Joyce Ann Blackburn


Joyce Ann Blackburn was born on August 31, 1939, at Clarksburg, IN. She died on March 29, 2024, at age 84, following a very brief acute illness. She was the daughter of Simeon H. and Rosavie B. (nee Campbell) Blackburn.

Joyce earned her undergraduate degree in education at Indiana Central College (now known as University of Indianapolis) and a Masters of Education degree from Indiana University at Bloomington. She also had earned several credit hours towards a doctoral degree there before her increasing mobility issues curtailed that goal.

Joyce was a lifelong teacher; however, her schoolteaching career lasted 31 years. Her first teaching job was at Clifford, IN, where she taught third grade.

After getting her Master’s degree, she began teaching Special Education at Cross-Cliff Elementary. While at Cross-Cliff, she was instrumental in starting the Gifted and Talented Program there, and she was the first teacher in that program. Before her schoolteaching career ended, she also taught at Coulston Elementary in Shelbyville, and Waldron Elementary. In the 1960’s she taught Head Start in the summers.

There never has been a teacher alive who hated filling out report cards more than Joyce did! She firmly believed that “her boys and girls” each gave her his or her very best effort and that it was unfair to ask any more of any child.

Although she had no children of her own, she loved with a passion “her boys and girls” whom she taught. She also deserves credit for helping to raise her sister Janie and her elder niece Evelyn.

Joyce was an avid reader, enjoyed knitting, and was a basketball enthusiast. She was a member of the Rugby United Brethren in Christ Church (now known as Rugby Chapel). She also was a member of several educational organizations.

Joyce is survived by her sister Janie (Peter) Norberg, of Ferguson, MO, niece Evelyn Blackburn of Clifford, IN, niece Melissa (Nathaniel) Rockhill, of Fortville, IN, nephew Adam Blackburn Norberg, of Redmond, WA, and step-nephew Phillip (Linda) Galbraith of Columbus, IN. She also is survived by great-nieces Amelia Jean, Callista Susan, and Clare Margaret Rockhill, and great-nephew Benjamin Rockhill, all of Fortville, IN, and step-great-nephew Tyler Galbraith, of Columbus, IN. She is survived by numerous cousins as well.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Melvin E. Blackburn, sister-in-law Susan P. Blackburn, and ex-sister-in-law Betty Jo Canup.

Pallbearers for Joyce are Peter Norberg, Nathaniel Rockhill, Donald G. Sturgeon, Morris Jordan, Anthony Young, and S. E. Stutsman.

Honorary pallbearers are Danny Blackburn, Lynn Artis, Carl Dayton, Marvin Artis, Danny James, Tony McIntyre, Joseph Stafford, and Matt Nauer.

The family would like to thank the staff at Morning Breeze Retirement Community and Healthcare Center, Greensburg, IN, for the loving care which they provided Joyce for the last couple of years of her life.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations for Joyce can be made to the Rugby Chapel, at P.O. Box 186, Hope, IN 47246, Hauser Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 233, Hope, IN 47246, or a charity of one’s choice.

Visitation for Joyce will be on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at Norman Funeral Home in Hope, IN, beginning at 9:30 A.M. until 11 A.M., followed by the funeral at 11:00 A.M. Burial will follow at the Hope Moravian Cemetery.