Joy Tarbert (1933 - 2014)

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Joy Tarbert

BUCYRUS: R. Joy Tarbert, 81, of Bucyrus passed away Mother's Day evening, May 11, 2014 at Altercare of Bucyrus where she has resided in recent years.

She was born in Zanesville on May 1, 1933 to the late Ray and Elizabeth "Betty" (Morris) Myer. She graduated from Zanesville's Lash High School in 1951 and, that summer, married Bill Tarbert who preceded her in death in 1997. Joy attended Ohio University and embarked on a storied television and radio broadcasting career, sharing her special brand of wit and conversation through her "Joy in the Morning" program. She moved from Zanesville to the Sycamore-Tiffin area in 1969 and to Bucyrus in 1973. Joy suffered a stroke that ended her broadcasting career in 2007, but never ceased being active in all she could, always welcoming visits from friends and family with her warm smile.

Joy spent the better part of her life as an advocate for the mentally disabled, inspired by her son. She was the founder and 18 year director of the Special Kids Kamp and was a member of the Founding Committee for the Ohio Special Olympics. Joy was also a member of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Bucyrus, Altrusa, Red Hats, Elks Lodge 156, Women of the Moose 169, Order of the Eastern Star #3, ADAMH Board, State advisor and founder of Ohio Youth Assoc. for Retarded Children, National Youth Assoc. for Retarded Children, Community Concert Assoc. Board, District 5 Area Agency on Aging Board, Sweet Adelines, Past President of the Muskinghum, Wyandot and Crawford County MRDD Councils and Relay for Life Choir.

Over the years, a number of awards were bestowed upon Joy for her community efforts including induction to the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame in 2008, Bucyrus Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2007, Night of 1000 Stars in 2007, Best of the Best Radio Personality in 2006, Altrusan of the Year, Sweet Adeline of the Year, and OARC Volunteer and Family of the Year in 1969.

Joy is survived by three children, Penny Tarbert of Bucyrus, Steve (Brendan) Tarbert of Tiffin and Mike Tarbert of Bucyrus; three grandchildren, Jeff "JT" Tarbert, Eric (Stacie) Routzahn and Craig (Lindsay Moses) Routzahn; six beautiful great grandchildren of whom she was very proud; uncle, Don (Madge) Myer of Zanesville; several cousins and countless friends including Stella, Morgan, Sharon, John Kennedy, Carol Young and her Pelican Pals.

In addition to her parents and husband of 46 years, Joy was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law, Kay Tarbert and numerous aunts and uncles.

As Joy's life came to an end, she had a loving and courageous spirit, expressing her appreciation to her fans, listeners and viewers who can pay their respects on Wednesday, May 14 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Wise Funeral Service in Bucyrus. Eastern Star service will be held at 5:45 p.m Wednesday. Her funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Don L. Neumann officiating.

Memorials to the Humane Society Serving Crawford County are encouraged in lieu of flowers and memories can be shared on Joy's obituary page at


Funeral Home
Wise Funeral Service
129 W Warren St
Bucyrus, OH 44820
(419) 562-6811
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Published in the Telegraph-Forum on May 13, 2014
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