Barbara Joy Emerick, age 95, passed away on Friday, August 5, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas. “Joy” was born in Bedford, England on September 28, 1926. She attended Wootten Elementary School and Stewartby Secondary School. After that, she began a three-year apprenticeship as a seamstress. She was employed by clothing shops in Bedford specializing in making high end children’s clothing and later at Six Flags repairing and altering costumes for the actors. Joy would use this talent to make beautiful outfits for her sons growing up and herself until she was almost ninety years old.

Joy’s teenage years were interrupted by WW2 in England with rationing, air raids, metal drives, rubber drives, German bombs dropping in the area, and many military planes flying over daily by the local bases. Transportation services were limited due to the war effort and Joy had to bicycle two to five miles every day for work and for Saturday night dances at the USO. Although these were serious times, one of her favorite things and the highlight of her week was attending these dances on Saturday nights at the Bedford Corn Exchange where Glenn Miller and his band would play live. Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” was one of her favorite songs.

Joy met Tom in the late fifty’s and became a military wife. She became accustomed to moving every two to four years and enjoyed setting up a new house each time. Their assignments included Scotland, England, Louisiana, Idaho, Virginia, and New Jersey. Tom and Joy retired in 1979 and they made their final home in San Antonio to be close to her sister Janet. While on her adventures as a military spouse, she made many friends who stayed connected over the years. Joy was active in many of the military base organizations, clubs, and activities. She had a special talent in oil painting, pottery, and glass. She was a member of the NCO wives club and women’s base golf and bowling leagues at various times during their station assignments. She enjoyed playing bingo and won many valuable prizes.

One of her best attributes was gardening and decorating. Joy would often win lawn of the week and best Christmas decoration awards annually. Joy was a stay-at-home Mom that was always there for her two boys. She was active in her sons’ activities being a cub scout den mother, team mom, and chauffeur for games and practice for baseball, football, track, bowling, and golf.

As Tom had stints of isolated tours in Alaska and Vietnam, she took on the role of being Dad and became particularly good at fixing mechanical things.

Joy loved being a grandmother and made every effort to see her grandkids, who live on opposite sides of the states. She loved hearing about their achievements, activities, and awards, and of course spoiling them whenever she could. Joy also loved going to flea markets, farmers markets, garaging, and bargain hunting. Although Joy was in the states for over sixty years, she still had an English accent that everyone would recognize immediately and became an instant conversation piece. Growing up in England, one of her favorite meals was the traditional Sunday meal of roast and Yorkshire pudding.

Joy was very active and would even work out at the local gym into her early eighties. Joy’s kidneys began to fail in her late eighties requiring dialysis three times a week. After 7 years of dialysis, she grew tired and passed peacefully with her loved ones at her side.

We would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Broumand, Marcus and the staff over at US Renal Care and Santa Rosa Hospital for their exceptional care for Joy over the years.

Joy was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Emerick; brothers, George and Basil; and sister, Hazel. Joy is survived by her sister, Janet (husband, Joe); sons, Steve (wife, Cindy) and Russell (wife, Pamela); grandchildren, Stefanie, Shaun, and Ashley; and the light of her life, her great granddaughter “Sagie”, who would call Joy her “Gigi”. Joy had numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews in the United States and England.

Graveside service on August 24th, 11 AM at St. Joseph Cemetery, Hackensack, NJ.


Share your favorite memories, offer words of sympathy, light a candle, or leave a memento.