John W. Joy

John W. Joy, 90, of Kent passed away February 23, 2014. He was born March 7, 1923 in South Euclid, OH to Joseph and Clara (Zahner) Joy.

Known as "Jack" to many he was five years old when his father died and found himself living in 13 different homes before entering high school at Strongsville High in Ohio.

He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps after graduation. After training he was assigned to the 483rd Bombardment Group in the 817th Bombardment Squadron piloting a B17. He flew 31 missions stationed out of Foggia, Italy and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the highest honors in the Air Corp. He was discharged as a 1st Lieutenant.

After the war and a few odd jobs he responded to an ad for The Davey Tree Company. It was on his first day with the company in May 1946 that he received his nickname "Jack" as there were already several John's on the crew. In 1958 he was called to Davey headquarters with an offer to join the management team. The family moved from Strongsville to Kent. Jack continued to climb the ladder to become president, CEO, and chairman of the board retiring in 1999 after more than 44 years with the company. He continued on as a member of the board for several years after retirement. He was a key member of the Employee Ownership committee that put together and closed the employee ownership of The Davey Tree Company. He was the force behind the corporate center now located on Mantua Street in Kent.

After retirement Jack and his wife Elsie purchased a farm in Cambridge, Ohio and planted 10,000 Christmas trees. The majority of the trees were given away to family and friends and donated each year to the local Boy Scouts to sell as a fundraiser. While in Cambridge, Jack served the community as a director of the Area Beautification Council, The Wilds, Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center, and Fabro Form in New Concord, Ohio. He was active with Hospice of Guernsey County, the Cambridge Rotary Club, and Boy Scouts of America.

The Joys returned to Kent in 2000 to be closer to family. Jack has served the community on the board of directors of Robinson Memorial Hospital, Coleman Foundation, the Young Presidents Board, Second National Bank, The American Heart Association, Akron Regional Development, and Natures Conservancy. He has been an active member of the Rotary Club, Garden Club and Kent Methodist Church where he also served as a lay leader. He and his wife created the Medallion Scholarship, through a family memorial fund, which helps academically talented students pursing degrees in aviation studies at Kent State University.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years Elsie M. (Fuller) Joy. Children Claudia Bowers-Sawyer of Streetsboro, David and Sherry (Bentley) Joy of Kent, Lucinda "Cindy" and Emory Rodgers of Spotsylvania, VA, Dan and Lisa (Dibert) Joy of Massillon as well as 11 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. Two foster daughters Linda and Tony Calciano of Watsonville, CA, 9 grandchildren, 1 deceased and 13 great grandchildren, and Debra and Ken Bergman of Santa Cruz, CA and two grandchildren. Foreign Exchange son Renato and Maureen Bucci from Italy and Exchange Student Grandsons, Rui Burrio from Portugal, Miche Heimberger from Finland, Haukur Johnson of Iceland and Exchange Granddaughter Gloria Remlin from Germany.

Calling hours will be at Bissler & Sons Funeral Home on Monday, March 3rd from 2-4 and 6-8 PM. Services will be held at the Kent Methodist Church at 11 AM on Tuesday, March 4th. Burial will follow the service at Standing Rock Cemetery in Kent. A reception will follow in fellowship hall back at the Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers those who wish may make a memorial donation may do so to either of the following: John and Elsie Joy Memorial for U.S. Military Veterans at The Portage Foundation, 138 East Main Street, Kent, Ohio 44240 or Crossroads Hospice of NE Ohio, 3743 Boettler Oaks Drive; Suite E., Uniontown, OH 44685.

The family would like to thank the staff at Independence Village of Aurora where the Joys have resided since June and Crossroads Hospice for their loving care and support.

(RC 2-27 & 3-2-14)

Want to leave your condolences?

Sign in or Register to comment.

  • My condolences to Mrs. Joy and all of the family.  Mr. Joy was a very special person.  I was grateful to have spent time taking him flying and I was especially glad to read his book.  It inspired me to plant 10 trees after reading his life story.  RIP Mr. Joy.  You are very much missed already.  C A Sitko