Joy Mahana Bishop died peacefully in her sleep February 14, 2023 at Shannondale of Maryville. Born January 20, 1934 in Pearl, Texas, daughter of Monroe Leviticus Mahana and Thelma Lucille Elam Mahana McCollum, Joy held a Bachelor’s Degree from Upper Iowa University, a Master’s of Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and diplomas from Harvard University and the Federal Executive Institute. She was a member of the Maryville Church of Christ.
Joy had a prestigious, trailblazing thirty-year career in the United States Air Force before retiring to Maryville in 1990. During her professional career she was the first woman to receive an appointment to the Senior Executive Service, the highest level of civilian civil service. She retired from the Pentagon as one of the highest ranking civilians in the Air Force and received its highest civilian award.
Joy’s volunteer service in Blount County was legend – her service included numerous civic organizations such as Kiwanis Club, Chilhowee Club, Blount County Chamber of Commerce, PEO, Hearing and Speech Foundation, Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association, United Way of Blount County, and Pellissippi State Foundation.
She was a skilled fundraiser and active supporter for the Blount County Public Library and the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College Campus. She was appointed in 2005 by Governor Phil Bredesen to the Tennessee Workforce Development Board, and she served as honorary co-chair of the first Tennessee Economic Summit for Women.
She was a 1998 graduate of Leadership Blount, was the 2007 recipient of the eighth annual Community Leadership Award from Leadership Blount and was the recipient of Blount County’s first Athena Award.
Joy was predeceased by her husband, Hubert Aubrey Bishop; her sister, Judy Elaine Mahana Horn; her brother, Dorman Monroe Mahana; and her two sons, Greg Aubrey Bishop and Richard Glenn Bishop. She is survived by her beloved grandchildren, Gaston Richard Bishop, Glenn Aubrey Bishop and his wife, Melanie Anne Read, William Russell Bishop, and Natascha Anne Marie Bishop, and her nieces, Kim R. Todora and Denise Wagstaff, all of whom gave Joy great pleasure and pride. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law Diane Bishop and her dear friend and caregiver, Paula Holliday.
Joy remained optimistic and a source of leadership and encouragement throughout her life. She is also survived by many devoted friends who will miss her greatly. She will be lovingly remembered for her community service, her advancement of others, and her smile as big as her native Texas.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 until 3:00 PM, Saturday, March 11, 2023 at Maryville Church of Christ. A Celebration of Joy’s Life will follow at 3:00 PM with Minister Travis Bookout officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to your favorite charity. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com