Dawson

  22. Dear Joy,
    I read the comments expressed by others and just want to say "DITTO!" Only that really doesn't quite express the sum total of your contribution to the 4-H Youth Development profession and field. You are an inspiration and know that you truly have "made the Best Better"! My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.
    Lisa Lauxman

  23. My dear Joy, I was lucky enough to watch you grow up in 4-H and then become for my children, Jamie & Trina, what Sam Gwenn & Jim Baker were for me. How lucky those kids were to have had you in their lives. 4-H truly prepares us for a better life & we thank you for your part in that. Our prayers are with you.
    Don, we thank you for sharing Joy w/ us all these years. I am so happy to see that you two created so many wonderful memories together. Those memories will sustain you as you face the future. All our Love, The Roy Family.

  24. Joy, You are a marvel. I am so very fortunate to have had the honor of knowing you for so many years. I am also extremely happy that my children and many of my grandchildren have also come to know and love you for all you do for 4-H and the young people of Delaware. I know that I chided you about your work but hopefully we both knew it was all in fun. You have made a wonderful impact on all with whom you have come in contact, both through your work and your personal life as well.

    Thank you for making the best better.

    Larry Shaffer

  25. Joy, I am so sorry to hear about your battle with cancer. You have been such a shining star in the lives of so many folks within and beyond Delaware.
    You were one who laid out the welcome mat when I first arrived in Delaware so many years ago. Your spirit and sense of humor and common sense were so helpful to me. I treasure the years that we worked as colleagues (even though I could have lived without a few of those weeks at Camp Barnes).
    I have watched you and Delaware 4-H from afar since my retirement. You and Mark have done a fantastic job reaching the young people of Delaware and changing the lives of so many.
    Our lives are not measured by the years we receive but by the difference we make during those years. Your life has been one of great magnitude.
    In viewing the slide show on the Internet I realize that you had many opportunities to accompany Don on some wonderful world trips. Elna and I, too, have done some traveling since leaving Delaware and we recognize the memories you and Don share.
    “No one knows why bad things happen to good people.” ---“Life sometimes just isn’t fair!” We’ve all heard these exclamations. But not too long ago our pastor in his Sunday message said “in the economy of God nothing is wasted”.
    Joy, from what I have learned from those who have been near you these past years, I can’t help but believe that the courage in which you have fought your battle with cancer is, and will continue to be, an example for others who face similar struggles.
    May God give you strength and peace. Marty Butterfield

  26. Jim and Bonnie Smith, Bobby, Emily and TommyFebruary 4, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    Dearest Joy,
    You have been in our hearts and minds in the many years since I was an active 4-H'er, but certainly not as often as recently when we learned of your renewed battle with cancer.
    You have been such an amazing role model for me as a 4-H'er, student, teacher and most importantly, a mom. I have always been able to count on your advice, smile, hugs and leadership. Jim and I are so grateful that Bobby, Emily and Tommy have had the opportunity to know you and experience the 'joy' you are so well known for!
    Our lives are all the better for having shared that famous smile, style and laugh!
    Much love,
    The Smith Family

  27. I always admired and appreciated the candor with which you offered guidance and advice to me during my time as manager of the Delaware State Fair.

    As you may recall, I was quick to note that the 4-H Department at DSF, especially upon moving into the Centre building, was the very best of any fair I had ever visited. Not only did it look great, the exhibits were outstanding as well. Your leadership skills were important in strengthening 4-H in Delaware and, in turn, raising the quality of presentation at the Fair.

    I enjoyed chiding you over the excuses you would make for not being able to attend a Fair meeting. Let's face it, not many of the Fair board members could ask to be excused frequently because they were going off to some exotic foreign land. But you got away with it because of Don's business trips. Never blamed you and wish I had had the same option. What adventures they must have been!

    Take solace in knowing so many people are keep you in their thoughts and prayers.

    Dennis Hazzard

  28. Joy, I've known you since the late 60's when we were at Camp Barnes together. I knew from day one you were a very special person who could accomplish miracles with little time and even fewer resources. I've done lots of 4-H camping since but those five years ('68-'72) are among my fondest memories. Working with you, Jim Baker, Marion, Dean, Ted, Uncle Bug and all the terrific staff was a truly wonderful experience. Do you still have the drill sergeant's stripes they pinned onto your shirt at one of the assemblies?

    Your hard work and dedication to 4-H from the local to the national level is an inspiration. You've touched more lives than you will ever know and we're all the better for it. At some point in what I hope is the distant future you will hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant". There's no higher praise and its certainly richly deserved. God Bless. Dan

  29. Dear Joy,
    You have been a friend, a mentor, someone to have a glass of wine with and solve the problems of the world.

    You approach your work, your family and your friends with a touch of class. You have made everyone a better person for knowing you.

    Your smile, your laugh, your ability to analyze what is real and what is not are all pieces that make Joy, such a joy to know.

    Thank you for being my friend and co-worker.
    Wendy Brock

  30. Dear Joy, Your leadership to the 4-H program has been so valuable and has made a great difference in the state, regionally and nationally. Thank you for your insight and ideas to make all of our work a little easier and stronger.

    You are an inspirational, motivating teacher who provided so many of us support and encouragement. Thank you for your friendship and the many memories of working together.

    Best wishes and peace!

    Sincerely, Marilyn Corbin, Penn State

  31. Joy,
    As I read all the wonderful comments from past 4-H'ers that you worked with and took to National 4-H Congress in Chicago, I can't help but think you were still providing those great experiences to all the delegates that we have had in Atlanta the past several years. There is where I had the wonderful opportunity to work with you in Congress Headquarters and get to know the fun-loving, youth-minded professional that many of our colleagues know. I know the challenges have been great these past couple of years, but your faith and continuous spirit keeps you smiling and makes you an inspiration to us all. My thoughts are with you....
    Deb Stocker

  32. Joy, I would smile when I saw you arrive at one of our national meetings...more accurately, you had probably arrived ahead of me (a time zone thing)and I smiled when I first saw you.

    I wanted to rush over and see where you had just traveled to. I think of myself as a traveler, but you were the greatest travel adventurer that I know.

    I loved our many conversations about your newest jewelry find from your latest trip. What great taste you have!!!

    I admire all the works and accomplishments that are detailed by others, but I always thought of you as the "lady" of our group with such class and elegance.

    Martha Couch - Texas

  33. Joy & Don,

    I'll never forget the day we went to the Races at Delaware Park (very quietly, mind you) and then at Pimlico. It was such a pleasure to enjoy the races and your company away from the numerous cares and worries of the office.

    I imagine many 4-Hers grow up wanting to become The State Leader because of the impact that person has on the organization. You did it, and it was always very clear to me how proud the Delwareans were that you were one of them.

    Thank you for all you've done...God Bless you both, Amy

  34. Joy and Don,
    Thanks for posting the wonderful photos! I'm watching from sunny Arkansas and preparing to go to Atlanta for the National 4-H Congress Design Team meeting. Joy, we will try to "do you proud" and live up to the high standard you set!!
    Sending you warm wishes and happy thoughts.
    Darlene Baker Millard

  35. Joy,
    Your smile, your warmth, and your "style" have bee part of my 4-H experience for more years that I can remember. I have always appreciated sharing travel stories and experience with each other. The warmth of your friendship and the thoughtfulness of your insights and advice through our work are valuable treasures in my life for which I will be forever grateful. Thank you for all you have done for young people in this country and for the rest of us who have been fortunate enough to share special moments with you along the way.

    With love and much admiration from your friend.

  36. Joy,

    Looking back at my years with 4-H, I realize that you were always there, whether at State 4-H camp or National Congress in Florida. I am thankful for the opportunities 4-H allowed me to have and they would not have been possible without your strength and determination as an advocate for the program.

    You and Don are in my thoughts. I wish for you many days free from pain, reflective peace, and time with those you love and who surely are blessed to have known you.

    Sarah Crouse
    Seattle, WA

  37. Dear Joy,

    These tributes and notes are only fitting for you as you have had such a profound impact on 4-H, your community, this world and of course me. I sit here tearfully wishing somehow that I can be as brave as you are. Battling this latest challenge you again show me courage in the face of battle. I can only hope to be as graceful with my life challenges. I want to say so many things to you but really THANK YOU is the most important thing. I grew up in 4-H with you as my agent, so many great memories that I smile when I think about some. Our trip to Washington when I was 17 was really able to spend quality time with you. Our relationship over those years was fantastic. My trip to Congress in Chicago also let me have lots of great memories and yes you were there. I was not always behaved, I like to call it ornery, but you always saw the good in all of us and that gave us strength to believe that we were indeed special and important. You are such a mentor to me and many. I did not see you for a few years and when I did I was so thrilled to hear that you had married, I was so happy that you found Don. When I was older I came back to
    4-H when my children were old enough and I have been lucky enough to be involved with you again. Just your name makes me think of all the wonderful and even some of the not so wonderful experiences from my life. When some of the newer staff talk and they seem a little anxious about taking with you or a visit from you I laugh! I have never felt that way with you. You have always been so kind and supportive that I alway welcome the chance to talk or visit with you. Knowing what a positive impact on my life I have always felt a special bond. My children are also lucky enough to be reaping the benefits of 4-H. Their success is the true legacy that you have created and maintained. They will continue this legacy for generations to come and you Joy will always be there physically and spiritually guiding them as you have always done. Thank You for being so special in our lives! See you soon

    Tracey McCracken

  38. Hi, Joy. All of us in the Northeast have been keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. We miss you and want you to know that your experience and knowledge are missed as we discuss key issues and challenges in the 4-H program. Best wishes. Christy Bartley

  39. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Joy - is excellence. She expected it from her 4-H staff and they delivered! 'Just okay' was never good enough for her 4-H'ers...and she motivates all of us to make it the very best program! Shakespeare once said, "What's in a name?" and boy...when you look at Joy smile, you can see right into her heart - joy is written all over her face. She radiates with pride when one of her 4-H'ers discovered the "joy" of confidence, of accomplishment, of discovering something new!She was thrilled when her staff came up with new ideas, made a breakthrough or received recognition. It seemed as though her mission was always about making somebody else shine!

    Few of us can go through life knowing that we have affected so many people in a positive way-it is a great blessing and a great gift she has shared. Joy built a program that I am honored to be a part of - and she has set an example for passion in what we do here at Extension and what a joy it is to serve others.

    Like most of us here, I could go on and on with the accolades. There are so many to list.

    Sarah above said it best...we are blessed to have known you...your life has been a most precious and meaningful gift.

    Michele Walfred
    Sussex Cooperative Extension

  40. Joy,

    It has been many years since you shined the flashlight into the cage of Cabin 3 and admonished my campers (and me) to “Shut up and get to bed.” Granted, it was after midnight and our laughter echoed far beyond the confines of the cabin, but we were sure you and the other staff were snug in their bunks, asleep, and unaware.

    As the years progressed and your career unfolded, one thing became clear to all of us…you were never snug, asleep, or unaware when it came to the Delaware State 4-H Program. Your efforts to shake things up from time to time, your vigilance in maintaining the reputation of the program, and your ability to manage an increasingly diverse and growing program through both good and bad times are something we all applaud and appreciate.

    On a personal level, I owe you a debt of gratitude for the opportunity you gave me to serve as program director for Delaware State 4-H Camp between 1994 and 2003. Those 10 years were the most rewarding and memorable ones of my lifelong association with 4-H and I thank you for making them possible.

    In closing, let me say that though we have occasionally disagreed over the years, I have always admired and respected your commitment to 4-H and your willingness to deal with things directly and do what was in the best interest of the Delaware 4-H Program…a program that will be a fitting legacy to you.

    May God Bless You and Don.


  41. Nancy Bennett FreeberyFebruary 4, 2009 at 5:13 PM


    4-H has always been a big part of my life and I know my 4-H experiences wouldn't have been the same without you and your dedication to the program! You were also a great boss while I worked in the 4-H office during my college years! Until I worked in that office, I didn’t realize the scope of everything you do for the 4-Hers in this state and you should be extremely proud of the positive impact you have had on so many youth over the years. You have done so much to make the Delaware 4-H program successful and we all truly appreciate it. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Nancy Bennett Freebery

  42. Joy,
    I have always felt certain that it was not coincidence that your name stated the impact you had on others. Joy is what you have brought to us over the years. A smile is what comes to my face as I reflect on the many wonderful times we have shared thus far. Please know that my thoughts, prayers are with ya'll. I count you as one of my closet friends and most trusted collegues. I may send you some NEWG (name and emblem work group) notes to review soon. 4-H, 4-H'ers and so many of us are forever better because of your work. God Bless you my friend in your challenges. Sincerely, Bo

  43. Dear Joy,

    Your friendship as a 4-H colleague for many years has meant a lot to me. I have learned so much from you, have laughed with you, and have simply been glad to know that whenever our paths crossed we would be able to make a connection at both a professional and personal level. Your impact on 4-H has been beyond the borders of the state of Delaware, although I know that is where your heart has been throughout your career. Thank you for accepting leadership roles and representing the Northeast region so well. Thank you for your practicality and your straightforward approach to the program we value - 4-H youth development. You and Don have been and continue to be in my prayers. You are a "joy" to know and a friend to treasure.

  44. Joy, I never really knew you until I became state leader in NY and I am so appreciative of the wonderful leadership you provided in our region. I was such a novice in understanding the bigger picture issues and soon realized you were the one person who I could look to for your " telling it like it is" opinions. We greatly have missed your insights on our regional calls these past few months. God bless you Joy, for the great difference you have made in the lives of so many. Barb Schirmer

  45. Children smile
    Lessons learned
    Confidence built
    We pause a while

    As we reflect on…

    Leaders that emerged
    Examples that were set
    Her experience speaks
    And her words are heard

    And we consider …

    What her life has meant
    What differences are made
    As small actions trembled
    A powerful resonance

    And how we know…

    That some are born to achieve
    While a few teach others to shine
    And someone else’s victory
    Becomes yours, becomes mine

    And gratitude is due…

    For a unique, singular being
    Pushing, challenging, expecting
    Us all to envision when
    The rest of them aren’t seeing

    We see
    We know
    We think
    We consider
    We reflect

    Because of you
    God’s angels will flutter
    With 4-H Clovers upon their wings
    And they will shout and Oh! how they will sing!
    Joy! Joy! Joy!

    God Bless you!

  46. Hi Joy
    I don't know if you will get this or if you will get two messages. I am still not the best person on these computer things. thought I was sending you a message when it asked for a profile and then would not let me back up. Oh well.....I guess it helps if you are 9 years old or you have a 9 year old sitting there helping you. I will try this again.

    I can't believe you are having to go through this. I feel so much out of the loop. I had no idea. Since I retired from the program leader position 4 years ago I have continued to work part time here at the Foundation, but I was not aware of your illness.

    I remember all the good times we have had over the years between program leader meetings, NAE4-HA, and National 4-H Congress. You have always been one to jump in and help when help was needed, and one of your hallmarks is your passion for 4-H. Many people have counted on you to speak up and say what had to be said over the years. Your complete and total dedication to the 4-H Youth Development Program has been an inspiration to so many.

    Please know that I will keep you in my prayers, and that you and your whole family will be in my thoughts. You have been an inspiration to so many and I hope that the knowledge that so many people love you and look up to you will be a small comfort at this time.

    God Bless You and your whole family.

    Jim Rutledge

  47. Hey Joy,

    It's Ern. I just wanted to tell you how much I love you. Janis and I are here at home and just went through the great pictures Don had put up on the site. We loved every one of them!

    You know, I've found myself laughing out loud these last few days thinking of the phone call Don got at the hospital last week from the guy asking when you were going to pick up your fur coat. It was such a classic moment and I'm just so glad I was there for it. Like always, you bring out the absolute best in every moment.

    Give Winston a pat on the head for me and tell Don that Janis and I were asking for him. I'm looking to get up to see you again next Thursday the 12th to bring you some fun Valentine's goodies. Will circle back with you before then. So proud of you.

    Best as always and talk to you soon.

    Love, Ernie and Janis.

  48. Joy,
    Your name says it all! When I think back to all the great memories I had growing up in 4-H there are so many that you and Don are in. From that great week we spent in Florida for club congress to the fair to camp you are in all of them with that great smile of yours. I am just sorry for you that you had to put up with me so much. Please know that I am greatful for the opertunities that you provided for me and that they are what has made me who I am today. Keep that smile you are such a joyful person. You are in my prayers.
    Ryan Melson

  49. Marian Hopkins HarveyFebruary 4, 2009 at 9:41 PM

    Dear Joy,
    The first time I remember hearing your name, Joy, was at camp when Mr. Baker had you come sit on council rock. He remarked about the fantastic job you were doing that week. That was when I was a first year camper. Boy, was that a long time ago!

    Our Emily and Hannah talked at dinner tonight of how "cool" they thought it was that you always remembered which projects and activities they were involved in each time you saw them. With so many 4-Hers you see all across the state, they were amazed that every time, your interest in them individually was genuine and quite impressive.

    You can go rest now, Joy, knowing that you have run the race and done well. You have touched so many lives with your laughter, your high spirited nature, your attention to detail. Joy, you have truly lived the 4-H motto,"To Make the Best Better."
    See you in Heaven.
    I love you,
    Marian Hopkins Harvey

  50. Dear Joy,
    I just wanted to say that you have been in my thoughts and prayers each and every day.
    I want you to know that I think you are a wonderful person and a person who has given so much to the 4-H family. I will never forget the day when we were at the Leaders Forum and Mary Argo called my name as Sussex County 4-H Volunteer of the Year. And then to top that off; YOU called my name as State Volunteer of the Year. Then we had to take our picture together in front of the milk machine!! (ha ha) WOW!! You have left so many memories for so many people. Please stay strong and know that God will take care of you; no matter what!
    When I saw this quote, I immediately thought of you! "Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination. "
    That is you, Joy!!
    God Bless You!!
    Jodie Gravenor,
    Sussex County, DE

  51. My first year at 4-H camp the Spirit of camp was a girl named Joy! Coulter and I had many opportunities after that to work with you at camp and fair building set ups, Junior Leader Weekends and for me 2 National 4-H Congress trips...and I totally missed those guys handcuffing you!!! And then it was our children that were at camps, fairs and trips.Thank God I am 5 state books down and NONE to go!! Thank you for all your years of dedication to 4-H. It has been so important in the lives of many youth. Don, thank you for sharing Joy with a demanding 4-H family.Your love for each other was so evident and it was fun to see and hear the "joy" you had in your many travels.As a cancer survivor and and hospice nurse, I know you have fought the good fight with courage and grace and now I hope you are filled with peace. Joy, I believe there is a great 4-H council circle in heaven with Mr. Baker on Council Rock. I know we will all gather there some day to sing and laugh again. Joy, you were always good for a funny skit!! Maybe we can all sing Oh our Delaware and remember the words... We love you! Charlotte and Coulter Passwaters

  52. Joy,
    You've been an outstanding role model for so many. You've probably written hundreds of letters of recommendation for 4-H members and given us a step up towards accomplishing our goals. Personally, you've shown me how a woman can be in intergral part of a predominantly male organization (DSF). I can only hope one day, I'll have made a fraction of the difference you have made in Delaware's youth. Thank you for my memories of Hands on Atlanta, DSF Fair Board car pool, and for helping me accomplish my own goals. You will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
    Marian Handlin

  53. Dear Joy,
    Thank you so much for the selfless gifts that you have given me and so many other 4-Hers over the years. When I reflect upon my time as a 4-Her and think about your impact, the times that I remember you having the greatest impact on my life were the teen years. Many fond memories of camp, state fair, teen conference and 4-H congress come flooding back. The thing that occurs to me as I view these memories through adult eyes is your enduring patience. As my comrades and I were trying to figure who we were and what our place in the world might be, we sometimes made mistakes and acted VERY silly. When we were at our most difficult and (dare I say) unlovable, you were always there with support, patience, good humor and a “teachable moment”. I am certain that you sometimes had to convince the other adults that even though we made unwise choices at times, that we weren’t bad kids and we would turn out ok (as far as I know we all turned out to be upstanding citizens after all). So many kids in this world aren’t lucky enough to have adult role models to help guide them and lead them during the teen years, and I am ever so grateful that I had you and the 4-H program to influence me. You have been so many things to so many people; I hope that you are proud of the tremendous legacy that stands in your wake. You have touched more lives than you will ever know.

    You and Don are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. With much love and gratitude,

    Signe Clayton Bell

  54. Suzanne Le MenestrelFebruary 5, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    Joy, all of us at National 4-H Headquarters were so sorry to hear about your illness. As a 4-H "newbie," I always appreciated your warm welcome and passionate commitment to youth. You and your family are in our thoughts and we thank you for your service to our nation's young people.

  55. It's hard to believe that we've known each other 30 years. You invited me to judge demonstrations at the State Fair in 1979 and by November I was on the staff. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here in Delaware today. I'll never forget my first fair in 1980 when you and Jimmy Moore kept stealing from each others 4-H exhibits as you each decorated your booths at the fair. I knew right then that Delaware was going to be different. We had some interesting Extension Conferences at the dePont House in Rehoboth. The year you cut holes in Sam Gwinn's pajamas was priceless. He was furious, and still blames me for doing that. It's been a long road, but as you look at all the posts on this blog you can see it was well worth it. All those night meetings, weekends, trips and camps were grueling, but the kids who came out at the other end sure were worth it. Save me a seat at the Council Circle where I'm sure we'll all laugh and sing again, probably still off key, but we'll have fun!

  56. Such a difference in the world you have made with so many young and old. Your smile was always the light that brightened my world when we met at so many extension work and fun times. Your positive attitude and words of wisdom helped me in so many ways. God bless you on your journey. Debbie Bowman

  57. Dear Joy and Don,
    Thanks for sharing this wonder site and the opportunity for me to share how much I love my good friend, Joy. Most of my work with you was early mornings and late nights in the Headquarters at National Congress. I don't know that we ever solved any big problems but we sure had some good laughs, usually at my expense! Thanks for letting me share with you stories about my kids and things I was dealing with at time. You are a great friend and listener. If I were smart I would known how to attach this link, but I am not so, Don you will need to copy, cut and paste it. I love this song becasue it has brought me a lot of comfort at times when I needed a little hope and JOY in my own life, I hope it does the same for you. God bless you both my friends!
    Charles Cox

  58. We fit like a hand and glove, and I was very happy to work so closely with you. You knew everything and everyone in Delaware 4-H. How can anyone replace you? The shoes you leave behind are simply too big. I will always admire how courageous you were as you fought this battle. Thank you for everything! Till later…Joyce

  59. Joy and Don

    Where do I begin? Joy - you were one of those experienced 4-H'ers that I just idolized as a beginner. You were bubbly, bright and beautiful - everything I so wanted to be. As the years went on I became one of your volunteer leaders. How fortunate we have been that we have a state leader who truly understands what 4-H is all about. You have taken the program to a much higher level. And Don - I was a student at the UD when you first arrived on the scene. God sure knew what he was doing when he led you to Delaware. You too, have made an amazing impact on so many people, both young and old. Thanks for everything and may God Bless you both and give you peace. Carla Killmon

  60. Joy,
    It goes without saying that you had a huge influence on my 4-H experience as a youth. I continue to reap the benefits of your guidance as a 4-H leader. However, the biggest influence you had on me and my life, you may not even realize. Joy, it was your recommendation of the UD College of Agriculture that first made me visit as a high school student, and finally choose to attend. The confidence that you and Don had in my ability to succeed at UD solidified my college choice. Every day I am thankful for the education I received and the people I met. It was wonderful as a nervous college freshman to know that I would see you around Townsend Hall and you would be genuinely interested in how I was doing. My experiences at UD, along with my upbringing in the 4-H program have no doubt made me the adult that I am today, and I have you to thank for it.

    You are in my constant prayers. I pray for comfort and peace at this difficult time.
    Elaine Zeitler Webb

  61. Joy,
    The outpouring of love and support on these pages is absolutely incredible and indicative of the impact you have had on so many lives. What an amazing legacy you have of laughter, influence, motivation, encouragement, kindness, support, dedication, commitment, trust, and pure, unabashed JOY. I will always remember and treasure your laugh, your smile, your sense of style, your incredible knowledge of EVERYONE in DE, your gift of always having great gossip, and your heartfelt commitment and passion for 4Hers and their futures. I always loved working with you, chatting with you, and watching you in action. No one can work a room like Joy, and all of our rooms will be a whole lot lonelier without you in them. God bless, and thank you for the gifts and blessings you have shared with me and with so many. With love and peace, Karen Aniunas

  62. Dear Joy,

    We miss your beautiful smile and presence here.
    May God continue to comfort you and cradle you in his everlasting arms. Our prayers are with you.May God bless you and your family.
    Carmella Johnson and Cynthia Slater

  63. Joy,
    It has been a "Joy" to have known you through the Delaware 4-H program all these years. You have had a true passion for young people all of your life. There are so many peoples lives you have touched. My husband Mark & I were never in 4-H growing up. We had really no idea what it was all about until we went through the old 4-H building. Jacob was 11 and Amanda 8. You spoke to us and gave us information about a local club, New Beginnings. What can I say the rest is history. Our Jacob, Amanda & Rebecca have aquired so many life skills that have helped mold them into the people they are today. So thank you for being in that building at the right time. It has truly made a difference in all of our lives. You have been an inspiration to so many young people in our Delaware and the world. The pictures of your travels were wonderful to see, thank you Don for sharing those with us. Our thought and prayers are with you today and always.
    Love & Prayers to you both
    Sandy, Mark, Jacob, Amanda & Rebecca Urian

  64. Joy,
    You are such an inspiration. At state 4-H leader meetings you are thoughtful, yet thought provoking. I look up to you and your wisdom, your positive attitude, and your on-target, honest opinions. We really missed you at our NE meeting in August. You've been in my thoughts since. Thank you for all you do for 4-H - both as an organization, and for individuals!

    Ginny Powell

  65. Joy,

    Thank you for being a special memory in my Delaware 4-H experience... state fair, Chicago Club Congress, state camp, summer work in your office, and more. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. After viewing your slide show, I am amazed at all the wonderful places you traveled and the people you met. Peace be with you.

    Jennifer (Crouse) Talbot - New Castle County, Delaware 4-H 1980-1990.

  66. Kathy (Marro) KempskiFebruary 5, 2009 at 2:52 PM

    Joy...we came to work together in the 4-H office in 1973, you as an assistant 4-H Agent and me, secretary of a wonderful group of Extension Service people! For 11 years I would always marvel at how wonderful you worked with kids and helped them form their lives to become respectful & flourishing adults. Each & every 4-H member looked up to you and the utmost of respect for you. We had such great times during my 11 years there and have so many fond memories of your enthusiam and love for life. From an assistant 4-H Agent to State 4-H leader, you should be very proud of your accomplishments both for yourself and for all those whose lives you touched. I will keep those great times and memories in my heart forever "my friend".

  67. Dearest Joy and Don,
    You were our family away from home. We have great memories staying at your place with naughty little Winston and a once in a lifetime experience in Delaware and Thailand, that shaped our lives forever. You have always been so generous and full of humor.
    Wishing you loving and peaceful moments together.
    All our love to both of you. You are in our hearts.
    Magriet & Maarten Nachtegaal (Nienke & Willem)

  68. Dick Byrne and Sherri WrightFebruary 5, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    Dear Joy,
    We have valued your friendship for many years. I will always remember how you took me "under your wing" when I came to maryland back in '99. You always provided a needed listening ear and always very sage and wise advise. You have been an important role model for kids, volunteers and colleagues for all these years -- and have always been a wonderfully positive individual to work with and to have as a friend.
    You have been in our thoughts for many months and you will continue to be.
    Peace & Love!
    Dick Byrne & Sherri Wright

  69. Joy
    I would like to begin this message as I typically began our phone conversations, "It is a joy to talk with you". That has always been true when talking with you.
    I have frequently reminded people that life is not about "things", but "relationships". As I have reviewed most of the comments written to you and Don, it is obvious that you truly knew what life is all about! You must have so many rich memories and believe me your life and the things that you taught so many young people will continue to live on. Your life has been about others and that is a blessed life.
    God will give you and Don strength through this difficult time. His grace is sufficient!
    Know that we love you and are praying for you and Don.
    Ron Jester

  70. Dear Joy,

    Although we met relatively recently in 2004 at the Supersoil conference in Sydney, your infectious smile, your warmth and your ability to interact with people is incredible. We still very fondly remember the good time we had on the harbour cruise and the dinner at Beecroft. Keep smiling Joy, you have made a huge impression on so many lives. You and Don are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Best wishes,

    Balwant Singh

  71. Dear Joy & Don,
    Thanks so much for sharing a part of your life with us in this website. Joy, you seem to always be smiling in pictures and in person..From what I have heard you have kept a positive attitude throughout your courageous battle. I am sure this has been hard at times but I am sure it has been helpful to you and your loved ones. I will always remember you rushing in my office to see kra...and wondering what the heck was that all about!! It must have really been some good gossip but I never did get to hear it. I always have thought you were the best dressed woman in Townsend and still do. Just remember you are always in my thoughts and prayers. Carol Brower

  72. Joy,

    I remember the many times you greeted me at a 4-H event with a cheerful “How’s Miss Linda? It could have been a cold April day at the Spring Dairy show or a hot humid July move-in day at the DSF; but, as a nervous young 4-Her and then sometimes overwhelmed 4-H leader and parent, that joyful greeting calmed my nerves and put it all in perspective on more than one occasion. I think of all the kids you have watched grow up from nervous first year campers to confident Chiefs and Voices; and then the kids of those have touched so many.
    I was able to share some of the State 4-H Camp traditions with Brian at the camp reunion this past August. As he peered into the dusty cabins and the infamous bathhouse, I could see he was still a little puzzled as to why our kids would not miss a week at 4-H camp for anything. Later that night, we sat around council circle with generations of past 4-H campers, ages 18-80, all smiling with memories. As we participated in the traditional and current closing ceremonies, Brian leaned over and said, “Oh, I get it now….it’s a cult!” Well, I’m proud to be a part of the Delaware 4-H State Camp “cult” as are my kids and now that “guy from Wisconsin”, too. We are all so grateful for your persistence and guidance in keeping a great 4-H program going for the next generations.

    Love always and God bless you both,
    Linda, Brian, Ben and Sara

  73. My Dear Friend Joy ...
    Your parents knew what they were doing when they named you "Joy" as that is what you have been for me and all who know and love you! I first noted your "joy" when I met you at one of our annual national 4-H Director's meetings. Over the years we worked on a number of committees together and your "joy" was always front and center as you posited wonderfully positive comments and an ever present focus on efforts we could employ to make a difference in the lives of our youth.

    What I could never have guessed was what was to follow ... that in 2002 I would receive a letter from you inviting me to apply for the position of Director of Extension at UD. You chaired that search committee and given your many kindnesses, you and Don had everything to do with me moving across the country alone (well, I did have my cat with me) to assume my current position and to settle into the First State. And you followed by doing everything possible to help me adjust to my new university, community and state.

    It would be an understatement to say that my significant "joy" since my arrival in 2003 ... has been in knowing and working with you Joy. I celebrate our friendship and the many new ideas/initiatives we concocted in the small confines of one of our offices. I have loved every minute! You, Joy Sparks, have been the "joy" in my life over these past six years ... both professionally and personnally. You are a giant to so many ... definitely to me! I love you "Joy!" Jan Seitz

  74. Dear Joy,
    Knowing you and your family your entire life has been a blessing to me. Sometimes you ask yourself why and most of the time you never know the answer.
    Joy... you are a great person that has given so much. God Bless You and Don.
    Gene Dill

  75. Nicola, Rosella and Giorgio SenesiFebruary 6, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    Dearest Friends Joy and Don:

    We have been very hearthly impressed by the last news on Joy's health, and we are extremely sorry of that.
    We have had so many beautiful occasions in the last decades to enjoy your fine company and share your friendship during several meetings in the USA, Italy, and several other parts of the world. In these occasions we had the great fortune to know both of you not only in professional but also, more important, in private visits, and exchange with you so many comments and aspects of our lives. We always have an unforgettable remind of the visits we made in your beautiful house in Newark and your sea-house on the Atlantic Coast, and of your great sense of hospitality and friendship. We also have a fulgid remind of your extremely very welcome, even short, visit in our home in Bari, and the trip we made together to Naples in my car to attend together a Conference there. And we have hearth memories of dinners and rich conversations we had together in several parts of the world. Finally, we cannot forget the extreme professional and personal hospitality offered to our son Giorgio in his 13-months post-doc stage in Newark almost ten years ago.
    We are continuously and hearthly praying God to save Joy in this occasion, and let she live as long as possible, and not to have pains for her illness. Dearest friends, please consider us always very close to both of you in this very difficult time of your life.

  76. Dear Joy,
    You are an inspiration to us all. While I have only been in the 4-H world for a few years, I have learned so much from you. You conducted training that taught me how to be a leader, and your sharing at meetings helped me learn about the stages of youth development. You taught me how to bless the lives of the kids I serve.
    Thank you for being such a woman of strength and noble character.
    Karen Johnston

  77. Lin and Ming HuangFebruary 6, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  78. Lin and Ming HuangFebruary 6, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    Dear Don,

    It is with great sadness that we learned that Joy's battle with cancer is now beyond treatment. This news is a big blow to us too because we have always believed that with the combined courage and determination of you both, she could win.

    Thank you for sharing the many pictures of Joy and especially those of you together. They are precious indeed! we hope these beautiful memories will comfort you both and keep up your spirits.

    With the good care of hospice and especially surrounded and help cared by family, we hope Joy is resting comfortably at home. Don, we hope that in this way, you get some rest too. Do keep well because Joy really needs you now.

    Our thoughts are with you both. It is a pleasure and honor to have known Joy and to have been with you both in many of the professional meetings and also in your beautiful home many years ago. We especially remember the good times we had in Seoul, Korea a few years ago. Joy is indeed a classy lady: warm, friendly, sincere, and with a beautiful smile.

    Your friends,

    Lin and Ming

  79. Dear Ms. Sparks,
    I wanted to thank you for your warm smile that always greeted me at state camp. I knew instantly I was going to have a great time. I feel you truely exemplify the "heart" in our 4h family.My thoughts and prayers are with you always.

  80. Sue Lambden OckelsFebruary 6, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    Dear Joy,
    When I first was asked to be on the 4-H Foundation Board, I was nervous to say the least. But, I saw you and you made me feel right at home. Everytime we are together I always have a sense of rightness.My mind drifts back to years and years of memories. They are so wonderful for me and I am so blessed that you are a part of them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Don.
    Thank-you for being a part in my life.

  81. Joy,

    You were the first state leader I visited after arriving at 4-H in March 2007. You left a wonderful impression on me as a newcomer to this outstanding organization. You welcomed me with that trademarked "joy" and smiled at my newbie questions and patiently answered each, and smiled at my first sparks of what ACCESS 4-H could be. You set a very high mark for the many state leader visits that followed. I will always remember and treasure the first.

    Bob Ranson

  82. Joy,
    It has been a pleasure working with you in the State 4-H office for the past five years. Your warm and friendly personality made my job fun. Whenever a question arose, Joyce and I could always depend on you to know the answer quickly and you never let us down. We were always amazed by your memory --- so sharp! I miss you.
    Thanks for being the very special person you are. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Don.

    Linda Thompson

  83. Dear Joy and Dr. Sparks,
     Though it was just a short period of time, 1-year in Delaware has been a big part of my life. Since then, I have been longing Joy’s beautiful, warm smile that always bring us happy atmosphere. Thank you for visiting Japan in 2005. Every moment with you, including the Shinkansen-express tour in the Typhoon, is my great treasure. I thank miracle in that I was able to meet you in the whole world.
    You are always in my thoughts and prayers. May you have a wonderful family time filled with love.

  84. Debbie Amsden MicklosFebruary 7, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    I have always counted you as a great colleague, a friend, and partner in carrying the torch of helping our communities become better because of the leaders that 4-H and other activities developed. You have been courageous in meeting all your challenges, you have enjoyed every moment and opportunity. You are a role model to many. You are thought of often with many wishes for comfort and grace along the way.
    Debbie Amsden Micklos

  85. Joy and Family...
    ...and what a family it is. As I look over the comments I am surrounded by my 4-H family, Dennis, Brenda, Jill, many, many more. Joy you have been a fine mother to us all. Like any mother you did so with little praise, little help, and at times little appreciation, but you did it with a willing heart and a lot of love. We knew you loved us, you could see it in our smiles and laughter, in our tears, in our life lessons, you watched us grow, always wishing us well. You have made this 4-H family work as any good mother does, your guidance, support, love, and willingness to let us go out into the world because we always knew we were welcome to return, that our family would be there, you would be there. Thank you for being there. All my love, Cristine Jernigan Smith Eskridge

  86. Ms. Sparks,

    I have many memories surrounding you and your entire family growing up. I thank you for all the smiles, encouragement and inspiration that you gave me throughout my time in 4-H and at the state fair. Memories and guidance that I will take with me for a lifetime, thank you. I pray for peace, comfort and family for you and your family. God bless you from Texas.

    Jamie (Picard)Timson

  87. Matt and Carole FlemingFebruary 7, 2009 at 10:55 PM

    Oh Joy; Where do I begin. I joined 4-H when I was nine years old. Two of the first people that I meant was you and Marion. Little did I know that you two women would be so influential in my life. You two are main reasons that I am still so active in 4-H today. Our 4-H family is better for you two wonderful ladies. God blessed all of us for having our paths cross into yours.

    Don, the pictures are beautiful. My brother, Kenneth loved his 1973 Chicago trip with Joy and Mr. Baker. Everyone in that picture have such big smiles.

    Joy, you have touched so many hearts. We all have our favorite memories. We will treasure them forever. Keep smiling sweetheart.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you both and the Gooden Family.

    We love you Joy,

    Matt and Carole Fleming

  88. Dear Don,
    Rachel and I are very sad to hear of Joy's condition. It is a comfort to learn that she is well cared for.
    We often recall that happy time when we had the privilege to know you .
    Our thoughts are with you both.

  89. Joy,
    Two summers ago I got the pleasure of working for the 4-H Program and loved every minute of it. I was so wonderful to be able to spend time with you outside of just seeing you acreoss the hall in Townsend. You have made such and impact on so many people's lives and just as great an impact on mine. You are a wonderful person and I've missed seeing you so often.

    Best wishes and love, Georgie Buck

  90. Dear Don and Joy,

    I remember my first week of UDel - it was warm May in the year of 2001. I had just begun my postdoc program with you. I was always curious to know every little detail about what has made Don Sparks so successful and a well balanced man. Then I met Joy, I realized that what makes them the Sparks. In my two years of tenure, I am honored to have known you both and picked up a lesson or two every time you were around. I believe that every student and postdoc of yours will agree that you have generously showered with a much need guardianship, gracious lunches and dinners, wonderful stories full of little quirks and lessons, and always listened to us. We will treasure them forever.

    I pray for peace,comfort, and grace along the way.

    Much love to you both,

    Paras - Houston, Texas

  91. Joy and Dr. Sparks,

    Yuji reminded me of a photo that I have where you both are showcasing your talents playing the kazoo at my graduation party. Thanks to my recent move, I cannot find this picture just now so you are both temporarily spared from my sharing that with everyone. However, I wish I could think of which picture box it was in because I think the picture is a great example of how you, Joy, are the most aptly named person I have every met. You clearly bring Joy to whatever you do and whomever you meet. I don’t think anyone who has ever seen you with Dr. Sparks or has heard Dr. Sparks talk about you could fail to realize the love and joy that you have brought into his life. And, I know throughout your battle that you have always had the very best care thanks to both Dr. Spark’s love and analytical mind- an incredible combination. You two always seemed to be the perfect compliment to each other; I hope Chad and I can be like that. I’m glad to hear that, despite your battle, your joy continues to shine through. As always, you both are in my thoughts.

    Love Erin Vaughan (O’Reilly)

  92. Dear Joy
    We are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
    What an inspiration you have been to so many through your career. You have touched so many lives and really made a difference.
    God bless you.

  93. Joy,

    How can time have passed so quickly? A lifetime of sharing your energy and love for life has made an impact far beyond New Castle, Kent, & Sussex Counties. Your friendship and support have influenced my life in so many wonderful ways. All my love to Don and the "little girl from Wyoming, DE" who spread her sunshine around the world.

  94. Dear Joy,
    I am a long-time colleague of your husband, and teach and do research at the university where Don got his Ph.D., Virginia Tech. I have never met you, but have asked Don about you over the years. Don was also thoughtful enough to tell me about your illness several months ago, and I have, from time to time, checked in with him concerning your condition. Let me first say that your husband may be the most remarkable person that I have ever met. He is completely unassuming, perhaps the best organizer that I have ever known, has wonderful vision for science, has dramatically impacted several different environmental fields, oh, and perhaps best, he has a clear and brilliant mind. I admire him more than I can express. Always have. But after going through this website, his complete life finally makes sense to me. It is you. You are obviously of an equally remarkable nature, as I now see it. You have been the perfect compliment to him, and I can see how he has been the perfect compliment to your brilliance as well. In the news articles and pictures, I see in you what I almost never, ever see. Don times two. You have been in every way unbelievably remarkable in your kindness, dedication, and joy, constantly celebrating what is best about the world, and about people. I think, most importantly, you have deeply touched the lives of countless young people, and that legacy is what will live on for generations. What a gift you have left. If the rest of us could only come close to what you have already done, and what you will continue to accomplish in body and spirit, the world would finally be whole. You are beauty.

  95. Joy Sparks,
    My wife Ja net' introduced me to raising daughters with 4H. As a parent I am deeply grateful for what you did through your leadership in providing an opportunity for raising children with better Heads, Hearts, Hands, and Health. Newark, DE was a wonderful you were very important in providing a qualtiy life for our family. I believe during life we have an opportunity to experience eternity. God be with you on your journey.

    Dale M. Crouse - East Wenatchee, WA

  96. May I continue what Mike Hochella started... You are beauty.....and grace and style, sophisticated, yet as down-to-earth as one can be. You are caring and kind. We can trust you to be honest. You know what it means to do the right thing. You have an astounding sense of humor and we gravitate to you because you ALWAYS make us smile.


  97. Dear Joy and Don,

    Joy, what a beautiful tribute to your life, the many contributions professionally, and the richness of your personal engagements. You are such a beautiful person with the contagious smile and laughter. We have all been so enriched to know and work with you and Don in our many personal and professional endeavors. What a great legacy you pass on to others.

    Gladys and I particularly wish to remember with fondness our many trips together, the many splendid opportunities to dine and wine together, and most of all for our wonderfull fellowship with you and Don.

    We love you both now and forever,

    Larry and Gladys

  98. Dear Don and Joy Sparks,

    I learned of the illness that Joy has been battling from Dr. Pat Nelson my former supervisor when I worked at Cooperative Extention.

    I don't know if you remember me or not but I remember you. My office was adjacent yours and your door was always open to me. You called me Orabell.

    A song writer wrote "May the works I've done speak for me." Joy your life answers this message your works speak for you and will continue to speak for you. I must thank God for every rememberance of you. Your life was that of excellance, in your work, your style and your smile. When my supervisor recommeded me for an award for youth worker,you signed for me and I received my first National award at your hand, thank you. My prayer is that you continue to rest and experience the peace of God at this time, there is a better place for all of us.

    Mr. Sparks I remember you as a quite, reserved and sincere professional. You always have shown me respect and that is all that anyone can ask for. May the God of all peace keep you as you continue to support your loved one.

    I have relocated to Florida now, but if I were there you would see my face to support you. I will continue to pray for you and Joy. You were there for me when I had the fire and I will never forget the extension family God has given me.

    I love you both and will keep you in prayer!
    Ora and Samuel Phillips

  99. Dear Don and Joy,
    Please know that my thoughts are with you on a daily basis.
    Strength to you both.
    Cathy Dowding

  100. Dear Joy:

    Joy, I learned of your illness while at National 4-H Council last week--we were there for the first meeting of the citizenship mission mandate. Please know that I will keep you and Don in my thoughts and prayers.
    Dorothy Freeman

  101. Joy,

    Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you and your wisdom. As a new program leader, your insights and opinions helped me immensly. I especially appreciated your guidance by example with professional exuberance toward the things that mattered. You made a difference in my life- thank you.
    May God bless you and your family and bring peace to your heart in these trying times.

    Johnathan Despain

  102. Hey Mrs, Joy
    Okay I don't even know where to start. You have been in my life for the longest time. You have changed my life and my family's. We were all together the other night trying to figure out how long you had been in 4-H and how many years we all knew you. We just came up with a really long time. You have known us for a long time and have been though a lot with all of us. You have made my life a different place and I thank you so much for that. You threw me a birthday party for my 16th birthday while we were in congress and I wouldn't of had that if you weren't there. I appreciate everything that you have done for me. I will miss you so much. I hope things get better. You should have no regrets because in my book you lived you life to the fullest and thats all we can do in life. Live the way that we like and want to live. Do the things that we enjoy. You can work through anythings and thats how i know you.
    God Bless You and you family at this time
    Love always and Forever
    Kaitlin Klair

  103. In any person’s career a few individuals will standout as “guide-posts” that help direct you on your way. Call them “role-models”, “mentors”, or just “good friends”; one thing is for sure, we cannot do without them. Joy, you have always been, and continue to be, a role-model for me. I owe a great deal to you. Thank you for all that you give and have given to 4-H, our country’s youth, and, especially, to me.

    Ron Drum

  104. "In every out thrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth."

    Joy, you are one of the best stories.

    In my heart and prayers always,


  105. I'm just one of the many grad students that worked with Dr. Sparks and were welcomed into your home. Even when I managed to run your car into the garage you never made me feel like I did anything wrong. I think you even laughed about it, as a matter of fact. Your kindness and generosity will not be forgotten.

  106. Amrit, Nanak, Sanjeev, and GaganFebruary 12, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    Dear Don ,

    It was shocking to learn that Joy’s cancer has been diagnosed as a terminal one. All through, from the day we came to know her ailment, we have been earnestly praying for her early recovery and never realized that destiny had something else in store for her. Me, my wife Amrit and sons Sanjeev and Gagan, are deeply saddened by the situation, but its shame that we can’t do anything except praying to Almighty for her to pass the time very peacefully.
    Her charming personality is still afresh in our mind even after almost two decades when I along with my family first landed at Newark, Delaware, to work in your labs in UD. Joy was always very hospitable when ever we were invited for dinner with you in your home. A beautiful picture of Joy we took during a dinner party, now adorns sitting room of our home here in India.

    Joy was always very helpful to us. Her tender feelings about others are reflected from her remarks when she saw handicapped children sitting in the front row in the annual State of Delaware Fair. She said how much lucky we are, we must be thankful to the God. I have been particularly fortunate to see Joy and Don at least once every four years during the IUSS meetings in Kyoto in 1990, Acapulco in 1994, Montpelier in 1998, Bangkok in 2002, and finally in Philadelphia in 2006. In Philadelphia, she extended her warmest greetings to me. During Blue-Hen Bash, she specifically asked Don to take snaps while me standing by her side. All this speaks of her generosity. We pray that Almighty give her courage to face the difficult time.

    Amrit, Nanak, Sanjeev, and Gagan

  107. Joy--You and I have been friends for decades. It all started when I came to Delaware to do 4-H training. I have so admired your work, your attitude, and your leadership. Your bright smile lightens up every room. Your enthusiasm for what you do is evident. Thanks for being such a special person in so many ways to so many people. Sharon Anderson

  108. Joy,
    We were so glad when we first learned many years ago that Don had met a special someone that he planned to ask to be his wife. From the moment you first came to Kentucky to visit us, your warm personality, glowing smile and sparking eyes made us so happy you had accepted his proposal and were a part of the family. Jane and I always enjoy your trips back to Central Kentucky and all the stories of your and Don's many travels and experiences. Your great sense of humor and quick wit has made conversations very entertaining and anyone whom you meet , an instant friend. During my life I have known many brave verterans of America's wars and read of the exploits of others, but the most courageous and strong people that I have known who faced the terrible adversity of an illness with valiant strength and dignity were my Aunts -Joy, Carolyn & JoAnn. You are always in our prayers.

  109. Joy & Don,
    Being able to touch so many lives in such a positive manner is truly a gift we can only dream of sharing. Joy, you have done just that. Whether it is in your work with 4-H, traveling the world with Don or coming to Kentucky to visit, you have indeed made a difference to so many people. Your fun loving spirit, infectious laugh and entertaining stories of your and Don's worldwide adventures is something that is so precious to our family. I am just grateful that we have the honor of being part of your family. Although it is true that you are in the final pages of your life, your love and positive influences will continue. In that, so will you.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Don during this challenging time.
    Jane, Molly & Catey

  110. Joy,
    I still remember your first trip to North Middletown, Ky. I remember the pride that our whole family had in meeting you for the first time. Elmer and Christine making sure the house was spotless, Mom telling us to be at our best. Don with his great sense of humor described you as a "Gooden", and it didn't take long for the rest of us to find out that was an understatement. You were excellent! My Uncle Don has always made great decisions in his life from school to work/career and without a question asking you to be his wife. It became obvious to everyone when they saw you two together. In one's lifetime you meet very few people that can brighten a room just by being there, make everyone feel like a true friend, and someone that can relate to everyone and be apart of any conversation within that room. It is really obvious by reading some of the other great comments on this blog that everyone feels the same way.
    Your visits to Kentucky and our visits to Delaware were always a great treat for us. Just to be around two people that were always positive, energetic, warm, funny, and most of all family were always a great time. It was always a highlight in our visit to set around and hear the stories from you and Don on the many travels you two shared over the years. I have been blessed over and over again with a great family and I take great pride in calling you our Aunt. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Don.

    Mike, Sherry, Amanda, and Sam

  111. Dear Joy,

    Happy Valentine's Day. Been thinking of you and Don all day and just wanted to tell you both how much we love and care about you.

    Always, Ernie, Janis, Anna and Claire.

  112. Joy,

    It has been a long time since I was starting out in college at UD, but I still remember you very well. You got me involved one summer with a 4H day camp that I taught up on the Webb Farm, all about animals. I got some ideas about teaching that summer that I never would've ahd, and I think it has made me a better teacher in my classroom at Newark HS. You and your husband are lovely people, and though I never had the opportunity to work with him I knew lots of students who did, and who have the utmost respect for him and his work. I hope that you are comforted being surrounded by friends and family, and with the well-wishes and prayers of everyone who knows and cares for you. My family and I will keep you in our prayers, as well. My husband, Dave, our 3-year-old daughter Caitlin, and our 9-month-old son, Craig, will add your to our prayer chain. God bless you and keep you and may his face shine upon you.

    Jackie Hilderbrand Kook
    AgEd '01

  113. To Joy and Don: All we can hope for in this world is to make a difference--to provide hope, inspiration, guidance and, yes, joy. To do that for future generations is a special gift indeed. You do that; you are that. You live. Thanks for all you do, all you are, and peace be with you.

  114. Joy,
    In my minds eye I can see you smile... hear our conversations... and bless us all see those piles of recordbooks to judge and "kids to corral".... Think we've both said "we've got to laugh or we will cry".

    But in all of those conversations, and all of your tales of your great adventures and travels, I never realized you were an accomplished rider. In the slides I see camels and elephants. What wonderful adventures!

    Thank-you for sharing your wonderful spirit and beautiful smile with those of us who share the same great passions for 4-H in like kind positions. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

    Hang in there my friend!

    Yours in 4-H.... Suzi Holder, Mississippi 4-H

  115. Joy,
    My memories of 4-H in Delaware are linked with you. You and 4-H were a gift to my daughters Jennifer and Sarah. They benefited in their education, leadership, and professions. I remember the wonderful style shows at the county and state levels, the opportunity for each to attend 4-H Club Congress, along with camps and leadership development. I wish my four grandsons had the same opportunities in Wenatchee, WA. Thank you for using their talents for so many youth in Delaware.
    Peace, Ja net' Crouse, East Wenatchee, WA

  116. Joy ~
    Oh what sweet memories! Where has the time gone and how did it go by so quickly? Don's snapshot album brought back to mind past adventures and wonderful people that were a shared part of our past; Jim, Sam, Marion and so many more. They each played a large part of who we are and what we became. I truly admired those three especially though because they had that special quality that allowed them to connect to kids on a personal level and to set an example of high character that impacted others lives. You more than anyone following has had that same quality to impact others. It takes a special person to dedicate their life's work to making a kids life better and to think of the thousands of lives you have touched and made better is truly remarkable.
    I'll forever cherish the memories of my time spent with you....getting in trouble riding horseback through the fairgrounds, your dad's quick wit and mischievous twinkle of the eye, our talks after Fair Board meetings and so much more.
    Thanks for being such a special part of my memory and for bringing me and everyone else who has been part of your life such complete joy, laughter, and happiness.


  117. I will never forget what a great experience you gave me during my time in 4-H. I as well reviewed the slides and remembered the times when Joy would inspire me to do more.

    When I look back at my experiences in 4-H as a young boy I will always remember how much you did for me and how much you meant to me.



  118. I just learned of Joy's passing, To Don and family, peace be with you in this difficult time. Joy's life and dedication is a blessing to us all.

    Isaiah 40:31
    "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run,
    and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint."

    tom ilvento

  119. Adding to Tom Ilvento's sentiment, my heart goes out to all those great many who will be broken by this news. With my deepest of sympathies.

  120. Becky O'Day AdamsFebruary 18, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    To Don and Family,
    We will all deeply miss Joy! She will light up heaven with her smile!
    Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
    “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success”
    Joy did all of this and so much more.

  121. To Don & Family:
    We were deeply saddened to hear of Joy's passing. We will all miss her very much. Please have comfort in knowing what a difference she made in so many peoples lives.
    God Bless
    The Urian's

  122. Dear Don,

    I am deeply saddened by your loss. Joy was more than just a wonderful person; she was always so kind and considerate to everyone that her passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of all those who knew her. Joy will always remain within all our hearts and in our daily prayers.

    Although no words can really help to ease the loss you bear, just know that you are very close in every thought and prayer.

    With deepest sympathy,

  123. Part of faith is having doubts, and when we hear of such an amazing life cut short by a terrible disease, I guess it is all too human to question why, and to ponder God's plan. This tribute has calmed those doubts.

    To someone who knew Joy only through through 4-H, this tribute was a powerfull draw. Compelled to see the what the next person had to share and say, those pictures, the history in those clippings,each day, helped me to add another color and layer added to the evolving portrait of Joy Sparks!

    With each visit something new was learned and faith was affirmed. For if we ever question the exisitence of a higher power, Joy's life, example and legacy sets those questions to rest.

    We are so much more than an accidental collection of atoms, DNA, carbon and amino acids. Science explains some of it - for sure. But you look at what made Joy tick - how she took this gift of life from God and ran with it! Her spirit, her sense of humor, her drive for excellence, her compassion, her sense of adventure - those qualites - her special essence was no random accident of life. She was specially created - she was God's gift to us!

    I choose to believe that Joy's soul, Joy's spirit has not expired!! She lives on in a way we are perhaps too limited to understand, but she will continue to be!

    I asked her once at an annual 4-H ice skating event why she wasn't on the ice. "I prefer to sit back and watch," she told me. "I learn a lot by seeing how people interact with each other." I thought that was so cool and so honest. She was sizing up future leaders, that's what she was doing! Her mind was going a mile a minute. Her curiosity never quenched.

    Joy is going to keep on watching us! We better keep on our toes! We better keep striving for excellence. She would expect that of us...and it is the best way in which we can honor her. Sorry so long. So much feeling bubbling up inside - amidst a heavy heart- Joy will come to the surface and make it okay.

    Thank you Dr. Sparks and the Gooden family for sharing these treasures, memories and insights. God Bless you. As someone here so aptly said earlier, Joy could work a room like no one else. You know she is in heaven, working those rooms for us! ~Michele W.

  124. Dear Don and family,
    I am saddened to hear of Joy's passing. She came to mind several times yesterday, maybe it was her way of saying, "I am leaving for a while, but I will see you again one day." Thanks so much for allowing all of us to share a part of this journey with you. I have been encouraged by reading some of the posting about you and Joy. What a wonderful friend she was to all of us, I know your heart is heavy but perhaps in time these postings will also give you some encouragement. God Bless you. Charles Cox

  125. My deepest sympathies to you Don, and to your family. In my brief time of knowing Joy, it was a pleasure to see her in her glory enouraging 4H youth and adult supporters alike. Her amazing dedication and love for the organization and its people were so evident. I have no doubt that her spirit will live on in the many, many lives she touched. Know that you both continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. May peace be with you. Warmest regards, Katy O'Connell

  126. Dear Don,
    I was so sorry to just find out that Joy has passed away. Your website is such a wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us! You both have been truly blessed to have found each other and to have shared a life that many couples never get to achieve. I still remember the first time Joy sat in on our Horse Advisory meetings. We were still feeling the terrible sad loss of Betty Niblett but, Joy came in with that beautiful smile, bubbly personality and I knew we were going to be OK and be able to move forward. She added so much to the State 4-H Horse Advisory Committee, in spite of her claims to not know a lot about horses. I can’t imagine the Horse Bowl or 4-H State Horse show without her assistance. I am indebted to Joy and Helen Tyler for being my inspiration to become a 4-H Leader; they were the most treasured years of my life. Ever since I heard the Bette Midler song “Wind Beneath My Wings” being played while a girl performed free style reining on a bareback horse with no bridle, it has been my favorite song. I believe Joy has been the wind beneath the wings of the Delaware 4-H. My thoughts and prayers will remain with you always.
    With deepest sympathy,
    Betsy Reigle

  127. Don and Family, my deepest sympathies to you all during your time of loss. Joy was such a great person and mentor to many of us in the 4-H world. She will be missed, but her humor, laughter, and every lasting smile will always be with us. She loved what she did, working with kids, serving beside volunteers, and striving to make the youth development movement stronger. Thank you for sharing her with us! May God provide the strength, may friends provide the hugs, and may all of our memories provide the legacy for Joy to continue in our hearts. Toby Lepley

  128. Joy was one of those truly remarkable people who cared for those she worked with. She was a great boss and a great friend. She will be missed.

  129. Dear Prof. Sparks,
    I am so sorry to hear that your wife has passed away. About nine years ago I met you both at your house and I will never forget the great hospitality that I had during that time.
    I honestly would like to wish you all the best and recomend you to be strong to continue your life with courage as your life would like to see if she was still alive.
    God bless you.
    Yours Arquimedes Lavorenti (Brazil)

  130. I am so sorry for your loss. Joy was a remarkable woman and she will surely be missed!

    Amy Shober

  131. Joy was such a pleasure to work with. Such a whirlwind of enthusiasm that she always took my breath away!! If it's true that your "life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away" then I am really lucky to have known Joy. My sympathy to you and your family, Don. Nancy Cotugna, UD Nutrition Program

  132. Don,
    Kelly and I send our condolences. We are very saddened that Joy is gone. Joy was a good friend and wonderful person. I spent many wonderful times with you and her at your home and at meetings. She will always be part of my memory from my time in Delaware, which was one of the highlights of my life. I will miss her.
    I am very happy that two foundations have been established in her name. It is wonderful to know that her life will continue to inspire future generations for many years to come…. May we all aspire to live such fruitful lives.
    Warmest Regards,
    Dan Strawn

  133. Dear Dr. Sparks,

    We are very saddened that Joy passed away. Thanks for sharing pictures and memories of Joy. We spent hours in this website. Now we don’t even know how to start expressing our deep admiration for her courage, accomplishments, and your 24 years’ love and devotion to each other. Both of you are such wonderful people and we have been so fortunate to have the chance to know you both and learn from you.

    As I am typing, I can see our wedding gift from you and Joy still shining in our living room under morning sunlight. We will think of you and her every time we set sights on it. Please accept our deep sadness and sincere sympathy with you.

    Shi & Julie

  134. Dear Sparks Family,
    In the early 1990's I had the pleasure to work with Joy on our Teens Above the Influence Board of Directors. She was a tireless worker for kids and parents and was the kind of person that would and could do any job asked of her. I had followed her career in the later 90's and this decade when she continued her service to the state. She was a valuable contributor in making our state a much better place and will be greatly missed by all of those who knew her.
    Dr. Gary D. Wray

  135. Dear Don,

    I have learned with deep sadness of the passing of your wife. I send my most heart-felt condolences. My thoughts are with you.

    Best regards, Dan Strongin

  136. Dear Sparks Family,
    I was saddened to hear of Joy's passing. She will be missed greatly. I had the priviledge to work with Joy at Camp Barnes for the last 10 years because I am the kitchen manager. She never once questioned any of my menu selections and was always full of compliments. She was a fantastic person and her enthusiam wore off onto others around her. I am sure that she was a fighter to the end. Please accept my condolences and my prayers. Camp Barnes will not be the same without her.
    Miss Joanne

  137. Dear Don,
    I have just learned of Joy's passing. My heart goes out to you....the world is a much sadder place without her in it. She was so very special and I'm sure made a hugh difference in the lives of many children. Please accept our sincere condolences and know our prayers are with you.
    Tony and Deanna Pillarelli

  138. Don, The ceremony you had for JOY was wonderful. It was classic, just as Joy was. Herman and I have just returned from a cruise of the Carribean. When we were in St. Thomas, we just couldn't stop thinking about Joy. We put some flowers in the water at Megan's Bay and said a prayer for you. I know how much JOY loved St. Thomas. We could feel her presence there. Stay strong, Don, and know that she loved you very much, She lived life to its fullest and loved life!!! Our prayers go out to you. Herman and Mary Jane Zeitler

  139. I just saw a FB post about Joy's passing and am devastated. We reconnected via telephone in 2008 - sharing memories of 4-H, the fair,Camp Barnes in the 70's for the 10 years I participated. Growing up, Joy was my mentor, confidant and had a huge impact on the adult I became. I will cherish each and every memory that I have of her and send blessings to her family. Truly a loss for all...

    Donna Kerby Rogers
    Durango, Colorado