ONEONTA – Muriel Joy Willies, formerly of West Orange, N.J., and recently of The Plains in Oneonta, passed peacefully on April 14, 2017. She was 91.
Born Feb. 24, 1926, in Orange, N.J., she was the daughter of the late Lionel (Leo) J. and Emerald Clara (Smith) Broyer. Joy graduated from Orange High School and on Sept. 14, 1944, married the love of her life, John Willies Jr, who survives her after 72 “joyfilled” years of marriage.
She was a much-loved daughter, sister, wife and “sweetheart”, mother, aunt, grandmother, great- grandmother and dear friend to many. Joy blended friends and family with love, grace and respect. She had a heart for those in need and the family home at 26 Randolph Place provided a welcoming place of comfort for many. She was blessed with the gift of hospitality and hosted innumerable family/friend gatherings, dinners and parties.
Joy has left a legacy for many to follow and she fervently prayed that those connections that she so lovingly nurtured would continue long after her departure. Her beautifully crafted cursive expressions of love will be sorely missed on those birthdays, anniversaries and holidays that she rarely missed.
She spent time volunteering for many organizations including the Veterans Hospital, school reading programs, the West Orange Senior Citizens. She and her husband were past honorees as Senior Citizens of the Year.
She was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and her faith was the motivation for all she did. She was a long-time member of Pleasentdale Presbyterian Church of West Orange, serving with energy and enthusiasm on church boards and organizing fund raising events in support of the church’s mission.
An avid reader, she loved history and novels. Joy enjoyed dancing and playing challenging word and number games with friends and family. She was a spirited competitor and maintained a sharp mind and quick wit right up to her passing.
She was predeceased by her parents, her beloved daughter Carolyn Joy Willies and her brother Alvin Broyer of Detroit, Mich.
In addition to her husband John, she is survived by her four sons: Douglas Willies, retired president of At-A-Glance, Sidney, and wife, Rhonda, of Cooperstown; Alan Willies of Key West, Fla.; Brian Willies of Montclair, N.J.; and Kevin Willies and wife Maureen of York, Livingston County; four grandchildren: Deidre Willies and husband Vincent Berk of Lebanon N.H.; Cheryl Willies and husband Andrew Fargher of Jupiter Fla.; Keegan Willies of Leicester, Livingston County; and Jessica Willies, also of York; four great-grandchildren: Madelyn and Genevieve Berk of Lebanon, N,H. and Sage and Jade Fargher of Jupiter, Fla.. And her much loved siblings and their many children: Sisters Eva Henderson of Novelty, Ohio; Barbara Skelly of Red Bank, N.J.; and brothers Paul Broyer and wife Margie of Palm Coast, Fla; and Edward Broyer and wife Nancy of Little Egg Harbor, N.J.