Joy Elizabeth Kim
Joy Elizabeth Kim, teacher for Pendergast Elementary School District, went to be with her Lord on December 17, 2018 at her home in Buckeye, Arizona. Joy was the youngest child of Yung Gul and Elaine Virginia (Kroon) Kim. In addition to her parents, Joy leaves behind her brother Lynn, and sisters Dawn and Jeanne, nine nieces and nephews, over a dozen cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and coworkers.
Joy was born in Monterey Park, California on February 17, 1974. She grew up in suburban Los Angeles, often tagging along with one or more of her siblings, whether playing soccer, singing, or drawing. She loved walking along the beach and playing with children. After high school she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music, then a Master’s in Elementary Education. She taught in South Seattle for two years, then opted for a fresh start in Arizona. She taught piano at a music studio and enjoyed leading elementary band classes, writing original curriculum for rhythm training, even learning to play clarinet and trumpet to relate better to her students.
In addition to playing and writing music, Joy loved to paint. She said she preferred the vibrant hues of oil pastels to convey more intensity than watercolors could. In 2016 Joy finished what would be her last series of paintings entitled “Have You Walked in my Shoes?” Large oil-pastel drawings show different characters’ footwear, evoking musings of the unseen subjects’ backstory. One painting shows a soldier’s boots set next to an American flag. Earlier this year the VA Medical Center in Phoenix featured her work. For over a decade Joy volunteered on behalf of various art organizations: Gage Academy of Art, Phoenix Art Museum and Southwest Valley Literacy.
Joy served others as a devoted Christian, keenly attuned to the needs of others. She belonged to a “Ring of Friends” fellowship group that fit her early schedule; she also longed to be married and have her own family. Joy’s life ended too abruptly. We grieve her passing, “but not as those who have no hope,” (1 Thess. 4:13). We know she is finally free, experiencing what God designed her for: pure joy.
A Memorial Service is scheduled at 11 AM, Saturday, January 19, 2019, at Palm Valley Church (Goodyear Campus), 431 N Litchfield Road Goodyear, AZ 85338.