Joy Allaby

June 30, 1931March 10, 2012

Delivered into the loving arms of Jesus, surround by her family on March 10, 2012 at the Willowgrove Long Term Care Facility. Beloved wife of Al Allaby. Loving mother of Chris (Cheryl) and Kevin. Cherished grandmother of Michelle (Ken), Michael, Connor, Cailyn, Cherith and Carson. Special thanks to the caring and dedicated staff of the Willowgrove for their tender care and compassion. A celebration of Joy's life will be held at Harmony Baptist Church (1763 Upper James Street) on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 3 p.m. with a reception following in the church hall. On line tributes and condolences can be made at


  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 17, 2012

Joy Allaby

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Pat Glaves

March 17, 2012

Thinking about you all at this sad time. We remember Joy's advice -don't have a Sundae without a cherry on top!! Friends, Jack and Pat Glaves

Ken Allaby

March 17, 2012

So saddenned .REST IN PEACE AUNT JOY . Condolences to Al and Kevin ,Chris , and thier family XOXO . Joy will be missed by many . take care Ken, And Bernice

Walter Palakovic

March 16, 2012

I am so sorry for your loss my dear brother Al. I remember Joy as having an awesome sense of humour. I am sure she is laughing up in heaven with the Lord.

Christa Bartlett

March 15, 2012

Uncle Alden, Chris & Kevin,

I was so sorry to hear about Aunt Joy - I have fond memories of visiting your home as a child, and also out at Aunt Carol's place. Praying you experience God's comfort in tangible ways in the days ahead.

In His love, Christa & Jay
Eph. 3:16-21

March 15, 2012

Dear Al I was saddened to hear of your dear wife Joys passing.We know she is in the loving arms of Jesus completely healed and dancing on the streets that are golden. May Holy Spirit comfort you and the family as you remember the good times of your memories with Joy .I have been in Florida for 2 months so havent seen you at Eagle ww or city wide prayer .your sister in Christ Judi Moffat

Hazel Dean

March 15, 2012

My Prayers and Love are with you Al . Peace to your Heart at this time , as you walk out the loss of your Beloved Wife Joy.We know she is in a better place , walking the streets paved with gold ! Branching Love , Hazel Joy

Beth Bartlett

March 15, 2012

Uncle Al,Chris, Kevin and family members.
God Bless you at this time.
Love Beth, Blair, Ben,Nate,Rebecca, Zech Bartlett


March 15, 2012

Beautiful Joy. Always smiling and beautiful even when in pain. Thanks Joy for being you. love, Barbara

Carol & Ken Smith

March 15, 2012

Joy would have loved this site and all the beautiful pictures. She was just so much in pain but feel for you Alden and Kevin and family and Chris and Cheryl and family - Joy loved her grandkids so much! I will miss my wonderful sister-in-law so much too. Love, Carol, Ken, David, Terry, Kenny, Taylor, Kelvin, Holly and Lee. God bless!!

Hanekakmp Nicole

March 14, 2012

Grace and Peace to you all ! May God's Spirit be your strength in this season. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted. Please let me know if there is anything I can help with okay Al ?


Remembering Joy Allaby (from Joy's memorial service, read by Cheryl Allaby)

Joy was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, daughter to Doris and Frank Millhench, both originally from Lancashire England, they originally met on the boat to Canada. She had a younger sister Audrey, who predeceased her. Her early childhood was spent on her grandfather’s farm which was on the east side of what is now Upper James Street, just north of the link. Times were financially tough, but later when her father secured a job at the post office the family was able to move into their own home which they had built on Kingsway Drive just south of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Joy wasn’t enrolled into school until she was 7, apparently her parents forgot to do this earlier, and as she was tall for he age anyway, very shy and wore thick glasses she experienced a lot of teasing. She quit school after only a couple days of high school, enrolling in a business college secretarial course which she excelled at, she was always a terrific speller and good with words. After this she worked at city hall in birth registrations and for various insurance companies. It was at city hall that she found new friends and enjoyed camaraderie with the “girls in the office”. One of those women got her interested in the tiger cats and she became a die hard life long fan, and of course an Argonaut hater. If the cats won Joy was happy, if not, her mood was not so good for awhile. Recently in the longterm care facility one of Joy’s care givers, Chris, who shared her love for the cats would hang the ti-cat flag on her door and make sure she had her cats hat on to watch games if he was working on a game day.
She married Al in 1955, they met on the beach in Hamilton, married and had 2 sons Chris and Kevin. She and Al initially lived in an apartment on Cumberland Avenue but bought their first house in a new area on the Hamilton Mountain, West 31st Street for $12,700 in 1957, and this included new sod and the inside painted which was uncommon in those days. Later they moved to Tyrone Drive. The house was Joy’s domain. She was a perfectionist and liked everything to be in order and neat. Joy despised clutter and was quite merciless with throwing things away, a trait which carried on throughout her life. Al still laments that she threw out his army trumpet, which he also insists he once could play although Joy doubted this. Al is a saver and a collector, rarely willingly disposing of anything and this caused some inevitable friction, funny how we marry our opposites. In later years when Rheumatoid arthritis gradually robed Joy of her physical abilities there were places in the house that she just couldn’t navigate to. Al would often talk about Joy being healed from her RA and we joked with him that if she got healed and could walk down the stairs to the basement and saw how much stuff he had stored down there, he would be in big trouble!
When Joy did something, she liked to do it well and always gave it her best. One role she took very seriously was raising her boys, she read all the parenting books of the day including Dr. Spock and set out to create positive memories for her sons. When Chris got a concussion and lost a lot of his childhood memories Joy said it just wasn’t fair that she’d worried and fretted all those years for nothing. Recently one of her sons friends commented on how tolerant Joy was of the loud music their band played in the basement. She wasn’t really much for roughing it outdoors but even tried camping a couple times. The Allaby and Baxter families went to Waterford conservation area almost every Sunday after church in the summers and always stopped at Hewitt’s Dairy for ice cream on the way there and on the way home.
Joy was quiet and reserved, rarely calling attention to herself, but she had no lack of abilities. She was creative and took up oil painting in her 40’s initially taking lessons with her father who started painting in his 70’s. After that she painted many pictures, almost all in her characteristic realistic style, priding herself in getting it just right and disappointed if it didn’t come out picture perfect. She particularly loved to paint flowing garments which can be seen in many of her paintings. She gave quite a few away, sometimes painting specific themes for people and also sold some but many hang in their home. She was an prolific crocheter, she and Al sold or gave away hundreds of crocheted duck soap holders. Blue “blankie”, which she crocheted for Connor before he was born lives on today.
Joy served her church, having dedicated her life to following Jesus in the early 1960’s under the ministry of Ed and Elizabeth Barton at Westmount Baptist Church. She lead the women’s bible study in the 1990’s and was also a deacon. She and Al held bible studies in their home and attended various small fellowship groups faithfully for years. Her faith in God was strong and although she often questioned why she was burdened with arthritis, she remained firm in her beliefs.
She had a flair for writing and drama and at one time wrote stories which she read or performed at various church events. Her stories were humorous and poignant. Recently she had Cailyn write up her memories of working at city hall and it was published along with stories of others in the Spectator. Connor also remembers her for the great stories, that she told her grandchildren, often of events in her life. She had a dry sense of humour, could laugh at herself and liked it when people laughed and joked with her. She always read the readers digest humour sections, newspaper funnies and other humorous articles. She also liked mystery, read Agatha Christie novels and watched “Murder She Wrote” and Columbo. She enjoyed James Bond movies. She read the Spec cover to cover almost every day and did the crosswords. She loved to play games, including Shanghai Rummy and spent many hours playing scrabble and upwards with friends and family. She was usually up for a game of something and to this day my children share Joy’s love of games. Many jigsaw puzzles were also put together by Joy and Al and any family or friends who dropped by also helped.
Some of her cooking and baking recipes were passed on to me and are still favorites of her sons and her grandchildren, scalloped potatoes, shepherd’s pie, rice pudding and deep dish apple pie. Of course she had to cook without onions which Al despised but she found creative ways to add flavour. We’ve since learned that if you cut the onions very, very small he doesn’t realize they are there. Joy herself was an extremely finicky eater, with definite likes and dislikes. She would not try things she didn’t think she liked. One thing she said she would never eat was yogurt and although we told her frozen yogurt was just like ice cream she refused to try it. During a family dinner one year Chris and I put frozen vanilla yogurt on her apple pie and served it to her. We had carefully switched the container so it said ice cream. She ate it without comment appearing to enjoy every bite, but as none of us could keep a completely straight face she eventually caught on and never fell for that again, and of course after the fact said she knew there was something wrong with the ice cream, it didn’t taste right. She loved fruit, especially watermelon, grapes and strawberries but the watermelon had to be the perfect ripeness, the grapes firm and juicy and strawberries sweet, we could all pick out fruit Joy would enjoy and knew what not to bother with. It was a rare day if her egg was done just right. Chris heard a radio program recently with an expert talking about taste buds, apparently most of us have an average number and can’t really discriminate between say a very fine wine and a mediocre one, only a few have a greater number of taste buds and can tell the difference. We think that had Joy not been a tea totaling Baptist she might have had an auspicious career in wine tasting.
Joy appreciated beautiful things, she loved Royal Doulton figurines and her father brought them back to her from England, just in his suitcase, how they ever arrived
unbroken, we’ll never know. Her sons had no interest in them and she hoped she would get a daughter-in-law to whom she could pass them on but when neither of us were interested either, she made a list of who she would give them to. I think Al may still be looking for that.
Her appreciation for beauty extended to gardening and when she was able did most of the work herself, probably party due to her perfectionist tendencies, no-one could do it to her satisfaction. Her perfectionism was deeply ingrained. When she couldn’t get the back lawn to stay perfect, she had Al put in patio stones, when the flowering crab tree made a mess of the patio stones she had Al cut it down and used the trunk as a flower pot stand. When she couldn’t bend down to get the stray grass out between the patio stones she supervised while others did it. Eventually she couldn’t get out in the back easily and Al kept flowering pots at the side of the house so she could enjoy them from her chair at the kitchen table where she always sat. Of course she was always at Al and the rest of us to dead head the petunias and trim the geraniums. When she moved to Willowgrove, she claimed the small garden outside her room window and directed Al and her sons and grandchildren to keep it to her specifications, complete with hanging pots, flowers transplanted from home, bird houses, garden ornaments and decretive rocks. She enjoyed many hours in the courtyard near her garden. She also lamented at what a poor job she felt the home did with keeping up the rest of the gardens. Had they just made her the boss over a gardener, I’m quite sure she would have had that place in top shape in no time although the gardener might have keeled over from exhaustion.
Joy was kind and generous and when she smiled, her face lit up and the world seemed a little brighter. When she could no longer do things for herself, she had a low tolerance for people who rushed her or didn’t do things the way she wanted them done but when you got it right or even just made an sincere effort, she was deeply appreciative and that smile was a precious reward for your efforts. She had a soft spot for plush stuffed animals which her grandchildren also loved. It was her 3 younger grandchildren’s habit to kiss her on the nose, I’m not sure how this started but it carried on to her last days.
While one would never have said that Joy willingly embraced change, she had to accept many losses in life and although this was very difficult for her, once she came to terms with things, she never looked back. Although her domain got smaller over time, she wanted things orderly, balanced and free of clutter, when something was no longer useful to her, she threw it out or gave it away.
Joy was loved by many people, her husband, her children and grandchildren, many friends and extended family as well as care-givers. She’ll be missed, we’ll be reminded of her in the days to come, think of her at odd times, and we will cherish her now silent presence in our lives but we are can be comforted by the confidence and knowledge that we will see her again and that she is free from pain and suffering in her eternal life with Jesus. She was ready to leave us.

Grandma's Story (published in the Hamilton Spectator 2010)

Life is not the same today as it was when I was a young girl. It was the year 1948 and I just turned sixteen. It was then that I told my parents that I didn't want to go to school anymore. Back then you were allowed, once sixteen, to stop going to school as long as you took a business course. So that's what I did. I enrolled at Canada's Business College and completed a six moth business course with flying folours. I never said that Iwas stupid, but being painfully shy, I was always teased and picked on by others at school, so naturally I wanted to get away from all that.

I got my first job in 1948 at the old city hall as a clerk, making a hefty fifteen dollars a week. I was responsible for going through all the birth and death certificates; making sure the information was right, the spelling was correct. On more than a few occasions, looking through the birth certificates, I would come across names like Billy or Tommy or Candy. Often what happend is parents registered the names of their newborns, unaware that would be their official name for the rest of their lives. While Tommy is cute for a child, just wait until he's 51 and see how he likes it. There is one name that I will never forget. Once cold, winter day a name cought my attention as I was filing through the birth registrations. Her last name was "Hog". Before I even looked at the first name, I thought, "The poor child". Then I glanced over at her first name: Ima. The poor thing's name was Ima Hog. I thought "This can't be right". I called up the parents of the victim. "Good afternoon, this is the clerk's office from City Hall. I'm just making sure that the name (Ima Hog) for your newborn if correct?" Her mother agreed that is was in fact correct. We clerks in the office laughed about that one for a long while.

After working in the clerk's office for a couple of years, I moved to a different department in City Hall, working for a new boss, Mr. Berry. He hada gruff tone, Mr. Berry did and an irritable disposition. I was absolutely terrified of the man. I triend everything I could to please him, but will, that always seemed to get me into more trouble. Mr Berry was also a mild sexist. I guess, in in 1950 quite a few people were. He told me the first day i came in that if I got married I could say goodbye to my job.

As I was a good speller, I was put to work in writing up letters for this and that. While writing up a letter one day, I came across the work "infallible". Unsure of the correct spelling, I spelt it was best i could, but unfortunately for me, I got it wrong. Mr. Berry flipped his lid, screaming and yelling, telling me I was supposed to be a good secretary. The next day, feeling quite dreadful, I returned to the office, where I was told by my boss that I shouldn't bother coming back because I was fired. I guess I wasn't infallible after all.

The old City Hall was the place where I worked. But more than that, it was the place where I learned life changing lessons. Writing this, the memories all rush back to me, filling me with bittersweet thought: the feeling of finally being accepted by thoers, letting my guard downas I cried all the way home after the incidedt with Mr. Berry, laughing with the firls in the clerk's office. Looking at the picture of old city hall in the paper, it feels as if nothing has changed. As if, tomorrow i would be taking the trolley to the clerk's office, eager to see the strange names that woudl appear on some birth certificated. City Hall may look different now, but in my heart, it's still the same. 

Joy's Biography

“Seeing is believing.” For many, those words simply represent a motto. But for Joy Allaby, it summarized in every way who she was. She was modest, quiet and observant, taking in everything around her and always thinking before acting. She was a realist, someone who was efficient and practical in everything she did. She was a friendly person who truly cared about those around her.

      Joy was born on June 30, 1931 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, ON. She was the daughter of Frank and Doris (Whalley) Millhench. Frank worked for the post office in downtown Hamilton. Raised in Hamilton, ON, she was brought up to be tolerant and trustworthy. As a child, she learned to be conscientious, responsible and punctual. These were all traits that she would carry with her throughout her life.

      As a young girl, Joy was always aware of how others around her felt and this quality served her well. With a deep capacity to tolerate the feelings of others, Joy was generally able to avoid conflicts. It seemed as if Joy was the family member who was always working to keep stress at bay. Preferring a quiet environment where she could concentrate, Joy also had the ability to relate well with her family and friends. She had one younger sister, Audrey.

      Growing up, Joy was one of those children who didn’t need to be in the center of a whirlwind of activity. She was content to entertain herself. Joy was never pushy when it came to games and other activities, but rather, she was able to enjoy the pure fun these could bring. In just about everything she did as a child, Joy was intent on pleasing both the adults and the other children around her. She Joy wasn't very sports inclined. She lived on her grandparents farm (which was on Upper James, north of the Linc) as a young girl and didn't get enrolled for school until age 7. For most of public school she went to Queen Victoria Public School, after moving with her parent and sister to Kingsway Drive in Hamilton.

      Joy enjoyed learning. She always had a great memory and was particularly skilled at retaining factual information. Joy was generally quiet in class, learning best through observation. She often showed great concentration and was competent at completing the tasks at hand. Good with details, Joy was painstaking and accurate in her efforts. She graduated from Canada Business College in 1948.

      Love can’t be defined but must be experienced. That was so true for Joy. On December 6, 1955. Joy met Al through her sister's first husband on the beach at the Beach Strip Hamilton. Joy married Alden (Al) Allaby at Trinity Baptist Church of Hamilton, Ontario. They lived on Cumberland Avenue until just before Chris was born. They paid 12,700 for their first home, 92 West 31st, in 1957, which included painting the inside and sod. They then moved to 34 Tyrone in 1967.

      Joy was a good mother to her children. She had “old fashioned” parental values and could handle typical family conflicts in a fair and calm manner. Because she trusted emotions, Joy was reluctant to force issues and used gentle persuasion to resolve situations. In this way she seemed to radiate an aura of warmth and caring to those around her, always thinking before acting. In addition, Joy was a master planner. No matter how hectic life around her might be, she seemed to know and track everyone’s schedule. Joy was blessed with two children, two sons, Chris (1957) and Kevin (1960). They were also blessed with six, Michelle, Michael (Kevin and Pam - now divorced), Connor, Cailyn, Cherith, Carson (Chris and Cheryl).

      If you gave Joy a deadline, she would meet it. At work, Joy was always on task. Without hesitation, Joy could adhere to any assignment and see it through to its completion. Her primary occupation was clerical/secretarial. She was employed by Hamilton City Hall, Travellers Insurance, Canada Permanent Trust, Dundurn Castle, North American Life in the Pigott Building and was know as a dependable worker.

      Joy liked to experience things first hand, in addition to simply learning about them. This quality influenced Joy's choice of leisure time activities. A methodical and patient worker, Joy preferred to set aside uninterrupted time to work on her hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were painting and crocheting. She enjoyed watching James Bond movies and reading. Joy was content to sit quietly alone, enjoying her hobbies by herself or with a few close friends.

       She enjoyed board games and jigsaw puzzels as well. She was not a big sports fan but enjoyed watching her Hamilton Tiger Cats whenever she got the opportunity.

      Due to her excellent organizational skills, Joy was a welcome addition to the community organizations to which she belonged. Joy could bring established, successful methods to the discussion table, along with a generous helping of common sense. She took painting lessons in 1970's initially with her father, then at the Alberton Seniors Centre (1980's) and from that became an avid painter.

            An individual who respected and maintained traditional values, her faith was important to Joy. Her compassion, consideration and sympathy toward others was evident in her personal beliefs. She went to Anglican Sunday School then St. Andrews Presbyterian Chruch with her mother as a child and teen. She committed her life to Christ under the ministry of Edward and Elizabeth Barton at Westmount in the early 1960's. She was a member Westmount Baptist Church and Harmony Baptist Chruch, Hamilton. She was Deacon in 1980's at Westmount Baptist. Also attended Bethel Pentacostal Church and West Highland Baptist Chruch in the 1970's.

      Anyone who traveled or went on vacation with Joy had smooth sailing. It was often taken for granted that she was the trip planner. She would start early and examine all of the possibilities, selecting the best and most effective options. Favorite vacations included Florida (later after the boys were grown) and she and Al went to California to visit Al's sister Peg. They enjoyed Fern Resort, Orillia in the Summers and Niagara Falls for weekend get aways.

Unfortunatly Joy was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 55 and she was forced to scale back her activities. Joy loved her grandchildren and she found new pleasure in playing a lot of board games with them and with friends Annette and Heather, who came to visit as she was mainly homebound. She was cared for by her faithful and devoted husband for many years. She moved to a long term facility at the age of 73 when her care needs became unmanageable at home. Some of her friends at the home were Anna, Marlene, Kay and Linda. Al visited regularly, always supplying her with fresh fruit, oatmeal raisin cookies and other treats. Many family events were held at the Willowgrove over her years there. She had an electric wheelchair which afforded her increased independence in mobility.
Joy passed away on March 10, 2012 at The Willowgrove Long Term Care Facility, Ancaster, ON. due to progressive disability from rheumatoid arthritis.

      It is said that some people can’t see the forest for the trees. Joy was able to focus on each individual tree, tending to its needs, thus making the forest stronger as a whole. Joy was a trustworthy, pragmatic and sympathetic person, the kind of woman to whom everyone was drawn. She was thorough and practical. Joy Allaby was very literal with her words. You always knew where you stood with Joy. She will be missed.