JOYCE MURPHY GREGORY
AUGUST 12, 1938 – OCTOBER 17, 2021
Joyce Murphy Gregory departed this life for her eternal home on Sunday, October 17, 2021.
She was the youngest child born to the union of Charles and Enda (Phelps) Murphy on August 12, 1938 in Somerset, Kentucky.
She is survived by her three children and their families, Katie Gregory Slone (Kevin); Jenny Gregory Cothron (Jeff) and Thomas Allen Gregory (Susan); five grandchildren, Jacob Ryan Cothron; Tyler Gregory Wood; Mason Thomas Gregory; Emma Elizabeth Gregory; and Jaycee Reese Cothron. She is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and their children, along with her loving care-giver, Patricia Estrada.
She is predeceased by her husband, Allen H. Gregory, M.D., whom she married on August 21, 1967. She is also predeceased by her parents, and her siblings, Evelyn Murphy, Robert Murphy, Mary Jo Sharpe, and her twin brother Jack Murphy.
When she turned 16, she worked for J.J. Newberry’s on Saturdays until she graduated from Somerset High School in 1956. When she was 17, she began working for Robert McCloud M.D. doing “nursing” work. She mixed medicines, gave shots and allergy tests, and made house calls. After three to four years, she worked for WFSC Radio and wrote commercials. When the time changed in the city and not the county, she wanted to work on city time, so she went to work for Kentucky Utilities as secretary to then district manager Albert Kopenhafer. During this time, Joyce also served as a Sunday School Teacher for preteen girls at First Baptist Church, where she was a member since fifth grade (72 years on October 20). She loved her Sunday School Class and always said she had the very best students. She had fun with her girls taking them on picnics, cookouts, and skiing on the lake.
Upon her marriage to Allen, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky so that he could attended and graduate medical school. While there, Joyce worked for the Department of Mental Health. Also, while there, Katie, Jenny, and Tommy were born. After returning to Somerset, Joyce served as PTA President for Porter Hopkins Elementary School, she organized a school trip to the 1982 World’s Fair and was Band Booster President for Somerset High School.
Joyce served as President of the Kentucky Medical Auxiliary and was Kentucky Health Chairman for the American Medical Auxiliary. She was elected to the Burnside City Council from 1999 through 2002 and again from 2011 through 2016 as well as contributing her time to the Burnside Planning and Zoning Committee. She served and traveled with Allen in the local Masonic Lodge and Oleika Shrine for many years and was a Past First Lady as Allen served as Potentate of the Oleika Shrine for Kentucky.
She took her first international mission trip in 2009 to China. She organized the donations of eye glasses where she distributed and performed mission work through eye glasses ministry. Several other international mission trips followed. In May of 2010 she ministered in Trinidad, and September 2010 she ministered in India. She traveled back to India and then to China in April and May of 2011. In China, she was able to go into the schools and teach “conversational English” to the students, using oversized photographs of her family. Again, she ministered in China March 2012. July and August of 2013, she travelled to Brazil and ministered along the Amazon River, sleeping each night on an open air boat in a hammock. Her last mission trip was in 2014 in China. She made many friends during her mission trips and was always planning for the next. She made sure to pack extra clothes to leave with the mothers and their daughters who were always so grateful.
She loved her family and her friends, especially her Boxer, Molly. She never met a stranger. She was always confident in her beliefs. She loved to read, cook, travel, plan events, and host others. She could always find a “bargain” and loved Christmas. She was an excellent spouse and mother, always putting her family’s needs before her own. She will forever remain with love in our hearts as “Mom,” “MiMi,” and “Jo Jo.”
Services for Mrs. Gregory will be held Friday, October 22, 2021, at the First Baptist Church of Somerset, Kentucky, Visitation Will begin at 11:00 AM with funeral services to follow at 1:00 PM. with burial in the Somerset Cemetery.
Pulaski Funeral Home is honored to be entrusted with the arrangements for Mrs. Joyce Gregory.