Joyce Bourlay “Joy” Hambrick died on October 4, 2019 at age 89. She enjoyed her life to the end and passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. She is survived by her husband, Charles H. Hambrick, daughters Margaret Robb (Graham), Constance Foster, and Helen Tuttle (Craig). She is also survived by five grandchildren: Eric James Robertson, David Ernest Robertson, Benjamin Blake Foster, Christina Louise Tuttle, and Ruth Joy Tuttle. Joy was born and raised in Leesburg, Florida, a town named for one of her ancestors. The Bourlay family was one of distinction in Leesburg.
She graduated from Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia in 1952. From 1952 to 1955 she served as a missionary teacher in Hiroshima, Japan, a period she always remembered as some of the happiest years of her life. In 1955 she returned home and married a fellow missionary serving in Okinawa, Charles H. Hambrick. Their happy marriage of 64 years produced three daughters: Margaret (1957), Connie (1962), Helen (1964), and one son, Baby Boy, who lived only a few hours (1958).
From 1960 to 1965 she lived and served in Japan/Okinawa as a missionary wife and mother, raising three children in a foreign culture. From 1965 to 1969 she helped put her husband through graduate school in Chicago in addition to parenting three school age children. After 1969 she focused on her family by supporting her husband in his teaching career at Vanderbilt University and continuing to guide her children into adulthood.
After the nest became empty, she worked for Metro Government in Refugee Resettlement during which time she aided and became friends with refugees from many parts of the world. She later worked in Postal Services at St. Thomas Hospital, and after volunteering at the Vanderbilt Hospital, she was employed in the Volunteer Services office. After her retirement in 1993 she and her husband enjoyed twenty years of cruising and traveling throughout the world. She was always interested in experiencing other countries and cultures, and she was welcoming to people who came to our country from other parts of the world. Her eight years in Japan and worldwide travel have made her a friend to those who are different and who need help in adjusting to life in a new home.
In 1999 Joy and her husband endowed the Bourlay-Hambrick Scholarship in the College of Arts and Science of Vanderbilt University. As a sign of her international spirit, the scholarship is designated for students of Asian ancestry and background. Contributions in her memory can be made to the Bourlay-Hambrick Scholarship, Office of Donor Relations, VU Station B #357711, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, Tennessee 37235-7711.
The family will receive friends from 12:30 – 2:30 P.M. Thursday, October 10th with a Celebration of Life Memorial Service at 2:30 in the Chapel of Harpeth Hills Funeral Home. Joy will be laid to rest in the garden of Chapel Hill East at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens.