FORT WORTH ? Joy Amelia Sheffield, 84, beloved aunt, great-aunt, friend and mentor to many parents and children, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 29, 2013, surrounded by family and friends.

Memorial services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6, in Greenwood Funeral Home Chapel, with a reception following. Interment will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6, in Santa Ana Cemetery in Coleman County. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Greenwood Funeral Home. Expressions of sympathy may be directed to Montessori Enrichment Fund, 3420 Clayton Road East, Fort Worth, Texas, 76116.

Joy was born in Hermleigh and grew up in Abilene. She graduated from Sul Ross University and received her M.Ed. from Texas Christian University. She taught art at Hubbard Heights Elementary School until 1968. Joy led a full and rich life. She had a lifelong passion for children and education. She is credited with spurring the modern-day Montessori movement in Fort Worth. In 1968, Joy founded Montessori Children's House, which has benefited families of Fort Worth for 45 years. Through the years, she kept in touch with the children and parents who became a part of the MCH family. The school has been an educational foundation for generations of Fort Worth families. The success of MCH helped to persuade Fort Worth school officials to begin a Montessori program that continues today. A premier proponent of early childhood education, Joy was prominent in educational circles. She received the Outstanding Woman of Fort Worth Award in 1998 for her service to the community. She was also recognized for her many contributions to education by the American Montessori Society. Joy was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society for women educators, and a charter member of Epsilon Lambda Chapter. She enjoyed traveling extensively with her longtime friend, the late LaVerne Davis. They shared many wonderful vacations, visits to their LVJ Ranchette and trips in the “travel van.” They often included friends in their adventures and took cruises to exotic destinations. Joy freely shared her keen sense of humor with friends and family. She especially loved entertaining her family and friends at her home where there was plenty of laughter and shenanigans.

She was preceded in death by parents, Mark M. Sheffield Sr. and LerLee Casey Sheffield; brother and sister-in-law, Mark M. Sheffield Jr. and Margery Weathers Sheffield; and friend of 59 years, Ida LaVerne Davis.

Survivors include her nephew, Mark W. Sheffield Sr. and wife Shirley; niece, Cyd Sheffield Gallimore and husband John S. Gallimore; niece, Paula Sheffield Armstrong and husband Curtis A. Armstrong; great-niece, Johanna Sheffield Kim and husband John Kim; great-nephews, Mark W. Sheffield Jr. and Samuel S. Gallimore; great-great-nephew, Coleman Wade Kim; and special thanks to caregiver and companion, Telma Guerra.