One lucky day, on March 13, 1944, a miracle was born to Blanche Surratt Lewis and Grover Lee Lewis. And they named her Joy Lee. “Little Joy Lee” soon won many hearts in the Carolina Beach community, from the boat ramp to the boardwalk. At the age of six, she grew crowds with her Annie Oakley style sharp shooting at the arcade. In middle school, she was driving her pink boat around the yacht basin. Soon, she joined the Water Ski Team, where she performed acrobatics in competitive ski competitions. Always a Carolina Beach Kid.
Joy Lee graduated from New Hanover High School in 1962. She married her high school sweetheart, Billy Bordeaux, after he agreed to catch her when she danced the ballet. He has been catching her for the last 60 years.
She began her career in education as a student teacher and stayed at Carolina Beach Elementary School after graduating from Wilmington College (UNCW). She taught 4th grade to kindergarten before retiring. Joy Lee was honored to receive the NC state Teacher of the Year award from Governor Hunt. But she was most excited to see all her children grow up and maybe even get to teach their kids.
Through the years, Joy was active in the community and a charter member of both the Federal Point Order of the Eastern Star and the Federal Point Volunteer Fire Department’s Auxiliary. She spent many hours working with the Pleasure Island Pageants, the Island Gazette Kids Korner and teaching refugees English. In the1990’s, Joy Lee retired from teaching to manage the motel that her parents built and named after her. She also became a dedicated caregiver to her parents and a new grandmother.
Joy Lee was welcomed into heaven by her Lord Jesus and her parents. A four pound Schnauzer, named Surrey, met her at the Rainbow Bridge.
Left to cherish her memory is: her husband, Billy; daughter, Chellé and son in law, Albert Taylor; grandchildren, Alexandria and Jacob Taylor, all of Carolina Beach. And the many friends and family who were blessed to know her. Joy could make the ordinary- special; the mundane- exciting and the boring- fun. There was always Love, Laughter and “Joy”.
Thank you for all the prayers and acts of kindness. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Shriners Hospital for Children Greenville S.C. or charity of your choice.
Visitation for family and friends will be 6-8 Thursday, January 4, 2024 at Wilmington Funeral Chapel.
Funeral services are planned for 11 am Friday, January 5, 2024 at Wilmington Funeral Chapel. Burial will be in Oakdale Cemetery.
Share memories and condolences by visiting the “Tribute Wall”.
Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099.