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Joy W. Riley – December 21, 2017

Joy W. Riley, 98, of Amarillo, Texas died Thursday, December 21, 2017.
A Celebration of Life will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, December 30, 2017 at the Craig Senior Living, 5500 W. 9th Ave. in the Chapel, with Lane Boyd officiating. A reception will follow in the Multi-Purpose Room on the third floor. Burial will be at Westover Cemetery, Westover, Texas at a later date.
Joy was born April 30, 1919 to Perry and Grace Riley in Wheeler County, Texas. Joy grew up on the family farm with 2 brothers, 3 sisters, and 3 aunts. Her favorite aunt was Aunt Timmie who was a school teacher who taught them many subjects. Joy graduated from Briscoe High School in 1937. Joy graduated from West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas. She and several women in the family were a “Rosie the Riveter” in WWII at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.
Joy taught school for a while before getting a job as Wilbarger County Home Demonstration Agent in Vernon, Texas. Joy taught many women and girls how to sew and make their own clothing. Joy taught them how to can vegetables, fruits, jams, and jellies. Joy also taught them many skills they would need to know to make a house a home. Joy won several awards. One was Outstanding Service and Leadership to the 4-H Youth in Wilbarger County. Another was Recognition of Years of Service to the Youth and Homemakers of Wilbarger County. Another award Joy won was In Recognition of Faithful and Meritorious Service to the People of Texas as a Member of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, From TX A&M University.
Joy was a member of the Order of Eastern Star. Joy was a care giver. She cared for Aunt Timmie until Aunt Timmie passed away.  Joy loved her family. She and her favorite cousin Whit Hale, took weekends, vacations, and retirement going to see family all over America in Whit’s Jeep Wagoneer and Airstream travel trailer. They also went hunting and fishing. They would bring back their catch and we would have a catfish fry at Mamaw’s house. Joy helped care for her sister in California during her illness. After Joy took care of Whit, she moved to Amarillo.  Then she took care of her brother and sister-in-law in Sweeny, Texas. After that, Joy returned to Amarillo.
Joy loved the Lord and was a devout member of the Olsen Park Church of Christ. Joy enjoyed going to the Symphony, plays at the Amarillo Little Theater, the melodrama “TEXAS” in Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the summer. Joy also enjoyed The Craig bus rides to see the beautiful autumn leaves and colorful Christmas lights. Joy liked playing the domino game Mexican Train with her family and friends.
Joy is preceded in death by her parents, 2 brothers, Grant Riley, and James Riley, 3 sisters, Tamsey V. Leitch, “Betty” Hollis, and Valaree Crabb, 2 nephews, Mark, and James Blake Crabb, one great nephew John Crabb, and many, many friends.
Joy is survived by a sister-in-law Laverne Lasley Riley of Amarillo, 2 nephews, Don Crabb and wife Barbara of Amarillo, and Lance Hollis of Riverside, CA., and 3 nieces, Kim Hollis of Weston, Ohio, Lou Ann and husband Stan Young of Olton, Texas, and Rena and husband Sam Smith of Amarillo, 3 great nephews, and 7 great nieces, and many great, great nephews, and nieces, and many, many friends.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be sent to either,Wilbarger Co. Extension Office, 1700 Wilbarger St. Rm.29, Vernon, TX. 76384-4749; or Wheeler Co Extension office, P.O. Box 448, Wheeler, TX. 79096-0448.


  • Brenda Melvyn Posted December 28, 2017 8:31 pm

    Always loved visiting with Joy,wonderful Christian lady…God is love…Brenda Melvyn

  • Patty A. Bryant Posted December 31, 2017 10:26 pm

    Joy was an angel to my Dad at Craig where he arrived from Kansas with no acquaintances! She was one of three angels at Craig who befriended my dad in early 2001 and made his stay there more special until his eventual move to the Alzheimer’s unit. Thank you to Joy! She was special!

  • Sue Dooley Posted January 1, 2018 2:59 am

    Sorry I missed her celebration of life! It was wonderful to have known her while I worked at the Craig. She was a toot and I loved her attack on life.

  • Jean (Anderson) Paulsel Posted March 13, 2018 6:54 pm

    Many, many years ago, I worked with Joy when I was a very young Extension Agent in Wichita County. Her name truly described her. I came to her several times for advice on dealing with issues that came up at work.
    Knowing her was a pleasure.

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