July 20, 2016

Joy O'Neal, Beloved Wife of Ed O'Neal Passes Away

Ed & Joy O'Neal
(Photo courtesy of Singing News)
Joy Winstead O'Neal, known to many as "Miss Joy" or "Mama Joy," joined her Heavenly Father peacefully on Sunday, July 10, surrounded by her loving family, following a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Joy leaves behind her loving husband of 60 years, Ed O'Neal, founder of The Dixie Melody Boys, and member of the Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame.

Together, the O’Neals have impacted countless thousands with their devotion to one another and to their family. Joy's devotion to family enabled Ed to travel worldwide, sharing the Gospel in music for over 50 years. That same love and nurturing was graciously extended to countless band members who have been a part of The Dixie Melody Boys over the past five decades, as well as their families, whom she mentored throughout her husband's career.

A lover of children, Joy influenced many young lives through her work in her own day care center, the City of Kinston recreation department, as well as the children's ministry at Tanglewood Church, where she was a devoted member for many years. In addition, she was active with the local pageant associations where she loved being a part of the various pageants in the area. A gifted seamstress, she gave generously of her talents to design and create most of the costumes for The Victor, her church's Easter drama, involving hundreds of cast members over a period of 20 years. It was her great passion!

Joy was a role model to many with her energetic, spontaneous, nurturing and giving spirit, as well as her generosity, servant’s heart, love for children, family and her Lord. Hers was indeed a life well lived.

In addition to her husband, Joy is survived by her children and their spouses, Allen and wife, Teresa, Randy and wife, Laura, and Dara and husband, Bill. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Austin and wife, Elizabeth, Lyndsay and husband, Brian, as well as Joshua, Logan, Evan and Spencer.

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