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Joy Drew Blazey, 88

Joy Drew Blazey, 88

Joy Drew Blazey, 88, passed away on Feb. 28, 2013, at the Four Seasons Elizabeth House in Flat Rock.

She was born on June 10, 1924, in Brooklyn, NY, to James and Beatrice Drew. Joy grew up in Great Neck, NY and graduated from Great Neck High School in 1942. After high school she attended college at Lasell Junior College in Massachusetts and Barnard College in New York City where she received a degree in sociology in 1946.

Joy married 2nd Lt. Frank Earl Blazey, Jr. in 1947 in Munich, Germany. They were happily married for 65 years. As a result of marrying a West Point graduate and a career military soldier, Joy and her family moved frequently and lived in Germany, the Philippines, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. She found that Army life had many advantages and challenges with the 22 moves, but also hardships due to her husband's deployment to the war zones in Korea and Viet Nam. She was a teacher in elementary school for over 15 years and taught in New York, Virginia, and Germany.

She participated in many local activities in Hendersonville, which included volunteer duties with Mainstay, a community organization that supports victims of domestic violence; taught students who were assigned to her by Blue Ridge Literacy Council; served as vice president of the League of Women Voters and as president of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) local chapter. She was president for five years of her Barnard College 1946 Class.

Joy had numerous interests ranging from traveling to 25 foreign countries where she recorded her observations in each country with detailed notes. Some of her favorite trips were those by the Elderhostel organization and above all back to Germany to uncover the roots of the Blazey family from Duchy of Baden and their migration to this country in 1846. She was a fine china painter, an excellent bridge player, a very successful collector of antiques from all over the world and an active member of an AAUW investment club.

A granddaughter's thoughts were "that I have many memories to share of you, grandmother, and will continue to teach our children what you instilled in us through your strong character and unique personality." As a mother, a wife, a teacher, a talented woman in many disciplines, she will be remembered and never forgotten by her family and close friends.

Joy was preceded in death by her only daughter, Gay Burgess Blazey, who passed away in 1993 from cancer.

Joy is survived by her spouse: Frank E. Blazey, Jr. (US Army-Retired) of Hendersonville, NC; her sons James Drew (Sean) Blazey of Medina, WA.; Frank E. (Esther) Blazey III of Buford, GA.: grandchildren, Joshua (Wendy) Clark of Fort Mill, SC; Tye (Ivana) Blazey, Frankfurt, Germany; Lea (Laavanya) Gombar, Raleigh, NC: Jay (Meagan) Blazey, Seattle, WA; Laura (Tristan) Frolich, Seattle, WA; and two great-grandchildren, Martina Rosa Blazey and Stella Grace Gombar.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 16, 2013, at First United Methodist Church, Hendersonville. A reception will follow at the church. Burial will be at a later date at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Community Foundation of Henderson County, Joy Blazey and Gay Burgess Blazey Fund.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting

Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.