Rev. Joy Dale was born, Joy McAtee, on December 25, 1927 in Schenectady, NY to Raymond and Irene McAtee (deceased). Joy grew up with her younger sister Lynn, attended grade school, then graduated from Nott High School in 1942. She attended Ohio Wesleyan Women’s College during the WWII years, joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Liberal Arts. She met her 1st husband, David Pierce Ogden, during her university studies and married him on June 13, 1950. Joy spent 20 years homemaking and raising her three children, while being active in her community, Unitarian Universalist (UU) church and moving around the nation with her husband. Her marriage ended in the early 1970’s.
As a single parent, Joy was loving and caring for her three teenagers, David, Sally and Neil, who each graduated from several major universities. Joy became a social worker in Chicago, IL to support her family, where she counseled people, helped find suitable parents for foster children, and supported local Head Start programs. Joy married Earl Stigger in 1979. She and Earl travelled the world and were active in the Chicago area community helping the disadvantaged. They moved to the Washington, DC area in 1982 to continue their adventures. Joy became involved in local UU churches and other regional community activities helping the disadvantaged. Joy was a docent at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC for 25 years. Her marriage to Earl ended in the mid-1990s.
Joy met William B. Dale (Bill) at the River Road UU church and married him in 2001. Joy was an active member of the River Road UU church until 2016, when her health declined. Joy received her Master of Divinity Degree from Harvard University in 2004. She began to minister to her community and continued helping the disadvantaged. She went on to earn her Doctor of Theology in 2006, becoming Doctor Reverend Joy Dale at the young age of 79. Joy provided comfort, death and dying counselling at local hospitals, helped feed those in need, and traveled the world with Bill. Joy performed many marriages, some memorial services, and provided death and dying counselling to patients in local hospitals during the 2000’s and 2010’s. Joy and Bill were members of the Cosmos Club in D.C. She and Bill spent summers in the San Diego, CA area visiting with friends and Sally’s family.
Joy loved all people, music, dancing, helping the disadvantaged, politically championed humanitarian ideologies (she helped now Senator Chris Van Hollen win his first election to US Congress), hated war, loved education and learning. Joy served on the board of directors for Montgomery County public libraries, kept a “Black Lives Matter” sign on her front door for years, advocated for a living wage, and supported food for the needy. Joy and Bill gave generously to numerous charities around the world annually. Joy was a loving and caring person.
Joy was hospitalized for COVID-19 on May 16, 2020. She died of complications on May 27, 2020. Joy is survived by her 3 children, David, Sally and Neil, 3 grandchildren, Rachel, Adam, Pierce, and her great granddaughter Natalie. We will keep you lovingly in our hearts. We will all miss Joy.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Joy's name may be made to the organizations listed below.
Rise Against Hunger
44645 Guilford Dr., Suite 210, Ashburn VA 20147
American Civil Liberties Union
National Bail Fund Network
Stand With Bandcamp to Support Racial Justice, Equality and Change