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Joyce E. Vanya
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Obituary for Joyce E. Vanya

Joyce E. Vanya passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at the age of 89, after a lengthy illness. She was a long-time resident of Waco, Texas. Services will be 11:30 a.m., Saturday, June 10, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey, with a short graveside service at Waco Memorial Park to follow. Visitation will be 6:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, June 9, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home.

Joyce Vanya was born to George F. and Elizabeth D. Davis on August 3, 1927, in Hardin, Texas. She was the fourth of six children born: Helen, Alta, Ford, Joyce, Roland, and Nial. She attended Hardin High School, and upon graduation, went to Mary-Hardin Baylor College. She married Joseph J. Vanya on May 26, 1946, and they transferred to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where Joyce graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education.

Joe began his career in the Air Force after World War II, and the couple was stationed in Guam, where they had their first child, Jill. Their second daughter, Joby, was born on Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts. The Vanya family was stationed in Texas, Colorado, Florida, Japan, and Panama, where they made and kept life-long friends. Joe retired from the Air Force in 1970, and the family moved to Waco. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband in April, 2001.

Joyce Vanya was a member of Richfield Christian Church. She enjoyed playing bridge, painting, and sewing. She taught school and worked as the secretary at Richfield Christian Church.

She is survived by her daughter, Jill Horner and her husband, Mike, and their son, Davis Horner; her daughter, Joby Bird and her husband, Andy, and their son, Aaron Bird and his wife, Jessica; her sister, Nial Catchings of Hardin; her sister-in-law, Joyce Davis of Hardin; and her nieces, nephews, and their families.

The family of Joyce Vanya would like to thank the nurses, social workers, and chaplain of Interim Hospice, who helped care for her through the past months. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to The Wounded Warrior Project or Richfield Christian Church. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Joyce E. Vanya, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home

6101 Bosque Blvd.
Waco, TX 76710





11:30 AM
Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home

6101 Bosque Blvd.
Waco, TX 76710

Cemetery Details


Waco Memorial Park

6623 South Interstate 35
Robinson, TX 76706


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