Joy Eberspacher Sovde

February 24, 1934May 12, 2020

COLUMBIA – Joy Eberspacher Sovde, 86, passed away on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. She was born in 1934 and raised in West St. Paul, Minnesota. She married and moved with her family to South Carolina in 1967, first to Rock Hill and then to Columbia.

In addition to being an avid sports mom, Joy coordinated a statewide coalition to equalize public school funding throughout the state as a volunteer for the League of Women Voters. She became president of the League and a member of the national board and was a state delegate to the National Conference on Women in 1977.

When employed, Joy was a consultant for the Joint Legislative Committee on School Finance, assistant director for SC Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, and interim director at the Capital Senior Center (now called Lourie Center). She also developed a program called Success By Six when working for the United Way of the Midlands that stressed the importance of pre-school learning, parent involvement and excellence in childcare. For her work on behalf of children, she was awarded the Order of Palmetto by Governor Jim Hodges. After retiring, Joy continued her support of children by working with the Logan Lap Quilters to supply quilts for Ronald McDonald House and the neonatal unit at Palmetto Richland Hospital, as well as making Quilts of Valor for service members.

Joy is survived by her three sons, David Sovde (Cindy), Jon Sovde, and Steven Sovde; daughter, Susan Sovde Mangum; and five grandchildren, Travis Sovde, Nicole Sovde, Cameron Butters-Sovde, Logan and Preston Mangum; and one great-grandchild, Finn Sovde. Also surviving is her brother, Gary Eberspacher (Jane).

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Joy’s name to the League of Women Voters, PO Box 8453, Columbia, SC 29202, the Lourie Center, or Logan Lap Quilters in care of the Lourie Center, 1650 Park Circle, Columbia, SC 29201.

Memories may be shared at


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, October 31, 2020


Joy Eberspacher Sovde

have a memory or condolence to add?

Judith Thompson

May 17, 2020

Joy was a joy to know and work with for many years through the LWV in Columbia and at the State level. She was bright and most capable and fun to work with. My thoughts and sympathies go to her children.

Robin Lupia

May 16, 2020

Joy will be missed by her quilt friends. She was prolific in making charity quilts. She would present for Show and Tell from a few quilts to 10+ quilts of all sizes. I was inspired by her dedication to make these quilts and try to do a better job myself. She was in the Monday quilting group where we shared our individual projects and enjoyed her feedback. I will miss seeing her on Monday’s whenever we get to meet again!

Elizabeth Long

May 15, 2020

Joy will certainly be missed by the members of Logan Lap Quilters. Joy always had show and tell of the many charity quilts she made. She was certainly talented with her quilting. RIP Joy.

Suzanne Greene-Goodman

May 15, 2020

To the Sovde Family. Please accept my sincere condolences. My relationship with Joy was relatively short but in the time i was privileged to know her i cared for and respected her immensely. She was a most honest, loving & sincere woman. RIP Joy. Suzanne & Ray Goodman

Faye Brown

May 13, 2020

I had many enjoyable trips with Joy. My most favorable was to Alaska. We had a wonderful time together. She dearly loved Alaska and wanted to return to spend the following summer there. She will be remembered for her sweet warm smile and bubbly personality.