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Dr. Joy Eugene Whitener
Dr. Joy Eugene Whitener, 94, of Columbia passed away on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.
Visitation was from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at Follis Funeral Home in Fredericktown. Services were held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Marquand Methodist Church in Marquand, followed by burial at the Whitener Cemetery.
Joy was born on Feb. 8, 1919, on a farm near Marquand to Lester and Norma Whitener.
Throughout his life education was at the center. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Southeast Missouri State in 1942, a master's degree in school administration at the University of Missouri in 1952 and his doctorate at Washington University in St. Louis in 1965.
Joy's pursuit of education was paralleled by the progression of his career. He began as a teacher in one-room rural schools located in Madison County. From 1940 to 1942, he was elementary principal in his hometown of Marquand, followed by a year as principal in Chaffee.
He became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he served as superintendent of schools in Marquand, Alton, Louisiana, Mo., and Kewanee, Ill., and as an assistant superintendent in Webster Groves.
In 1965, he accepted the position of professor of education and dean of the Evening College at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Upon retirement, he became professor emeritus and in 1990 was awarded the university system's coveted Thomas Jefferson Award, which recognizes individuals who "rise above excellence and demonstrate clear distinction."
He is survived by his beloved wife of 73 years, Jean Lee Whitener; and two children, Joy "Doc" Jr. (Mary) Whitener and Judy (Richard) Rush; and a brother, Don Harold. Survivors also include 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Joy was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Don R. Whitener; brothers, Milford, Ray, Floyd and Gerald; his sister, Mildred; and his grandson, Tom.
At various times in his life, Joy was active in the Masons, Rotary and Sons of the American Revolution, and was a long-standing member of the Methodist Church.
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