On December 27, at 2:04 Central time in Houston, Texas, Joy Crutchfield Hager entered into a life without cancer and suffering. During her second bone marrow transplant in her fight to defeat Myelodysplastic Syndrome, her body was overwhelmed by the chemo regimen. She had fought a 2 ½ year battle with excellent and compassionate care by Dr. Alan Kritz and Jessica Casselberry, NP, of UNC Rex Cancer Center and Dr. Stephan Ciurea of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. The family offers sincere and long-lasting thanks for the medical care she received and the many other unnamed medical professionals that joined with us in hope for her successful treatment. During her treatment she rejoiced in the marriage of two children, Nathan and Laura, Laura’s graduation from Meredith College, and Matthew’s continued development of his acting career. She also continued in her ministry to homeless veterans and veteran families through her work with Volunteers of America of the Carolinas.Joy was a graduate of Appalachian State University (BS), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv) and the University of Louisville (MSSW). In her college and seminary years she participated in summer ministry positions in Raleigh, NC, Fayetteville, NC, and Pittsburgh, PA. She was ordained to the ministry in 1983 at First Baptist Church of Raleigh, NC. She was one of the first 200 women to be ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention, with her denominational affiliation shifting soon to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. During her ministry in Louisville, KY, she developed programs for two new Family and Women’s Shelters (Wayside Christian Mission and Volunteers of America), and served as the Christian Social Minister at historic Walnut Street Baptist Church in downtown Louisville. During her ministry at WSBC, she was an innovator in Christian Social Ministry by beginning a summer educational program for middle school students and a support program for unwed and teenage mothers. She served on the board of a number of organizations in Louisville that addressed homelessness and poverty, and also served on Mayor Jerry Abramson’s advisory group on homelessness. She served on the advisory board which led to the accreditation of the first seminary-based Social Work School in the country at The Southern Baptist Theological SeminaryUpon moving to Mount Airy, NC, Joy served as a home health social worker with Surry County and as a bereavement counsellor with Mountain Valley Hospice, obtaining certification in thanatology. She also worked with at-risk teenagers through NC State University and taught court-ordered classes through Surry Community College. She was involved in a number of community groups that addressed poverty issues and served on the board of Habitat for Humanity, focusing especially on the Family Selection Committee.While living in Raleigh, Joy once again worked for Volunteers of America, eventually having the title of Director of Veterans Services for Volunteers of America – Carolinas, based in Durham, NC. She developed and/or managed programs for homeless veterans and veteran families (Maple Court Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing, Supportive Services for Veteran Families, and Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program). Her programs were located in Durham, Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, and Durham and included services in several other counties in NC. Joy continued her community service by serving on community boards addressing homelessness and poverty.She willingly and with grace assumed the role of pastor’s wife in churches in KY and NC (Hopewell Baptist Church in Lacey, KY; Trinity Baptist Church in Bloomfield, KY; Midlane Park Baptist Church in Louisville, KY; Calvary Baptist Church in Mt. Airy, NC; Tabernacle Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC) and was loved by all in each congregation. Her volunteer work in churches included ministry with preschool and children’s missions programs and children’s music. She also sang in adult choir specials and was an active member in the choir at Tabernacle Baptist Church.All along the way, Joy was a devoted and loving wife and mother and was the glue that kept her family together through her love and care. Her devotion to each of her children, and her crafting of her loving care for them to their individual personalities and needs, have helped shape three incredible young adults, each of whom she was immensely proud. As a wife, she endured the many hours of Wayne’s church meetings and times of pastoral visitation with grace and understanding, assuming more responsibilities at home than were fair, especially considering her own professional work. She was a constant source of encouragement and support for Wayne and was his best friend. For her family and friends, Joy was the center of the joy that we experienced together. Her smile, creativity, and humor enhanced the lives of all the people she met. If ever anyone was named correctly, it was Joy. She will be missed but never forgotten.Rev. Joy Crutchfield Hager is survived by her husband Dr. Wayne Hager; her children Matthew Hager, Nathan Hager (wife Mary Simms) and Laura Hager-Smith (husband Cody Smith); parents Dr. Graham and Carolyn Crutchfield; sister Amy Martin (husband Tom Martin and daughters Hannah Martin and Kristin Martin McClure and her husband Bradley McClure); brother William Crutchfield, and brother John Burton-Crutchfield (wife Rev. Wanda Burton-Crutchfield and son Owen); numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, and a host of friends, both personal and professional.The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations in memory of Joy be made to the First Baptist Church, 99 N. Salisbury, Raleigh, NC, 27603, clearly marked on the envelope, an included note or the check that the donation is designated for a fund to be established in Joy’s name. This fund will be used to assist veterans in need – the focus of the last seven years of her ministry. Joy’s family will continue funding this effort in the future.The Celebration of Life for Joy will be held at First Baptist Church, 99 N. Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC, on Sunday, January 17 at 3:30 PM. A time of visitation with the family will be held from 2:00 – 3:25 PM in the Fellowship Hall of the church. Parking is available in the two parking lots adjoining the church building and NC State Parking Deck at the corner of E. Edenton Street and N. McDowell Street.