Cover photo for Alegria  Esther "Joy" Tuggy's Obituary
Alegria  Esther "Joy" Tuggy Profile Photo
1922 Alegria 2019

Alegria Esther "Joy" Tuggy

September 20, 1922 — November 10, 2019

Alegría Esther “Joy” Tuggy, of Batesburg, died Sunday, November 10, 2019. She was born September 20, 1922, in Carúpano, Venezuela, to missionaries Donald and Faith Turner, and she lived in Venezuela until she turned 12. She spoke both Spanish and English from her childhood on.

She lived at the Westervelt Home for Missionary Children in Batesburg from the time she was 12 years old through her high school years. She graduated from Columbia Bible College in 1943 and immediately left for Caripe, Venezuela as a missionary. There, she taught Bible and music at the Las Delicias Bible Institute, which had been founded by her parents. In 1946, she married Alfred Tuggy, also a missionary kid (MK) from Venezuela and a Westervelt home graduate, after his Army service in Burma and India during WWII.

Alfred and Joy served under the Orinoco River Mission and the Fellowship of Independent Missions in Venezuela from the mid-1940’s until 1986, 25 years at Las Delicias and 17 at the Seminario Evangelico Asociado in Maracay, Venezuela. They both earned MA degrees from the graduate school at Columbia Bible College in 1964, while they had 8 children at home. (The 9th was born later.) Joy’s Master’s thesis, on the missionary wife and her work, was published by Moody Press and was used as a textbook in a number of college courses.

Joy was an accomplished musician, and graduated with the degree of Artista from the arduous 10-year course of studies at the Conservatorio de Música in Maracay. (During this whole time she was also teaching at the Seminario.) She accompanied many Venezuelan musicians, gave concerts in her own right, played piano in churches, and led choral groups and taught music to several generations of children and adults.

In 1986 Alfred and Joy Tuggy returned to the USA and settled in Eastover, SC, later moving to Batesburg. Besides caring for her mother and later her husband’s mother, and after that for Alfred himself, Joy supported Alfred in writing various Spanish-Greek Biblical reference works, as well as serving with him on a team that produced the Reina Valera Actualizada translation of the Bible for the Baptist Publishing House.

The Tuggys’ home was always open to visitors, and Joy prepared thousands of meals for her family, friends, and the missionaries constantly traveling between Eastern and Western Venezuela. Many an MK remembers the smell of warm bread coming from her oven. Her table was a place for good food and good fellowship, laughter and thoughtful discussion. Joy was also a trusted friend and counsellor for many women and young people in need of someone to come alongside of them.

Joy was a long-time member of the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles and Glendora, California, but in SC she attended St. Paul’s Independent Methodist Church in Batesburg and First Presbyterian Church in Columbia. Her heart was always searching for ways to love and serve God, her family, and those around her. She never missed an opportunity to point people to Jesus.

Joy loved beauty, and in her later years especially she had the opportunity to paint many pictures, especially landscapes in oils. Her family has many Afghans, doilies, and bedspreads that she made. She loved plants, especially azaleas and orchids, and her garden always had something blooming. Her friends at Carter & Holmes Orchids in Newberry named a new variety of orchid after her.

Joy loved the Word of God, and until her final day she could be found with her English, Spanish, Greek or Hebrew Bibles open, studying to see what new thing the Lord would show her that day.

Joy is survived by her nine children: Frieda (and Bill) Lubkemann, of Arizona; Dan (and Cheryl), of Oregon; David (and Joy), of Mexico and Ohio; Fred (and Pam), of Missouri; Sam (and Mary), of Batesburg, SC; Dale (and Larry) Bowles, of Kentucky; Tim, of Pennsylvania; Janice (and Mark) Phillips, of Blythewood, SC; and Ruby (and Chuck) Stephens, of Gray Court SC. Also surviving are 26 grandchildren and 54 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Alfred; her three siblings: Ruth Berger, Lucille Cole, and Glen Turner; her grandson Danny Phillips, and her daughter-in-law (Tim’s wife), Jean Tuggy.

The family will receive friends from 5 until 7o’clock, Wednesday, at Milton Shealy Funeral Home, 115 Pine Street in Batesburg.

A memorial service will be held at 3 o’clock, Monday, November 18, at Christ Community Church, 144 East Columbia Avenue, Batesburg- Leesville, with the Rev. Dan Tuggy officiating.

Memories and condolences may be shared at
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to KICY Radio in Nome, AK, at; or to Righteous Rides in Truesdale, MO, at

To send flowers to the family in memory of Alegria Esther "Joy" Tuggy, please visit our flower store.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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