Joy Ann Gurganus, loving mother and doting grandmother, devoted and adored wife, cherished friend, compassionate caregiver to creatures large and small, departed this world on October 23. Joy exemplified her name in word, spirit, and action, bringing smiles and warmth to everyone she met.Joy danced; oh, did she dance. If life is for living, boy did she live it. Cancer took Joy far too soon but her absence highlights what she taught us: to live fully, musically, and with joyful abandon. Our time is for spending; we cannot take it with us. We, her family and friends, cherish the beauty Joy has bestowed upon us. May we forever dance like no one's watching.Joy's love of children shined brightest when she created and operated her Adventure Afterschool elementary child care center and Discover Our Town Summer Camp. The combination of learning and having fun, the creativity, and the respect for nature that she encouraged in her programs remain as a beautiful legacy for the children and families she touched. Joy was a born-mother whose nurturing did not end with her human family. Joy rehabilitated small wildlife, and served as an emergency contact for locals to turn to in cases of injured animals. She spent countless early-morning and late-night hours nursing bunnies, squirrels, and turtles back to health. Joy dreamed of adopting a wild horse and being its caretaker and friend. Cancer curtailed her ability to handle an animal so large, but it did not diminish her dream or her love of those wonderful creatures. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Wildlife Welfare (www.wildlifewelfare.org
) or the Foundation for Shackleford Horses (www.shacklefordhorses.org
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) in Joy's name.