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Joy Ruth Formica

May 11, 1931 — January 17, 2024

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7

Joy Ruth Formica, 92 of Bluefield, WV, passed away peacefully Wednesday January 17, 2024 in Blacksburg, VA.  Born May 11, 1931, she was a daughter of the late Embrey and Flora May Ferrell of Keystone, WV.  She was a graduate of Northfork High School and McClain’s Business College in Bluefield and worked for many years in the business office at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bluefield, WV until her retirement.

She fondly and often spoke of her memories of being a camper and counselor at Camp Thomas E. Lightfoot while growing up in the coalfields of WV, making lifelong friends and cherished memories.  She eagerly loved to share stories and memories from wherever life took her, having chronicled many of those experiences with thousands of pictures taken over the years.  Myrtle Beach, SC was one of her favorite places to go and often she and husband Harry went multiple times a year, making friends from all over the U.S., having seldom met a stranger wherever they went.

A champion of her faith in Christ, she and Harry served Sacred Heart Catholic Church tirelessly and honorably over the years.  Serving in numerous areas of ministry, they were both instrumental figures in the Teens Encounter Christ program, honorably being named the “Grandmother and Grandfather” of T.E.C.  She was a gifted and talented vocalist, leading the congregation as a cantor for many years as well.

She was a committed and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.  Her smile was endless and her laugh contagious.  She truly embodied what it meant to live a meaningful life and inspired so many to pursue it as she did.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 63 years, Harry Gene Formica, mother-in-law Pearl Vasvary Formica, brothers Billy and Carlos (Doodie) Ferrell, sisters Betty Compton and Sue Constantino, brothers-in-law Clifford Compton, Joe Constantino, Phillip Formica, Richard (Dick) Bedra, and sister-in-law Ethel Formica.  She was the last surviving member of her immediate family.

Those left to cherish her memory include her daughter Pamela Miller of Bluefield, VA, son Randall Formica and wife Debbie of Christiansburg, VA, grandchildren Ainsley Miller of Bluefield, VA, Michael Formica of Christiansburg, VA, and Ryan Miller and wife Melanie of Bluefield, VA, great-grandchildren Ava Miller and Mason Caldwell of Bluefield, VA, sister-in-law Mary Ann Bedra of Warren, MI, and hosts of nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends also survive.  She will be remembered for her warm, loving, kind, and generous nature.  Just like her given name, she will be most remembered for the Joy she carried and spread with all whom she met.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 5-7 pm on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at Cravens-Shires Funeral Home in Bluewell, WV.  A Christian wake service will begin at 6:30 pm.

A mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 11:00 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bluefield, WV with the Reverend Sebastian Devasya officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bluewell, WV where friends and family will serve as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Sacred Heart Church Food Pantry, 1003 Wyoming Street Bluefield, WV, 24701. 


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

5:00 - 6:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Prayer Service

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Starts at 6:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

1003 Wyoming Street, Bluefield, WV 24701

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