Interment Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:00 A M at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, Houston, Texas
Memorial Services, The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church, 4881 Panther Creek Drive, The Woodlands, Texas Tuesday, August 8, 2017 following the interment
Affinity Memorial Center
Joy Elizabeth Hughes, May 10, 1930 – July 28, 2017
Joy was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Nathaniel Burton Ison and wife, Elinor Elizabeth Ison. Joy is survived by her daughter, Paula Elizabeth Hughes, her brother, Burton Morin Ison, her nephews Burton Morin Ison, Jr. and Robert William Ison, and many cousins.
Her father was a pioneering aviator, acquainted with Amelia Earhart. During World War I, Ellington Field in Houston served as an advanced flight training base. Joy’s father was one of the instructors. At only a few months of age, Joy made news headlines when she flew with her mother and father cross-country from California to Houston.
At the time of Joy’s birth, her father was employed by the Civil Aeronautics Authority, an early predecessor to the Federal Aviation Administration. The family moved around quite a bit, but she had childhood memories of Vernon, Texas and Fort Worth, Texas, where she and her younger brother, attended elementary school. A few years ago, she was able to take a drive by their home, where it still stands near Meadowbrook Elementary.
The family moved to Houston, Texas by the time Joy was 12, and her parents began to work in the family printing business started by her mother’s father, William Robert Morin. Known as Morin & Co., the business printed the election ballots for Harris County. Joy also worked in the business from the age of 12 to her marriage.
Joy attended high school at Lamar High School in Houston. She and her brother and their friends enjoyed riding their Cushman motor scooter far out on Westheimer Road, a dirt trail in those days. After graduation, Joy attended the University of Colorado in Boulder until she transferred to the University of Houston, where she met her future husband, Wayne L. (Bud) Hughes. Together they enjoyed flying: Joy could pay the aircraft rental, and Bud had the pilot’s license!
Bud and Joy married on October 6, 1951 in the chapel of the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street. Following their marriage, they made their home in Monterey, California, where Bud was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Bud was a Naval aviator who, prior to their marriage, had flown combat missions in the Korean War as a mere Ensign. From 1952 to 1954 Joy and Bud made their home in Birmingham, Alabama, where Joy enlisted in the Navy Air Wing, Staff 68, as a weekend warrior for the Naval Air Station there. Joy was assigned to the meteorology department, and had a fascination with the weather and its patterns the rest of her life. Because she was with the Navy Air Wing, she and Bud were able to fly together on the weekends when the Navy needed its planes moved around the country.
While Bud was stationed at Naval Air Station Alameda, near San Francisco, California, the couple lived in Hayward. They welcomed their only child, Paula Elizabeth Hughes, on October 7, 1957. When Bud’s squadron shipped out aboard the USS Lexington to the Mediterranean as part of the United States Sixth Fleet, Joy moved back to Houston.
During her husband’s long absences with the Sixth Fleet, Joy maintained a close relationship with her parents and Bud’s parents, Ezra Paul Hughes and Mildred Hughes, who all lived in Houston. She began to work again at the family printing business, and when that was sold in the mid-1960’s she began to remodel homes and sell them. Joy did the work herself, and was a competent plumber, electrician, dry-wall installer, painter, and general handy-woman. She installed a swing set and sand box for her daughter in the back yard at their home on Vassar, and her husband helped her build a tree house as well. Joy’s early mornings were spent digging up the grass in the backyard, spreading sand, and laying a 5,000-brick patio. The family and extended family spent many enjoyable evenings there!
After Joy’s mother’s death in 1968, the family moved to Southampton Place, where Joy had purchased a home for remodeling. Bud was stationed at Chase Naval Air Station in Beeville, Texas, and made the drive home each weekend. During this time, the family purchased a 111- acre farm in Crockett, Texas, deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas. After Bud’s retirement, the family relocated to Crockett, where Paula attended high school.
At the farm near Crockett, Joy became interested in organic gardening, and enjoyed a large vegetable garden. She learned how to operate farm equipment, as well as a chain saw. Joy participated in haying on the farm, and cooled off when the job was done in the above-ground swimming pool she and her husband installed. She also joined the Crockett Art League, and enjoyed painting classes with her friends.
A disappointing divorce ended her 31-year marriage to the love of her life in 1983, and she moved to Houston to be with her daughter. There, she became active in her local church.
While living in Houston, Joy worked for her brother in his architecture firm as a “girl Friday,” worked for Chaplain Services on Richmond Avenue helping with English language for women taking Certified Nurse Assistant courses, and also for SER Jobs for Progress. Her last job in Houston was working for her cousin, Elizabeth Luton, who owned a bookkeeping company not far from Joy’s home in west Houston.
In 2009 Joy moved with her daughter to Whitehouse, Texas, where Paula was pursuing a change of career. Joy enjoyed living in Whitehouse, in a spacious home where “you couldn’t see the house from the road or the road from the house,” as she liked to say. Joy made many new friends at a new church in Big Sandy, Texas, north of Tyler, where pot luck day once a month was something she always looked forward to. She worked at a Christian ministry in Whitehouse, and supplemented her income doing property management for a friend who owned several residential rent properties. But circumstances moved Joy and her daughter back close to Houston in October of 2016.
From October of 2016 until her death, Joy made her home in The Woodlands, Texas. Her priority after the move was “getting organized.” Before Joy and Paula could get unpacked and organized, Paula’s dog, Shadow, stepped on Joy’s foot one January evening. Complications from that infection, a pulmonary embolism, and peripheral vascular disease eventually became too much for her stalwart heart. She never stopped fighting – to maintain her health, to be a friend, to accomplish her goals, to mother her daughter, to be a Christian, or to live.
Her friends say she truly lived up to her name.