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Joy Grafius

September 16, 1924 ~ January 30, 2021 (age 96)


Joy has contentedly passed on to a great new existence, joining her Lord Jesus and enumerable friends and relatives who have preceded her to Paradise.  Joy, born September 16, 1924 in Lewistown, PA, was the daughter of H. S. Warburton and Mildred Ann (Snyder) Warburton.  Her family moved extensively during her childhood, but Joy completed her last two years of school at Williamsport High School, graduating in 1942. 

During twenty years of marriage to Thomas L. Grafius, Joy gave birth to five sons: Thomas M., Richard J., H. Joseph, Anthony L., and Scott A.  These sons have produced nine grandchildren, leading to ten great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter. 

Joy retired from Verizon (formerly Sylvania and GTE) after working a total of 31 years for the company.  During her working years and after retirement, Joy was involved in a variety of activities.  She went on cruises to Bermuda and the Bahamas.  She taught ballroom dancing for about 20 years, first with Richard Heller and then with Herb Wahl.  She enjoyed bus trips to New York City and other places to see stage shows.  She attended many local recitals, plays and concerts.  She also tried her hand at a few work-from-home business ventures such as Herbal-Life and Yurika Foods, learning in the process that she was not a very efficient business person.  Joy volunteered for many years as a receptionist for Pregnancy Care, now Expectations.  She was also quite involved in church activities during this period, first with Christ Community Church, and then with Faith Wesleyan Church.  Following some physical problems including a moderate stroke and a broken hip, Joy moved to what is now Embassy of Loyalsock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  The members and staff of Faith Wesleyan have kept close tabs on Joy during her convalescences.

One of the most admired qualities of Joy Grafius was her big heart.  She opened it and her home over the years to a wide variety of friends, relatives and even stray cats who were in need of a temporary home or a hand up.  These included Gail Chang, Raymond Dick and Nancy Paulhamus.  Nancy was a friend, a companion and an informal adopted daughter for the last fifty-some years of Joy’s life.  In addition to the personal help she gave people, Joy gave generously to her church and to charitable organizations.  She was also a sponsor to several children through the World Vision organization.

Joy was predeceased by her parents, H. Sidney Warburton and Mildred A. Barrow, her former husband, two sisters, Jacqueline Padera and Jean Sneeringer, and a brother, Michael Thomas Barrow, plus more friends and relatives than she cared to think about.  She is survived by a sister, Josephine Cellini and all of her sons.  Spitler Funeral Home will handle final arrangements.

There will not be a viewing or funeral service, but there will be a memorial service to be arranged by her family.  Following cremation through Spitler Funeral Home, Joy will be interred at Green Lawn Memorial Park, Montgomery, PA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Joy’s name to a charity of your choice.

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