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Joy M. Barcus

Joy M. Barcus, 81, of Urbana passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday (April 23, 2021) at home after battling COPD for many years.

Joy was born Nov. 29, 1939, in Tompkinsville, Ky., and was one of eight daughters of Herman and Lily Mae (Davis) Brandon. She has been lost without her husband, Ward Barcus, who recently passed away on July 29, 2020. They were married on Aug. 22, 1964, sharing 56 years together.

Surviving are their three children, Judy (Joe) Grindley of Tuscola, Mark (Carla) Barcus of Champaign and Sheri Barcus of Monticello; five grandchildren, Marci, Cory, Haylie, Brett and Cale; three great-grandchildren, Ethan, Jordynn and Braesen; and a sister, Toni White of Fort Pierce, Fla.

She grew up in Arcola, where her family moved when she was very young. She moved to Urbana and held several waitress jobs, which is where she met Ward. After they married, she cared for their home and children. She did embroidery work from the basement of their home for Denny’s Cleaners for many years, while raising the kids.

When the kids were older, she worked at Barcus Industries, taking care of the bookkeeping for the family business. After Ward retired, she worked in the home department of Herberger’s, and then Bergner’s in both Urbana and eventually Champaign. She worked there for over 10 years and really enjoyed helping customers.

There was no job she took more pride in than caring for their home and their children. Her home was always clean and tidy, the laundry was done, the lawn was mowed, and there was always hot coffee and home-cooked meals. Her grandchildren were especially fond of her small, round, thin pancakes, and her cookie jar that was always full for each of their visits. She made sure that each family gathering had two pans of brownies, one with and without nuts.

In years past, Ward and Joy treasured many fun years spending time with close friends and playing cards. In recent years, they enjoyed taking long country drives and visiting with friends. They are both missed by their little dog, Toby, who went everywhere with them.

Visitation was held in honor of both Ward and Joy Barcus on Thursday, May 6, from noon until a 2 p.m. service at Renner-Wikoff Chapel in Urbana. Graveside services followed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Urbana. Pastor Hank Sanford officiated. Military rites were accorded for Ward’s time in service.

Memorials may be made to the COPD Foundation. Condolences may be offered at

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