John "Jack" Joy of Kent marked his 90th birthday on March 7. He was born in 1923 to Joseph and Cara (Zahner) Joy in South Euclid. He attended high school in Strongsville.
Jack took several courses in Cleveland to become a pilot and was stationed in Steperona, Italy, in World War II. As a B-17 pilot, he logged 330 hours, earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, and flew the last B-17 to Florida from Italy in the fall of 1945. The plane was taken to a junkyard of planes in Tucson, Ariz.
He started as a ground man in the summer of 1946 and climbed to president and chairman of the board at the Davey Tree Expert Co. in Kent.
He and Elsie Fuller were married Aug. 7, 1946. Their children are Claudia Sawyer of Bath; David (and Sharon Bentley) Joy of Kent; Lucinda (and Emory) Rodgers of Spotsylvania, Va.; and Dan (and Lisa Dibert) Joy of Massillon. They have given Jack and Elsie Joy 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, including twin girls.
The Joys' two foster daughters are Dr. Linda (and Dr. Anthony) Calciano of Watsonville, Calif., and Dr. Deborah Joy (and Kenneth Bergman) of Santa Cruz, Calif. Through them, the Joys have eight more grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Jack is a member of Kent United Methodist Church and Kent Rotary Club and was active in the American Red Cross, Kevin Coleman Foundation and Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna. He enjoys gardening.
A party in his honor was held March 9 at Jack and Elsie's home, hosted by their children and their spouses. About 60 people were there to wish him well, including six friends from Cambridge, where they lived for 15 years; a cousin from Medina; and former AFS students Renato Bucci of Italy and Haukur Johnson of Iceland.