A Life Lived: Music was Joy Babb’s gift to the world

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Joy Babb was known for her music. She had served as pianist at Watauga Valley Free Will Baptist Church for 50 years or more and had played at countless funerals and weddings. She also enjoyed singing and had performed at numerous weddings and funerals as well.
Joy’s voice was stilled with her death April 13.
“My mother was a fun person. She loved people. However, her first love was music. She enjoyed singing, and was the funeral homes’ go-to-person. At one time, she sang on radio,” said her daughter, Dr. Gina Roberson.
“Music was always a big part of her life, and she was very devoted to her church and family. For the past 15 years she had been consumed with her granddaughter, Emmaline Rose, who like her grandmother, enjoys music. Both, she and my mother enjoyed musicals. My daughter sings opera, and you can guess who her biggest fan was,” shared Gina.
In addition to music and being a mother and homemaker, Joy worked outside the home. She was a former employee of Raytheon Corporation and North American Rayon Corporation, retiring after 35 years as shipping office manager. She also served as president of the Local 2614 Clerical Union and as vice president and trustee of Wilson Cemetery.
“It seems that my mother was always busy, but she always made time for her family. She was always up to going and doing. Mother especially enjoyed going to the beach and staying at bed and breakfasts, and for years she enjoyed U-T games. She would go anywhere, do anything, and try anything. She was a fun person,” said Gina.
However, her first love was music and it seemed to come natural to Joy. “She obviously had had some lessons as she could read music. Also, her brother, Arley Guy Wilson, was very musical,” Gina shared. “When my daughter was four, mother said she had some musical talent and should get some voice lessons. She had a 15-minute lesson at age four and sang her first opera piece at age six. My mother not only knew music, but she knew talent when she seen it,” Gina shared with much pride.
She said the most requested song that her mother received to play or sing was “Serenaded By Angels.”
“My mother was a very young 83 years old. She was young at heart and dressed like a 20-year old. She was a very joyful person, who smiled a lot,” Gina said.
Although cooking wasn’t her go-to thing, Joy did cook, especially Sunday dinner. “It was sort of a family thing for her,” Gina suggested.
Joy was known as “Jo Jo” to many. In addition to her daughter, Gina, and granddaughter, Emmaline Rose, Joy is survived by her husband of 55 years, Roger Wayne Babb; a son, Jerry “Skip” Campbell; some special cousins and friends.
Because of the coronavirus, a celebration of life for Joy will be held at a later date at Watauga Valley Free Will Baptist Church.
It has been said that music “gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” To Joy Babb, music was her go-to-thing, but it was also her gift to everyone.

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