Ada — “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” declared poet John Keats. Getting to know Joy Wellington is likely to cause most people to revise Keats’ opinion to read: “The person of Joy treasures beauty forever.”
I have become acquainted with Joy Wellington since I moved to Baptist Village a year and a half ago, but I can honestly say I’ve known about Joy Wellington many years earlier. I knew, for example, that her family had owned and operated a rather elegant photography studio that specialized in wedding and anniversary portraits. I knew that she was very active in First Baptist Church and that she had more than 200 hats in her collection of head gear. I also knew that she had been the victim of a purse-snatching mugger who had broken her hip and wrist, and I knew by way of the small-town grapevine that she had forgiven the criminal and sent men from a prison ministry team to successfully witness to him.
My participation in Village prayer meetings has enabled me to know Joy up close and personal and allowed me to ask if I might interview her as a subject for my column. She graciously agreed and I walked down the hall to her apartment where her Valentine Tree was already an object of beauty. Her Berean Sunday School class had met there a few nights previously and filled 77 goodie bags for Village residents. In this interview I learned many things about this beautiful octogenarian that I’d like to share.
Joy was the middle daughter of the Mainess family in Tulsa. Her father was employed by Douglas Aircraft and he was transferred to Coffeyville, Kan., when Joy was a senior in high school.
In Coffeyville, she enrolled at Coffeyville College of Arts and Sciences and received a degree in business and worked as registrar at the college. It was there that she met her future husband, Dean Wellington, who had recently been discharged from the U.S. Marines. He was employed by Continental Can, but the company downsized. This proved advantageous because Dean then decided to go to college.