Joy Darling Buzbee Ayer, 71, resident of Baton Rouge, was taken by an angel to her Eternal Home on January 27, 2018 after a long battle with cancer while being cared for by St. Joseph Hospice at The Carpenter House.
She was born in Fordyce AR on July 22, 1946, to Edgar Buzbee and Helen Darling Buzbee and was the youngest of four children. She attended public schools in Fordyce through the 11th grade, moved to Hickory NC where her father worked for one year, and graduated from Hickory High School in 1964. She returned to Fordyce, reconnected with her lifelong friends, was “adopted” by the Fordyce HS Class of 1964, and has celebrated high school reunions with them ever since. She received a BS degree in Biology from Arkansas A&M College in Monticello in 1968 and an MT degree in Medical Technology from the University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock in 1970. Joy met her husband, Frederick C. Ayer, in Little Rock while he was serving as a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army at Pine Bluff Arsenal AR. They were married on May 22, 1971. She moved with her husband as his work took them to South Carolina and Tennessee before arriving in Baton Rouge in 1977. She worked as a medical technologist in several hospitals and private laboratories through 1979. When her third child was born, she gave up medical technology to stay at home to raise the children. Through self-study, she became a Legal Transcriptionist and worked at home for the next 30 years for court reporters serving the 19th Judicial District Court. She enjoyed tennis and was an avid tennis player for the past 20+ years. She was a member of several “doubles” tennis teams and played or practiced several times per week during the season. Her teams won city and state championships and competed in regional championships over the years. She was a member of St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge.
Joy is survived by her brother, Richard Buzbee; sister, Harriette Jane Reap; husband, Fred; sons, Michael and wife Stephanie, Scott and wife Jennifer, and Kevin and wife Bekah; grandchildren, Sam (age 8), Helen (age 6), Jack (age 5), and William (age 5); and many other family members and friends, especially her tennis “sisters”.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Edgar and Helen Buzbee; and her brother, Bobby Buzbee.
A memorial service will be held at St. Andrews UMC on Friday, February 2nd, at 10 AM, conducted by Rev Tom Howe. Urn ark bearers will be her sons Michael, Scott, and Kevin. The family will receive friends and relatives in the church narthex before the service. Immediately after the service, her urn will be placed during a short service at Resthaven Garden of Memories.
The family wishes to thank Chris McCanless, MD, Oncologist, who cared for Joy over the course of her 4 year battle with cancer and the nurses and staff of Pinnacle Home Health and St. Joseph Hospice (The Carpenter House) for the care given to Joy during her last two months.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in her name.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com.
The entire class of 1964 will miss this sweet classmate, and like the "mother" of our class said, Joy's smile could light up a room and her name did fit her perfectly ! My prayers are going out for all her family members and all her dear friends including her class of '64 Redbug classmates that loved her too.
Marilyn NoonerSheridan, AR
My friendship with Joy began in our infancy. Our moms were good friends. I loved to visit in her home and later in the Girl Scout lake house near Fordyce. We shared the high school tennis court. Joy went on to become really good! I loved reconnecting a few years ago, and I will miss her . Her valiant fight with her courageous spirit and beautiful smile and her love for God endured her to each of her class members. Joy was the perfect name for her. With love, Ginger
Ginger RitchieLittle Rock, AR
I am so sorry to hear about Joy, I remember her wonderful smile and bubbly personality from high school days in her home town of Fordyce. My thoughts and prayers are with her dear loved ones.
Mildred Hall GreenFORDYCE, AR
My heartfelt condolences to the Ayer family for the loss of your loved one. May you find comfort in the promise of the resurrection, (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15) from Jehovah God (Psalms 83:18), and that he will sustain and strengthen you all at this time to endure not only this trial but future ones as well, whatever they may be.
Shelia RousseauSAINT MARTINVILLE, LA
My deepest condolences to your family on the loss of Aunt Joy. She was a delight to be around, and I will miss her big smile. My prayers are with all of you at this sad time.
Cathy BuzbeeLittle Rock, AR
We are so sorry for you loss of Joy. We are praying for your family and friends.
Jim and Gloria GiammancoBaton Rouge, LA