Joy Ellen McAfee Lea

September 28, 1979 ‒ May 20, 2016

Delaware, Ohio

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Joy Ellen McAfee Lea, age 36, passed away peacefully on Friday May 20, 2016 at her mother’s home in Delaware, Ohio following a courageous 8 year battle against breast cancer.

She was born on September 28, 1979, in Delaware, to Janie (Courter) Davis and Frank McAfee.  She was a 1997 graduate of Buckeye Valley High School.  Joy went on to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in social work from The Ohio State University in 2002.  She was the beloved wife to Timothy Ross Lea, and they were married on July 31, 2015.  Joy worked as Assistant Branch Manager at the Richwood Bank Delaware Branch and formerly with Grady Memorial Hospital and Search 2 Close.

The number one thing Joy was known for was being absolutely true to her name.  She has been an inspiration to others throughout her childhood, high school years and while battling cancer.  Joy’s contagious smile and uncanny wit made everyone around her an instant friend and immediately comfortable. People often described her as having a magnetic personality.  Without a doubt, Joy always worked hard, put others in her life first and lived with a true Christian spirit.

During her downtime undergoing cancer treatments she taught herself to crotchet and knit, of which her favorite projects were photo props for newborn babies.  Joy had a flare for decorating her home.  She loved her two Schnauzers, Booker and Rudy.

Joy is survived by her husband, Tim; her parents, Janie and Bret Davis, Frank and Kathy McAfee; siblings Amber (McAfee) (Thomas) Kalivas, Wade (Kirsten) and Luke McAfee; her nephew Braxton McAfee; step siblings Mike (Erin) Davis, Chad (Amanda) Davis, Matt (Becca) and Kelly Davis; aunt Sherrie (Parvin) Fisher; many cousins and her in-laws Maxanne (Edington) and Gary Lea, Tim’s uncle Allen Lea and aunt Linda Scheeder. Joy was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Barb (Conklin) and Harold Courter; and paternal grandparents Violet and Lewis McAfee.

Joy’s family would like to extend special thanks to the staff at The Mark H. Zangmeister Center, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, Riverside Methodist, Grady Memorial Hospitals, and Hospice of Central Ohio.

Please join us in celebrating Joy’s life by wearing bright colors to the services.  The burial will close with a balloon release to send our Joy into the skies where she will never be forgotten.

Friends may call 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday at the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center, 1510 W. William St. at Valleyside Dr., Delaware where services will be held 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday with Pastors and Good Friends Maggie and Jason Nowland from Vineyard at Tuttle Crossing officiating. Burial will follow in the Radnor Township Cemetery, Radnor, Ohio.

Memorial contributions can be made to The Mark H. Zangmeister Center or Hospice of Central Ohio.

To share a condolence or memory please visit:

  • Today we lost a sister, a friend, a family member. A light in our lives cancer will never extinguish. No more needles or chemo or pain. Just beauty and everlasting happiness. You have left a lifelong legacy, dear Joy, and we absolutely can’t wait to see you again. We love you forever. And now we will love your beautiful family too. Fly high dear Angel.

  • Joy,

    I can say without hyperbole that I do not remember a time when we saw each other that you didn’t make me smile. You made everyone around you happier than they were before they saw you.

    Enjoy your King my friend!

    Steven, Mary, Jeff and Liberty Hamric

  • It is truly amazing what Joy accomplished on this earth ..Thank you Joy for showing us what laughter, love, happiness and pure strength looks like. Prayers and much love to your family…

  • Joy you will be missed Amiga so hard and can’t believe it , but God took a Great Angel we will miss u Amiga 🙏🏼

  • Joyous Occasion. She will always be in a special place in my heart forever .
    Love to the Families.

  • Joyous Occasion. She will always have a special place in my heart forever.

  • There is no other like her. Mischief personified. Until we meet again my dear…..

  • We are so very sorry for your families loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Prayers to Joys Family. No words can take away your pain. Just know there are so many who loved Joy. May she find peace.

  • I am so sad to hear of your loss. I graduated with Joy. She was always such a wonderful friend and could always make me laugh. My husband and I ran into her at Truman’s while waiting to be seated and she had us all laughing the entire time. It was so nice to see her and catch up!! She was such an amazing person….she will be greatly missed.

  • I only met you once at your sister’s New Years party in 2016 and you were the life of the party. You were a gentle kind soul and God has another angel in his kingdom.

  • Janie & Bret and families so so sorry for your loss. I just remember when she worked at Buehler’s she would always tease my son Kevan. She was a beautiful person. Cherish the memories. Thinking of all of you.

  • God has a true Angel by his side today. My heart is hurt deaply and I will cherish all my great childhood memories. I will never forget her giggle and laugh it was truly powerful. Her name fit her so perfectly. It is a true loss to all that had the pleasure of knowing her. You will always be loved and remembered.

  • So sorry for your family.I was remembering when I used to babysit for your girls during the summer.Joy was a such a sweet little girl.I also got to work with Joy at Buehlers,everyone loved her there.She always had a smile on her face.Rest in Peace dear Joy.

  • Dear Davis and Mcafee famlies,

    I have no way of knowing your pain. I knew Joy who was friends with my Daughters along with Wade. I’m so sorry for your loss and what I knew of Joy she was always smiling and making everyone around her feel so comfortable. As you can see by all the friends that Joy has she must have been a very special person. Not everyday do you meet a person like Joy. I’m sure her journey is more special then any of us can imagine. God has Joy in his arms so that the families can take this time to celebrate Joys life.

    Rosie Boyce (Compton)

  • To the family, you are all in my thoughts. I went to High School with Joy. Time goes by so fast, it seems like just yesterday Joy was with me and my family at Walt Disney World. That was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. We would laugh so hard we would cry. She always had a smile.

  • Though we had only met a few times, she made such an impact on us. Her name suited her perfectly as she was always smiling and easy going. She lived life with courage and grace. Thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends for strength in the days ahead. Rest in peace sweet lady, you will be missed by so many.

  • Heaven is alittle bit brighter today and the world alittle bit dimmer. Praying for you all during this time!

  • So sorry that your family is going threw this valley now. I’m thinking Joy is having the best time with my daughter right about now. Joy had a smile on her face every time I saw her. She will be truly missed!!!!

  • Heaven welcomed a beautiful, loving and caring Angel today, what a celebration they must be having! I pray that God gives Joys family peace, comfort and healing in the days, weeks and years to come. God Bless you and keep you Joy, may His light always shine upon you, you will truly be missed👼✝💖

  • I ve never been at a loss for words in my life till is my favorite niece,and the world was a lot better place since the day she entered matter how good or bad things were,she always had a smile on her face,and being around her she made you feel good.our world would be a lot better place to live if their was more people like joy in it.keep that smile in heaven joy and remember uncle sam loves you more then you will ever know.i will miss your precence but I know you will still be here in spirit. with love your uncle sam

  • Joy,
    You’re an inspiration to us all that nothing can take away our JOY. GOD was present in your life always even in the darkest moments. You fought a good fight, you finish the race, and now there is a crown instore for you. I will never forget the pain in my sides after we would talk… Well laugh mostly, for it was a time of funny story after the other. I will miss your smile, silliness and bravery. Rest in peace, dance and sing forever til we meet again and then we can duet!

  • Janie and family,Joy was a beautiful person inside and out she will be missed by all of us. I hope she knew how much Aunt Sherry loves her. Iwill truly miss her beautiful smile and beautiful outlook on everything. Love Aunt Sherry

  • I met Joy while working at Grady Memorial Hospital. She always had a smile on her face and never knew a stranger. She was such a strong young woman throughout her battle with cancer. I will miss seeing her contagious smile.

    Please accept my condolences for you loss. She will be greatly missed!

  • Our deepest sympathies to the family. Joy was the sweetest of people. I will always remember her bright smile and warm spirit. She truly did live up to her name, and gave it honor.
    It is with deep regret we will be unable to attend, due to a scheduled surgery.
    Again, please know we truly enjoyed her, and our hearts are saddened by her loss. May she rest peacefully in the Fathers arms.
    With love,
    The Penn Family

  • I rode the bus with Joy and went to high school with her at BV. I didn’t know her well but I remember her always smiling and being very friendly. I am so sorry to hear of her passing. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones.

  • Our sympathy goes to those touched by Joy. She was, during her days on this earth, gifted to make us smile and laugh. She is still using het gifts as we have one more reason to look forward to Heaven. May Jesus bless you. We will not forget Joy..her laughter, smile, beauty, and presence.

  • I am one if Joy’s cousins. I was lucky enough to know Joy from birth. I can tell you she had that wonderful personality from day one. As soon as she could talk she had everyone cracking up. Not only was Joy funny, she was witty, beautiful and kind to all. I admire her zest for life. She lived everyday to its fullest. I wish I could say I do the same. My heart aches for everyone who knew Joy. I told Janie I only hope to leave the legacy that that women has when it is my time. She is an angel watching over all. Love Kathy (Bauman) Troilo

  • Our condolences to all who knew and loved this beautiful young woman. Prayers for strength, comfort and peace that passeth understanding. So very sorry for your loss.

  • My sincerest sympathy to Joy’s family, but everyone knows God has gained an angel! Joy and I got to know each other pretty well working during college and I remember she was always so joyful and genuine. I remember she would always sit with older people at the restaurant and talk to them as long as she could. She had such an amazing sincere and sympathetic heart!! My condolences and sympathies go out to all the people near and dear to her. But I know her memories will go on and on forever, because she has touched so many people. We lost an angel on Earth, but God gained one up in heaven!

  • We are so sorry for your loss! No good words other than rest in peace sweet Joy. Our prayers are with you and the family!

  • God must have needed a special angel this week. He took Joy to His home to liven the place up. He must have needed someone with an infectious smile. Or it could have been He really needed someone with a positive attitude. Or maybe He really really needed great person up there.

    So sad she is not here. How can one person have effected so many people? She didn’t hit home runs, couldn’t dunk or run the 100 in less than 10 seconds BUT I think it was her heart. It was the way she made us feel. We should all learn from her. I think just the way she lived is an example to us all.

    Bret, Janie, Wade, Amber and Tim, I am so sorry for your loss. The world was a better place because she was here. Her presence will be missed…….

  • Dear McAfee, Davis and Lea families,
    I’m so sorry for the heart ache you are enduring right now. There will never be another “Joy” in this world! To read everything online just shows what an amazing person she was. She touched so many people over her short life. My family and I are truly heart broken over this loss. We try to smile when we think of her in heaven spreading her “Joy”.
    Thinking of you,
    Jennifer (Rose) Fenton and Family

  • Are family is so sorry our prayers are with you all. Joy was a delight to be around always seen a smile on her face. God has him another angel. Joy will be greatly missed.

    Mitch & Peggy Penry
    Qorey Penry
    Kerrinda Penry Bywater
    Krystal Penry Heggestad

  • The day after Joy passed away I met with a friend for lunch and she was very upset after hearing the news on Facebook. She proceeded to tell me about this young lady and how wonderful she was and how she had been so helpful when they set up their accounts at the Richwood Bank. She did not know that I knew Joy, but just wanted to tell me how sad she felt because Joy was such a lovely person. I think that story times thousands, is the way that everyone felt about Joy. Her name truly reflects her spirit. She will be greatly missed.

  • I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to laugh with Joy when she worked at Grady! We shared some great stories, laughter and tears. She was a remarkable woman that touched my life and made me a stronger person.
    It is remarkable to think about the inspiration she was to so many and her legacy, smile and effervescent personality will leave memories that we will all treasure.

    Many prayers to Joy’s husband, family and closest friends as you cherish and celebrate her life.

  • Many thoughts and prayers are sent to Joy’s family. May you have peace and comfort with all the wonderful memories you have had with Joy.

  • I am sorry to hear what happened. I remember Joy from Delaware but had not talked with her since graduation. I wish I would of found out sooner and had a chance to talk with her again.

  • My thoughts & prayers are with Joy’s entire family on such a huge loss of such a sweet sweet soul who I feel truly was not finished here on earth. She will continue to be a light through everyone that she touched while she was here & will continue to touch lives with her story & how she lived her life.

    I am so blessed to have been a part of her life in such a small fraction but those memories of her will never fade, I will continue to be blessed by her example & strive to live my life in full JOY the way that she did.