Albert E. Joy – Colonel, United States Army

Courtesy of his classmates: United States Military Academy:

No. 15943 * 12 Mar 1924 – 9 Apr 2001
Died in Alexandria, VA * Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


ALBERT E. JOY was born in Long Island, New York, but grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. At Teaneck High School, he played football, basketball and baseball and was selected to the All New Jersey State Football Team. After graduating in 1942, Al attended the New York Military Academy in preparation for West Point. He had joined the Army in 1943 before his appointment came through for West Point.

Cadet life presented no major problems for Al. He enjoyed playing on the great Army football teams of that time and he was known throughout the Corps for his jovial personality.

At graduation, Al pinned on the bars of a second lieutenant of Infantry. Following graduation, Al went to Fort Benning, Georgia, for the Infantry Officer’s Basic Officer’s Course. His first assignment was to Japan with the 25th Division. He returned to the States in 1949 assigned to Company C, 3d Infantry Regiment at Fort Myer, Virginia. It was during this tour that he met his wife to be, Wanda Whitfield, who was an analyst for Admiral Nimitz.

Al left Fort Myer in late 1950 with orders to Korea where he earned the Bronze Star Medal for Valor. Al returned to Fort Benning GA in 1951 to attend the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course. It was during Christmas leave in 1951 that Al and Wanda were married in the Post Chapel at Fort Myer, Virhginia, on 22 December 1951.

Al’s next post was to the University of Vermont where he was Assistant PMS&T. From there the Joys traveled to Germany where Al served in Operations, G-3, VII Corps in Stuttgart. Classmate and friend Byron Greene tells of that assignment: “It was there that Al made a profound impression on all with whom he came in contact. Irrespective of his relatively junior rank, he ran the G-3 Operations Office. This was during a very serious cold war environment, particularly for the Combat Arms Units in Germany. Al was the Operations Officer who inspected and evaluated unit readiness. A very difficult task for a Captain dealing most often with Major General Division Commanders. Yet, these senior commanders invariably asked for Al to perform their inspections and it was they who praised his work and ability.”

Back to the States, Al was selected for C& GCS at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and he remained assigned to the faculty after graduation. It was there that Al suffered the near fatal ruptured aneurysm that resulted in a permanent, incapacitating vision problem. In 1966, Al earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Finance. He later served in several capacities in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development in the Pentagon. Al retired in 1973 as a Colonel.

William S Lindung, close friend and associate, who gave the eulogy at Al’s funeral service, presented a synopsis of Al’s civilian career. Excerpts tell of this career:

“On July 9th, 1973, Al accepted employment with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) as a Long Range Planner. I was the Commission’s Personnel Director and from the first warm and firm handshake of welcome, I could sense that this new employee was going to be an asset, a ‘real winner’ and a new friend. In 1976. Al was promoted to Budget Director and Financial Planning Director. Al was a keystone in structuring a solid fiscal policy for the WSSC. Over the years, Al Joy became a veritable ‘institution’ at WSSC. He had a distinct facility for putting people at their ease. He established a rapport with people in all their wonderfully wild variety. He brought intelligence and integrity to his job and maintained an enviable and disciplined work ethic. His love of people and life was effusive. To all, he was an accomplished and affable gentleman. Al retired from the WSSC in February 1991.”

Al Joy died on 9 April 2001 of complications from an injury suffered in a fall at his home. Survivors include: his wife, Wanda; daughter, Jennifer; sister, Diana and brother, William.

Al Joy is remembered by his family and friends as a vibrant, dedicated and enthusiastic man who made lasting impressions of his greatness on everyone with whom he came in contact.

Friend and classmate, Jack Hoefling, recalled: “I will always remember Al as a dedicated officer who you could always count on and at the same time he was fun to be with. What more could you want?”

Byron Greene remembered: “It is fitting that Al should be given full military honors by the 3d Infantry Regiment at Arlington Cemetery, where we served in together in 1949. As always, it was beautifully sad. I look back at our many tours together, and our long standing friendship with much nostalgia, but it serves as a way for me to grieve for Al and to pay him the respect he so richly earned in our friendship.”

William Lindung, in his eulogy, said: “So many of us remember Al’s enthusiasm and so many of us enjoyed his vital presence – now it is left for us to mourn his absence. Lives lived, illuminated by God’s grace and radiant with love and care for others are always effective and successful. Such a life is worth celebrating. We will often reminisce about this magnanimous person who touch our lives and, no doubt, we will still be fondly referring to this unique personality as ‘Big Al.'”

To these words of love and praise, the Class of 1946 proudly adds: “Well Done, Al; Be Thou At Peace!”

’46 Memorial Article Project and his wife, Wanda.

From a contemporary press report:

Albert E. Joy, 77, an Army Colonel who served as director of budget and financial planning for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission after his military retirement, died April 9, 2001, at Inova Alexandria Hospital of complications resulting from a cervical spinal cord injury suffered in a March 27 fall at his Alexandria home.

Colonel Joy was born on Long Island. In 1946, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, where he played on the national championship football teams of 1944 and 1946.

His military career included service in Japan, Korea and Germany and research and budget assignments in Washington.

While serving in the Army, he received a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.

His awards included a Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. He retired from the Army in 1973 after seven years at the Pentagon.

On his military retirement he joined the WSSC, where he remained for 18 years, retiring in 1991 as director of budget and financial planning.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Wanda, of Alexandria; a daughter, Jennifer Joy of Great Cacapon, W.Va.; a brother; and a sister.


On Monday, April 9, 2001, at the Inova Alexandria Hospital. Beloved husband of Wanda W. Joy, of Alexandria, VA. Father of Jennifer N. Joy of  West Virginia; brother of Diana L. Joy, of California and William R. Joy of  Nevada. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at the Ft. Myer Chapel on Wednesday, May 9, 2001, at 12:45 p.m. Interment Arlington NationalCemetery with full military honors.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 03/12/1924
  • DATE OF DEATH: 04/09/2001

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