Joye Murchison Kelly
April 4, 1924 – April 5, 2021
Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly, of Winter Haven Florida passed away April 5, 2021 one day after her 97th Birthday with her much loved husband Jack Kelly by her side.
Our mother was a true Wonder Woman in all respects.
Joye was born and raised in Long Island, New York. She Attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, NY, and graduated from Katherine Gibbs school in NY City. While at Katherine Gibbs school she came to the attention of Dr. William Moulton Marston, a famed psychologist, writer, inventor, lawyer, and professor of her psychology class. He had just created Wonder Woman and was inundated with requests for more comic strips. He hired Mom, age 19, to write Wonder Woman scripts as soon as she graduated from Gibbs, as he believed she understood his philosophy. He wanted Wonder Woman to be a positive role model for young women. She continued her Wonder Woman career until after her marriage to widower David W Murchison Sr.
After her marriage to our father in 1947, with step daughter Sally, they lived in Glen Cove,Long Island, NY. She then gave birth to David and later Robert in Glen Cove. A family vacation to Florida in 1952 put “the sand in their shoes” and the family returned to Florida a few months later to make Hollywood, Florida, their home.
Many years later when Mom decided to go back to work, she became a secretary for a Hollywood stock brokerage. After a while she asked for a chance to study for the NY stockbroker exam along with male trainees. Eventually, she was allowed to study for the exam but not during office hours like the men, but at home after her workday. She was also not included in the training trip to NYC for the male trainees. In spite of this she passed the exam on her first try and enjoyed a successful career as a stockbroker for several years.
Mom loved the ocean so much she would pack picnic lunches nearly every sunny day and take all three children to the beach or whatever cabana club we joined for that summer.
She was a Cub Scout leader, an avid bridge player, a dedicated mother, wife and grandmother. Mom’s annual Christmas Eve gatherings were so special, they were the highlight of the season for friends and family. She never hesitated to care for her grandchildren so that their parents could have much appreciated travels together.
Travel always played an important role in Mom‘s life, whether it was a weekend trip or a month-long journey, she would share valuable insights into the history and culture of the countries she visited and also welcome travel tips.
After Dad’s retirement they moved to Winter Haven where son David and his wife Liz lived with their two children. From Winter Haven they also visited their other son Robb and Linda their two children in Naples, Florida, and daughter Sally and Don and their son in Wellington, Florida. They loved going to all sports events, plays, and school graduations of their grandchildren.
After 53 wonderful years of marriage, Dad passed away. Then Mom met widower,Jack Kelly, and a very happy marriage of 19 years resulted. It was filled with more travel, card games, and entertaining. Mom said, “I’ve been very lucky. Two great men in one life.”
At this time of life Mom would be discovered as an early writer of Wonder Woman comics who worked along side the creator, Dr. Marston. She was interviewed by the BBC, several magazines, newspapers, for a book and received fan letters from around the world.
The Smithsonian in 2014 asked for and accepted her donation of original manuscripts and papers relating to her work with Wonder Woman. At the 2018 Comic-Con in San Diego, she was awarded the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. She was the only recipient of this award that was still alive. Mom received two standing ovations, one when she accepted her award and one after her extemporaneous speech.
Our mother was generous to all her children and related family. She was always there for us and we knew it.
Mom is pre-deceased by husband David W. Murchison Sr. son Dr. David W. Murchison Jr. and mother Mavis Kerpen. She leaves behind husband Jack Kelly, daughter Sally M. Boyd (Donald), son Robert P Murchison (Linda), daughter-in-law Elizabeth S. Murchison, their five children and six grandchildren ; stepson Jeffrey Kelly (Della), stepdaughter Kim Hallberg (Rick), and their six children and seven grandchildren and numerous friends and family members.
She was an amazing woman writer of one of the most iconic female superheroes in the 40’s, one of the first female stockbrokers in the 60’s, invested in an early start up computer company… Apple, and raised a wonderful family...we love you Mom and we will see you when we get there.
With heartfelt thanks we acknowledge the caregivers from Home Instead and Compassionate Care Hospice.
Mom was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winter Haven. There will be a private family ceremony at a future date. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Youth Group, 656 Ave. L, NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881 or Amedisys Foundation, 3854 American Way, Suite A Baton Rouge, LA 70816. Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.