Cover photo for Joy Gaddis's Obituary
Joy Gaddis Profile Photo

Joy Gaddis

October 5, 1929 — December 27, 2023


Joy Gaddis


A memorial service honoring the life of Edith Joy Stothart Gaddis will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at Asbury United Methodist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana.  A reception at the church will immediately follow the service.

Joy was born on October 5, 1929, in Shreveport, Louisiana and died on December 27, 2023. She was the first of four children born to Robert Alex and Emily Brown Stothart.

Joy was preceded in death by her husband of more than 74 years, Edgar Sibley Gaddis, who died in September 2023. She was also preceded in death by her sister, Alexa Boyette, her brother William R Stothart, and her oldest son, Dr. Robert Gaddis. Joy is survived by her sister, Emily Worsham, and sister-in-law, Carolyn Stothart.  She is also survived by two daughters, Ellen Howell and Blanche Hirsch, and a son, Dr. Thomas Gaddis. Joy and Edgar deeply loved their grandchildren:  Amanda, Abby, Mary Ellen, Sarah (deceased), Jane, Stewart, Olivia, Danielle and Patrick. Many great-grandchildren, a great-great-grandchild, in-laws, nieces and nephews loved and survive them as well.

Joy’s lifelong passions were education and music. Pursuing those passions at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, led her to a B.S. in Music and her greatest love, Edgar. She and Edgar met at Northwestern in a ballroom dancing class when he promised to marry her if she helped him pass the class. Not only did they pass, they were the top graduates of the 1949 Summer Graduating Class, Joy besting Edgar by .002 points.

After living briefly in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Elm Grove, Louisiana, Joy and Edgar returned to her hometown of Coushatta, Louisiana. She loved her childhood neighborhood, and later in life loved writing about it.  In Coushatta they built a home where they resided for more than 60 years, and there they began the practice of investing in the life of community.

Joy began her teaching career in private piano instruction and directing choral groups at Coushatta High School. She later completed requirements for certification in elementary teaching and earned a Master’s degree in that field. Joy even returned to Natchitoches, living in a Northwestern dorm for a summer with all four of her children. She earned certification as a reading specialist and in educational administration.

During her career in education, Joy taught in public school, became a reading supervisor, and was director of federal programs for the parish school system. One of her proudest achievements was securing a federal grant that allowed her to plan and implement an innovative preschool and parent education program for Red River Parish.

Joy continued to use her musical gifts by serving as choir director at Coushatta First United Methodist Church for several years. Even in her final years, Joy faithfully used her musical gifts to serve her community by playing the piano most mornings for her fellow residents at Brookdale Assisted Living. 

Joy and Edgar spent their last 5 years at Brookdale Assisted Living in Bossier City. Their family appreciates the care and friendship they received there.

Joy taught many lessons in her long life. To many teachers she was a mentor. To her children she imparted an appreciation of music, a perfected cornbread dressing recipe, and a keen sense of what is “tacky”. She also taught us how to indulge grandchildren. and she especially tried to teach us to welcome, value and nurture all children

In lieu of flowers, Joy would be well honored by a donation to the educational or musical charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joy Gaddis, please visit our flower store.


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