Clarinda “Joy” Bryan Longworth, 95, affectionately known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as “Mamama,” passed away Sunday, June 16, 2019, at her Virginia Beach home. Joy was born Dec. 19, 1923, in Norfolk to the late Mary Clarinda Bryan and Clarence Gatewood Bryan.
Joy graduated from Maury High School and went on to attend the College of William & Mary. She married William “Bill” Hurst Longworth, also a native of Norfolk. She was a military spouse through World War II and the Korean conflict. This August, Joy and Bill would have celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary.
Joy was a devoted mother and wife, and also through the years, taught math, biology and chemistry at Cox High School in Virginia Beach. During football season, she could often be found serving in the concession stand. She had a special soft spot in her heart for teens.
Joy was a longstanding member of Francis Asbury United Methodist Church. She loved Jesus and loved her church. She volunteered in the YES Club, taught Sunday school, was a member of the Davis, Meekins, Petre Circle, volunteered in the kitchen cooking and arranged flowers. She had a heart for others that was evident in her church and community volunteer outreach.
Joy served as a board member for Central State Hospital in Petersburg. She was an active member of Women of Wesleyan Virginia Wesleyan University. She and Bill also teamed up to support the Virginia Beach Youth Detention Center, The Agape Children’s Center, The Tidewater Winds, Methodist Children’s Home and crisis response for the Virginia Beach Department of Social Services. Joy was a woman of multiple giftings. She was a talented floral designer, seamstress, event planner, teacher and fundraiser. One of Joy’s greatest pleasures was cooking a wonderful meal and bringing family and friends to the table.
Along with her parents, Joy was preceded in death by her grandmother, Minnie Johnson Leggett; mother, Elnora Bryan; and sisters, Jane Bryan Alverson and Eleanor Anderson.
She is survived by her husband, William “Bill” Longworth; daughters, Linda Adams, and her husband, Michael Adams, of Roanoke, Jackie Longworth of Virginia Beach, Nance Longworth, and her husband, Michael Thomas, of Cornelius; son, William “Bill” Longworth of Nags Head, North Carolina; sisters, Shirley Bryan Peele, and her husband, Larry, and Janet Hughes; brothers, Stanley Bryan, and his wife, Marvourneen, and Eugene Bryan, and his wife, Doris; grandchildren, Ryan, and his wife, Suzanne, Brooke Ward, Tyler Thomas and Travis, and his wife, Kelly Ann; and great-grandchildren, Gabriella Mercedes, Lilli Mercedes and Katie Adams.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to Cozy Care and the CNAs, Tanisha, Amy, Angel and Chernise, who so lovingly took care of “Mrs. Joy.” Also, we extend special thanks to Bon Secours Hospice, Amy, Sherry, Leanne, Christina, Mary, William and Cairey, who cared for Joy and the family over the last month.
Services will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 22, at Francis Asbury United Methodist Church, 1871 Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, with a private graveside service. A reception will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Agape Christian Children’s Center by contacting Barbara Mason, Treasurer, P. O. Box 704, Chincoteague, VA 23336; or Francis Asbury United Methodist Church, Youth Ministry, 1871 Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23454.
Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.