Mrs. Joy Barnes faithfully taught in the music department at Maranatha for over twenty-five years. Our music department mourns the loss of Mrs. Barnes as she had a big impact on many of us, but we are grateful that she is in Heaven with no more pain and suffering. The current music faculty who knew Mrs. Barnes wish to share tributes to her, and we would love for you to contribute your memories in the comment section as well.
Tribute from Pamela Loggans: Few people have impacted me as significantly as Mrs. Joy Barnes. I praise the Lord for the privilege of receiving instruction in piano and organ from Mrs. Barnes. Her kindness, encouragement, and patience were always a blessing! I value her instruction and I am thankful to her for instilling in me a heart for the hymns! What a blessing it was to come back to Watertown in 1993 and teach in the music department with Mrs. Barnes until her retirement. I counted it a wonderful privilege to serve the Lord together in the music ministry at Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown.
Tribute from Monty Budahl: For nearly forty years, Joy Barnes ministered with me in various capacities. She was a very supportive faculty member. In the early, she taught many of the piano and organ students herself. Later, she scheduled the lessons, fitting the student and faculty class schedules together like a giant jig saw puzzle. Joy faithfully played for chapel services, the “Messiah” and graduation festivities. For many years, she and Max hosted the music faculty Christmas fellowship after the “Messiah” presentation at their lovely home, a wonderful relief for us all.
At Calvary Baptist Church, Mrs. Barnes was the lead keyboard player, playing for most of the services, either on piano or organ, rehearsing and accompanying the choir, ensembles and special music… plus weddings and special services. She handled “bailouts” and avoided “train wrecks” with a gracious manner.
As a friend of the family, she taught our children. Christmas recitals at her home were highly anticipated. The children always received a large, colorfully decorated gingerbread teddy bear.
I often heard her say “Oh, dear…” but never “Oh, no.”
Tribute from Rick Townsend: I just remember Mrs. Barnes as one of the kindest people at Maranatha when Linda and I arrived. Her contributions in department meetings were always on target and offered with kindness and humility. The department Christmas parties at their home will always be a favorite memory for Linda and me.
Tribute from Dave Brown: One of our earliest memories of Joy Barnes is when she hosted the annual music faculty Christmas party. Like her name, she was a joyful servant of God. She had a ready smile for all and a sweet spirit that drew students and faculty alike. Joy always had time for people. She was a major help to Ruth during our first year at MBBC. Ruth would go to her office often and ask about policies, teaching, ideas for organizing her own studio. She took Ruth under her wing. Joy Barnes’ life was an example of a life well-lived for Christ.
Tribute from Janet Tschida: I didn’t have the privilege of really getting to know Mrs. Barnes until I started teaching at Maranatha. I remember being amazed by how much she did behind the scenes that I had absolutely no idea about as a Maranatha college student, and I was so impressed by her quiet faithfulness. As a young teacher, Mrs. Barnes encouraged me so much when I was feeling incredibly apprehensive and overwhelmed. I learned much from her those first few years, both about teaching and about serving. She had a good sense of humor too. As we worked together on several projects, I remember us just laughing and laughing while thinking to myself, “I had no idea she could be this fun!” She made a lasting impression on me, and I am grateful for the few years we were able to work together.
Tribute from David Ledgerwood: When I came to Maranatha in 1986, I was the “new kid on the block” in the Music Department. The person I worked most closely with in the piano area was Joy Barnes. Joy made me feel instantly welcome. She had our family over for dinner, and patiently helped me learn the ropes of collegiate piano teaching. She was always encouraging and helpful. Every Christmas, she and Max would host a music department get together after the Messiah concert. That was a great highlight to our year. We would have splendid fellowship with the Cedarholms, Budahls, Burckarts, Heiderichs, Carol Senn, and Dr. Weniger. Later on the list included Jeremy Vegter, Rick Townsend, Dave Jaspers, Betsy Pabon, and Janet Tschida. What a treat!
Joy loved her students. She wanted to make them successful and so she poured her heart into them. She was always looking for ways to improve her teaching. Joy was an example of a sacrificial and committed Christian servant who believed that Christian education could make a difference. We will all miss her.
Tribute from Carol Senn Ruffin: Over the years I have known Mrs. Joy Barnes as a teacher, colleague and friend.
Teacher: I had always admired the piano playing of Mrs. Joy Barnes at church when I was in high school, so I was thrilled as a new Maranatha college freshman to learn that she was going to be my piano teacher. She stretched me—so much so that I was a finalist in the commencement piano contest that first year. Although Mrs. Barnes was disappointed when I changed my proficiency to voice she never stopped encouraging me to excel at whatever the Lord wanted me to do.
Colleague: By just being her normal, kind, thoughtful self she was kind of “paying it forward;” for not too many years later I became her daughter Tami’s voice teacher—teaching in a studio just across the hall from Mrs. Barnes. Now Mrs. Barnes and I were colleagues, although I never could make myself call her Joy. We chatted a little most days—sharing a funny story, a prayer request, and sometimes a piece of staff paper. I really missed that when she retired.
Friend: I was also privileged to call Mrs. Barnes my friend. What fun to work side by side in her kitchen helping prepare things for the annual Music Faculty Christmas party that she always insisted on hosting at her home! She knew how to entertain. She was one classy lady. She taught me a lot—much of which had absolutely nothing to do with piano or music—but stuff I needed to learn nonetheless.
I will miss Mrs. Barnes, but I take solace in knowing she is glory. In a providential “circle of life” sort of way I now enjoy being voice colleagues with her daughter Tami Collupy. Now, how cool is that?!?! Rest in peace, Mrs. Barnes.
Please share your tribute in the comment section.