Joy Copeland Reynolds, BA ’74, died April 13 in Waco. She was born April 27, 1931, in New Willard, TX, the daughter of Charles Omer and Maud Alexander Copeland. She was a 1948 Livingston [TX] High School graduate, and she was honored as a Livingston High School Outstanding Graduate in 1995. Joy met the love of her life, Herbert H. Reynolds, MS ’58, PhD ’61, in 1947, and they married June 17, 1950. Joy was Herb’s biggest encourager and supporter for 60 years from the time they met until his 2007 death. She served faithfully alongside Herb during his 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force and his 38 years of service to Baylor. Joy was the Baylor First Lady from 1981 until 1995, and she fulfilled that role with boundless grace and energy. While Herb was in the Air Force, their family moved seven times from 1950 until they settled in Waco in 1969, but Joy always made sure their family had a comfortable home filled with love in each location. Joy was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Waco for over 50 years.
“Mrs. Reynolds dearly loved Baylor University,” President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., said. “We remember her as a gracious First Lady with a strong faith and servant’s heart who, alongside her husband, hosted many events in their home and created a welcoming spirit for generations of Baylor students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors from around the world. We give thanks for the extraordinary life and Christian legacy of Joy Reynolds, and we express our sincere condolences to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the entire Reynolds family.”
Joy was honored by the Baylor Chamber of Commerce in June 2001 with the naming of a bear cub. Today, Judge Joy Reynolds lives with her sister Judge “Lady” Sue Sloan in the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat on the Baylor campus. Tyler Sellers, BS ’02, MSEd ’05, was a student bear team member who brought the cub to meet her namesake for the first time at Joy’s home near campus.
“She’s meant so much to Baylor over the years,” Sellers said at the time. “She and Dr. Reynolds have done so much for Baylor and for Chamber that there was no hesitation.”
Joy is remembered by her family as a loving and encouraging mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her brothers Omer Copeland, Mann Copeland and D.J. Copeland; and her sisters Helen Copeland Ashworth, Emma Copeland and Erlene Copeland Wiese. She is survived by her children Kevin Reynolds, BBA ’74, JD ’76, and his wife Cathy, Kent Reynolds, BBA ’75, MBA ’76, and his wife Katy, BSEd ’75, and Rhonda Reynolds Winslett, BA ’83, MBA ’83, JD ’86, and her husband Greg; grandchildren Jonathan Reynolds, BA ’05, and wife Rebekah, Melinda Reynolds Kirkpatrick, BS ’06, and husband Steve, Sam Winslett, BA ’15, Nicole Reynolds, BBA ’08, Jake Winslett, Trey Winslett and Dylan Reynolds; great-grandchildren Haddie, Jude, Beckett, Lily and Poet; and sister-in-law Ann Reynolds Payne and her husband, Charles.