ForeverMissed
Tributes
Posted by William Ackroyd on May 4, 2021
I met Joy in the early 1980’s when her then boyfriend brought her to dinner with us, I think for New Year’s Eve and possibly in 1982/83. After that I instructed her in a number of cases, including the Beckford Enquiry which other people have referred to and she also became a friend of our family over many years. In particular she provided a lot of support for our second daughter, including having her to stay when we took a holiday, during a pause in the Beckford enquiry and taking her in when she was an adult, but estranged from us.
In 1998 Evelyn, my wife, and I went to Africa to work, staying for 3 years and after that for 17 years we lived in the French Pyrenees. This limited our contact with Joy, but we stayed in touch, seeing her from time to time in London and on one occasion when she came to stay with us with friends from the US. The last time we saw her was at my 70th birthday in 2016 and I attach 3 photos from that dinner party.
I spoke with her towards the end of 2020, when she was as vivacious as ever and we made plans to meet up this year, when the lockdown rules were eased. I was aware of her long struggle with illness and had seen the ravages it made on her body. I hope she is now at peace, but both Evelyn and I will miss her enormously.
Posted by stella Ackroyd on May 4, 2021
Gone to soon, Aunty Joy, such a beautiful kind hearted woman may you R.I.P, from child hood we knew you and you always showed us warmth and love, you will be deeply missed and always lovedcondolences to the Okoye family xxx Stella & Lizzie
Posted by Sally Baffour on May 4, 2021
BREAKING THE SILENCE AND SADNESS OF GRIEF!!!

It’s taken this long for me to digest the fact that our dear sister-wife, Joy Okoye is not ever going to be with us again. TOTALLY SHOCKING! This is something that is still so hard to absorb because none of us saw it coming. Our collective hearts are heavy with grief, with no words to describe the shock, convey the depth of our sorrow or express our profound sadness at this sudden loss.

Our sympathy is with Joy’s family, especially her Dad, because she was the ROCK of their household, the one who held it all together. May God console them all.

Our ‘wives’ Whatsapp chat page has been significantly frozen, a reflection of the deafening silence that we have all been stunned into, since Sunday, when the sad news broke. It is hard not to recognize the poignancy of our last two posts, serendipitously focused on the word ‘RISEN’!

That 'has to be' where our Joy now is, right now… RISEN, and with our Lord. Departing this earth on the morning after Good Friday, was literally following our Christ to the very last, an inherent sign of the Divine. And then to leave this earth in her sleep? Well, that is sublime!

Joy was a good person! When I first met Joy, I had the privilege of sitting with her, on the Black Perspective Advisory Committee for British Association for Adoption and Fostering, in the late 90s and early 2000s and grew to respect her intellect, sound reasoning, knowledge about Black issues and its impact on our children in the UK, enormously.

And then many years later, discovered she had been very good friends with my lifelong closest friend, Dzifa Wilkinson, all that time, yet none of us were aware of it, until we all finally met together at a gathering. Personally, I Thank God for the privilege of sharing in her beautiful life on earth, as well as enjoying her wisdom, extraordinary generosity, humour, and prolific posts on our chat, which we are all already missing.

Now that she is with our Lord, we petition Jesus as an act of compassion and love, to enfold her in his Merciful Love, granting her a strong experience of his reassuring embrace, to welcome her, as she transits to the other side. May our Precious JOY’s soul be perpetually surrounded by God’s angels and his glorious Blessings! May perpetual light shine upon Joy and may her beautiful soul rest in the gentle arms of our Lord Jesus Christ, in perfect peace.

"Joy, you will never be forgotten. There will always be a very special place in our hearts, reserved for you and etched in our memories where you will remain forever."

God Bless Joy’s beautiful Soul! “Joy, Yaa wor Ojogbaang!”

By Sally Baffour
Posted by Seye Paceworking on May 2, 2021
Barrister-at-law of England & Wales (1981)
• Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (1982)
• Accredited Mediator (CEDR)
Joy was involved in a number of high-profile cases such as the Jasmine Beckford Inquiry (1985), RE B (1997) on bi-racial placements and the Victoria Climbié Inquiry (2001). She was also an advisor for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).
My dear friend, sister, colleague and mentor Joy Okoye passed away on 3 April 2021. As a friend, Joy was so generous and caring. As a UK Barrister with 40 years experience, she was an inspiration and a great mentor. She went out of her way to help so many in the legal profession. I first instructed her on Child Care/Family cases in the early 90’s. At that time we certainly stood out, I often wondered when in court why I was asked if we were sisters (we did not look alike). Joy was simply an intelligent Barrister, eloquent speaker and was great to be around. Gone too soon, but what a great legacy. Rest in perfect peace, rest in power, Heaven has just gained an amazing Angel.
Posted by Kulwinder Kaur on April 25, 2021
Stand Proud

Now our sister has gone.
Who can we trust with our secrets and fears?
Where will we gain counsel?
Who will carry our burdens unbidden?
Lighten our lives with her joyful laughter.

Our elders brought us up with humility
So that we achieved understanding
Of how to sift the the wheat from the chaff.
To recognise our true blessings,
Gaining wisdom from them.

So today, my brothers and sisters.
Fortified by her generous gifts.
Dry your tears.
Honour the pure heart of a glorious soul.
Stand proud In her memory.
Posted by Ananda Chatterjee on April 19, 2021
Joy and I have been friends for over 40 years. We first met while doing our degrees. The intervening years have been filled with her unstinting loyalty, warmth, wicked wit and laughter, Friends and family of mine who met Joy instantly took to her, she had a knack of finding something to say that immediately put them at ease and drew them into a conversation. My parents adored her. Even when Joy was not well herself she took the time to drive across London to spend the afternoon visiting my mother when she was very ill in hospital.  She cheered my mum up so much and left her feeling stronger and more positive Her kindness and ability to cheer and support her friends was legendary. I am so glad I managed to see Joy very recently. She was immensely strong and told me not to cry when I said goodbye, as ever she was thinking about others and not herself. I will miss her dreadfully. She was aptly named , she brought Joy to me and all of us who knew her. That sweet joy will stay with me even though she has gone. In loving memory of my dear friend Joy.
Posted by Ngozi Adi on April 19, 2021
Joyooo, I did not think of 2021 in this way! From your efforts with your siblings, other relatives and well-wishers to give your mother a befitting funeral in 2019, to the 2020 lockdown periods, it would not have been an easy ride.

We communicated frequently on Whatsapp during those lockdown periods, and when your messages began to dwindle, I wondered at what was amiss. Then I caught a glimpse of you at an online event and you looked a shadow of your old self. I contacted you and you then told me.....
I was saddened and was advising you to eat nutritiously, hoping that all would be well. We agreed that I would visit at length, by God's grace when the need arose, to support you, but it was not to be, for among other things, you left too soon.

From the tributes delivered so far, one term consistently stands out: 'your generosity'. I also benefitted from your generous spirit and will not forget.
You were also blunt and intelligent. An Ada of Agulu. You were my professional colleague, a relative and a friend. With a tweak here and there, you would have been like an older sister. You are being missed(the church service and final rites held today, were very touching). Adieu sister Joy and may your kind soul RIP.

Ngozi (Agulu)
Posted by Nnaemeka Akubue on April 19, 2021
Death, Be Not Proud...

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.... and the life and passage was evident...Psalm 116

I remember the stories about aunt Joy.....
I met aunt Joy......calm, soft spoken, intelligent, beautiful, poised and observant.
I liked Her from a distance..... She had principles, was firm, loyal and a dogged fighter for a worthy cause.
Her carriage was something else.

CROSSING THE BAR...
We prayed fervently and held on tenaciously for a miracle. Though denied, you bowed out gracefully like the Nwamala that you are.
God bless you as you sojourn home.

Yes we mourn a worthy champion of justice
Yes we are broken and sad
Yes we miss a member and a loyalist...
...but heaven gained, glory be to God.
Bye Aunty Joy and rest well.
Posted by Tanya Noah on April 19, 2021
Joy Gal. ⭐️My friend. My sister. I miss her.
Joy was kind, funny, fierce yet so so gentle and caring, generous, always determined to right ‘wrongs’ she had strong views but would listen to the contrary view. I miss her.
Endless open ended talks into the small hours - about work, family, life, et al. Unstinting with her time. I will miss her even more. My friend set the bar of friendship high. I am grateful to God for the privilege of having known her. What a beautiful legacy she leaves behind!
My thoughts and prayers are with her family whom she loved so much. God will give you the fortitude you need through the Holy Spirit. The true Comforter.
Farewell. Goodnight. My sister, my friend.
I miss you.
Posted by Gifty Edila on April 19, 2021
Farewell my dear friend. Lost for words for you've gone too soon. You made your mark and left a great legacy behind. I've just played the farewell song you sent to us called That's What Friends Are For by Dione Warwick supported by her friends! I got your message in the lyrics. Thank you. You were a wonderful friend. A privilege to have known you. Rest well dear friend. Rest well
Posted by Bunmi Tandoh on April 19, 2021
My dearest big sister Joy I will always miss you. I cannot yet write what I want to write as it's all to shocking and sad for me. I know however God is in control of us all and He has a better plan for you in your new eternal life. This is the only gladness I can derive from God's promise. So as you journey in your new life enjoy the peace and the rest. However if I know you well you will be debating with the angels!‍♀️. To me you will always be Ms Joy of Counsel❤
Posted by Katherine Perry on April 18, 2021
Dear Joy,

I remember our last conversation. I told you how happy I was to hear your lovely voice. And, in true Joy style, you told me off for waiting until “the end” to compliment you on your voice. We laughed, I did not know that was the last time I’d hear that laugh!

The last time Jide, Remi and I were in London and we came by the house to see you, you insisted on walking us to the train station and getting special permission to escort us down to the platform. We hugged and kissed goodbye as you did a dance for us and waved goodbye as the train pulled out of the station. I wondered whether that was your goodbye wave to us and, sadly it was. We will treasure that moment forever!

We will always fondly remember you Joy! We love you and will forever hold you in our hearts!

May you Soul Rest in Perfect Peace Joy!

Love, Jide, Kat and Remi
Posted by Kene Enukora on April 19, 2021
Dear Aunty Joy, I was hoping to see you in London after the lockdown. I never knew it will not happen, ever. The short period I knew you were filled with love and care. I know you are in heaven right now, because that’s where Angels like you belong. Keep resting in the bosom of the Lord......
Posted by Chika-Dike Nwokike on April 17, 2021
Auntie Joy was the epitome of selfless. She cared deeply about her family and I was incredibly fortunate to receive her love and affection. My parents cherished their relationship with her so much that they asked her to be my principal godmother. She was a close family friend who we could always depend on, even after my family moved to New York. While we weren’t able to see each other often, we made sure to keep in touch over WhatsApp or phone calls, and when I did see her, I was welcomed by a wide grin, loving embrace, and delicious food.

A few years ago, I visited London with my best college friends, but gave them one condition — we were going to visit my Auntie Joy. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I asked her if my friends could accompany me on my visit, but she enthusiastically encouraged all of us to come. Unbeknownst to me, she invited several nephews and nieces our age to hang out with us that evening and we had a blast! She made us feel at home and even told one friend who was attending graduate school in England at the time to never hesitate to reach out if he needed anything. She truly embodied the role of a godmother.

Although it saddens me that she has passed, I’m thankful for the moments we shared. I love and miss you, Auntie. May your sweet soul Rest In Peace.

Your loving godson,

Chika-Dike Nwokike on behalf of the Nwokike family in New York
Posted by Nicholina Ezechie on April 16, 2021
“Ezigbo Ada”

Joy ‘s career and journey as a truly amazing and gifted Barrister must be acknowledged as one of those essential part of the changes, thus far ,and difficulties faced by women and being black at the Bar .Her legacy and career has paved the way for a more different Bar ,legal profession to be experienced today , and the path she has walked (and people like her ) needs to be greatly appreciated and remembered .
Joy you were always articulate ,bold ,sharp
witted and always ,always with impeccable care to fight every case as if it was you personally on the line ,such was your dedication ( always championing the cause of the under dog )
.As a Barrister you were tenacious beyond a doubt, an excellent Advocate with no reservations .
The legacy you leave our Beloved Joy is formidable ..,but non so great as the love compassion and dedication you gave every second of your life to your FAMILY ( and so many lives you touched and helped along the way ). The love and support for her parents and sibblings and all their children was unflinching and as she stood as a giant ALWAYS FAMILY FIRST .”Ibu Ada Nma “
To say you will be sorely missed is an understatement( our late night chats about everything and anything and our humour, which not many would understand .( So we agreed 10 days before Easter Saturday that the doctors did not have the final say ...we weren’t giving up and took up “laughter Therapy “ all the old movies and clips that really made you laugh, one a day , was the way forward )
“....I ‘m not giving up I am fighting all the way ...”


What would you do if you were given 2 weeks to live ?

Joy’s response was full of fight and resolve “ I have so much still to do .. I need to put my affairs in order ( even then her concern was about making sure that those left behind were taken care of ).
True Love :Her beloved garden filled with flowers and plants that marked different occasions in life and gifts ,was a real passion of Joy”s .
Her love for all things plants and flowers and her hope that her garden would be tended to and give so much happiness after she was gone 
It was an honour my dear sister to have had you in my life you will be always remembered you are and will always be one of the trailblazers that made the Bar The Legal Profession sit up and acknowledge the weight and significance of being Black and Female at The Bar .
Thank You. God truly Bless You
Posted by Marcia Andrew on April 16, 2021
Tribute To Joy

I make no apologies for this lengthy tribute.
Who would have known that a friendship forged between our mothers, the Green and the Okoye family over 50 years ago would result in you being intertwined in all our lives throughout the proceeding years. From us living across the road from you, to our moving in with your family in our time of need and then in later years when you were studying, to you living with our family.

You were the one whom I watched and admired as an independent, secure and professional black woman, during an era when it was near impossible to climb the professional ladder in the UK. You were my inspiration in entering into the legal profession and when I made this decision you were there to guide me. You connected me to your contacts in the legal field, forever the selfless and giving person. My training contract came through your connections and recommendations. When I struggled in my first week of employment, you sent along your Pupil to assist me.

You supported my family in legal matters that arose as I know you did for so many others.

Those of us who had the privilege to work with you knew your tireless dedication in promoting real help for families. You were one of the few who really cared! It wasn’t just a job to you it was the vehicle to which you could make a real difference in peoples lives. You fought the legal system to ensure justice was served, even when it was to your detriment. You rattled cages and you were bold in challenging the status quo! That’s what made you a brilliant lawyer! A church sister, a social worker said “amazing woman, such a brilliant advocate in the court room with sharpness of words. Woe to you if she has to cross examine you. I escaped her once on an interesting case.“

Thank you for being there my dear friend and sister throughout the most vital parts of my life. My legal career, my wedding and for paying for our beautiful honeymoon accommodation in St Lucia. You were there for me when I had my boys, and more fundamentally when our youngest suffered meningitis resulting in brain damage. You fought endlessly to help us acquire more suitable accommodation for his needs and when you realised you couldn’t fix things, you set pen to paper and wrote a letter to God asking Him to intervene. I didn’t get this letter until about five years later. I placed it in my bible promising never to open it again until your prayer was answered. What a privilege it was last year to walk you around our new home, to show you that God heard you!

I’m so thankful to the Lord for sharing part of your journey to the end. For having real conversations about how you want to finish your race here on earth. I’m also thankful for an opportunity to seeing you a week before you left us, to thank you and bless you for all you have been in mine and my family‘s life and for being able to tell you how much we love you. What we have lost is heavens gain!

The accolade you didn’t get here my dear friend and sister was waiting for you as you took your next step into eternity. Our Heavenly Father has seen everything you have done, every sacrifice you have made, every seed you have sowed and nurtured. He sent you here to shake systems, to love, be bold, feisty, fearless and seek justice! Mission accomplished!

Love you always!

Marcia Andrew on behalf of the Green and Andrew Family
Posted by Johanna Schipperheijn on April 16, 2021
Many years ago, there was a knock on the door: Joy (our next-door neighbour) and Obi who was a toddler then. Several hours later, a lifelong friendship had developed. Joy became a part of my children's lives - birthdays, communions, confirmations, graduations... Joy was there. She was a parent to them, advised them and was so generous with her time and her love.

She got to know my friends and my family in Holland who are all saddened by her passing. We planned to visit Holland in spring last year for the flower shows but Covid got in the way. This spring she was too ill.

There are so many memories: our trip to China to visit Matthew while he was at university there, the trips to York where Caroline was studying. There, she was introduced as Caroline's second mother. A standard joke was her wish to put Robert, when he was small, on the top of the Christmas tree because she thought he looked like an angel, much to his annoyance.

The love for Joy is reflected in the grief I now witness in my children. Joy, for me you were my best friend, my sister. I could confide in you and discuss anything - you did not judge. We shared sadness but also happiness and fun. Your loyalty was above everything. You made us better people, you became part of us and we will live with your love inside us and will love you forever.
Posted by Ejike Agbatekwe on April 15, 2021
Our Dear Aunty Joy

Our mom often regaled us with tales of her first visit to the UK to embark on her Nursing studies. She never failed to tell us each time that it was Aunty Joy who welcomed her at the airport.
In her words, she was overjoyed to see a familiar and smiling face when she landed in a strange land, having left behind all her loved ones in the only place she had ever known as home.

Fast forward decades later, she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and was, again, about to embark on a journey to a strange land - the world of cancer treatment. She was lonely, afraid and home sick, just as she had been on her first trip to the UK.

It was same Aunty Joy who opened her heart, her arms and her home in our mother’s moment of dire need.
Aunty Joy, along with all the Okoyes, gave her the immense and incredible support she needed to overcome a challenging period in her life.

Aunty Joy....just as you always welcomed Mom with a big smile and open arms, so have the beautiful hosts of heaven opened their arms to receive you too!

Rest on in the bossom of our Lord,

Ejike, Josephine, Ogugua and Unoma.
Posted by Nneka Enukora on April 15, 2021
My Precious Aunt,

The news of your demise has left me asking questions. Why do good people die so soon?.

You were such a beautiful and rare person, who showed love and care to everyone. Your act of kindness had a great impact on people and will remain priceless.

Despite the distance apart, the care and concern you showed towards my siblings and I was immeasurable. In different ways, you advised me to keep a tenacious spirit and to work with a positive mind despite all odds.

I always wondered what it means to be in your shoes, having to face the world and guide people towards successful feats . You made me realize that the smallest of acts can touch a person’s soul.

Oh, my gracious Aunty, I miss you dearly. May you rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Nneka Enukora.
Posted by Abdul-Habib Durojaiye on April 15, 2021
Something about your smile Sister Joy
Your sweet simple smile

Your smile, the warmth and the glow
Your lively, loving and lush smile

A picture of your heart was always in your smile
Eyes that glittered and sparkled with kindness

Rest in peace Sister Joy for indeed you brought ‘Joy’ to the world.

BAZZ HQ
Bisi, Abdul, Zainab & Zaynah
Posted by Patrick Ezechie on April 15, 2021
Gone, but will never be forgotten, A wonderful soul, a decent & kind person, led always by example, Loved and very much respected by us all in the Ezechie family.
My late father always spoke highly of you, as the perfect example for any youngster wishing to go into Law. I had nothing but respect & admiration for you on every occasion I had met you going back 30+ years.
We will miss you but take solace in the fact that God has called you home to a better place. 
Rest in Peace. Your spirit and legacy will live on always.


God Bless and give the family strength to deal with this loss...
Posted by Okoye Daniel on April 15, 2021
FAREWELL AUNTY JOY

It is still a shock to me that my dear Aunty Joy is no longer with us; I really hoped for a miracle for you Aunty Joy, and I believed that God was going to answer my prayers concerning you.

The news of your death brought me so much anger and sadness, but I have peace, knowing that you have gone to be with your heavenly father and a little bit of your Family in Heaven.

Aunty Joy was an amazing person who cared for everyone around her, the impact she made on the lives of many people cannot be measured.

She was selfless and would always want to make everyone around her happy. I am grateful to God that I had the chance to call you my Aunty; you meant the world to me.

I remember one of our last conversations before your demise, when I told you about a test I had just written and the result, I remember how happy you were for me, and that was just Aunty Joy for you, other people's joy and victory meant hers too, especially when it concerns education.
Aunty Joy really used to enjoy our conversations and "My gist".
I don't know what else to write Aunty Joy, all I want to say is thank you; for all that you did for me and everyone else in the family.
Thank you for the amazing and beautiful person you were and all that your character personality and deeds taught me thank you.

You were a fighter and I know you really didn't want to go, but I thank God because now you will know the pains of flesh no more, and also for the fact that you are resting in the peace and Joy of the lord.

You will forever remain in my heart Aunty Joy farewell, Rest in Peace.
Ebuka Okoye
Posted by Julie Okoye on April 15, 2021
AUNTY JOY - NNUKWU ADA ANYI "HEAVEN INDEED GAINED"

Aunty Joy, "Nwamala" you were indeed a child of Grace as your name implied.

I was sincerely hoping and trusting God that you will pull through, but God's ways are far away better than ours. According to 2Tim.4:7 "You fought a good fight and you have finished your race, you have kept the faith, from now on there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness"

You were a Senior Sister indeed, selfless and determined. You left your mark on so many people. You were loved by all, far and near.

When thinking of you, so many positive traits come to mind: **Caring, Loving, Homely, Supportive, Courageous, Engaging, Positive, and Humble.*

In life, I loved you dearly. In death, I still do.

Words cannot express my depth of pain. So much of you will never be forgotten.

You will be sorely missed by me. Thank you Aunty Joy, na nu Udo, Nnukwu Ada Ayi.
Julie Okoye.
Posted by Oluranti daCosta on April 14, 2021
Ours is not to reason why, for the Lord has already told us in His Word that His ways are not our ways. He also told us to give thanks in all things, so we are saying 'thank you Lord' for the 64 years of life you blessed Joy with, thank you for a full life filled with achievements and thank you for the wonderful memories left behind with friends and family. To live in the hearts of those you love is not to die so we bid you a quiet farewell dear Joy until we meet again at Jesus' feet.
Posted by Osarieme Ezekiel on April 14, 2021
I always knew Auntie Joy to be loving and caring. She was a typical big Sister, doting, generous, supportive, loyal, a real mother hen, to both her siblings and to us friends of her sisters.

Auntie Joy was always welcoming and warm. You were sure of her support if you had a challenge that needed to be solved. 

I was always full of admiration for Auntie Joy, as she was a consummate professional, confident and dedicated to her work. I also loved the way her world revolved round her family and vice versa. She was always a rallying point, in her typical ‘oyinbo way’, with a strong sense of family.

She was beautiful, stylish, kindhearted, intelligent, very articulate, with a great sense of humour. There was no pretence with Auntie Joy. She could be brutally frank and if she was unhappy with you, you would know straightaway. However, her anger was always short lived. She had a way of making people feel special and appreciated.

To say we will miss Auntie Joy is an understatement. She will be sorely missed.
May her beautiful soul rest in perfect peace.
Posted by Mozella Perry Ademiluyi on April 13, 2021
Joy and I walked toward each other, we were both lost on the small Nigerian Law School Campus in Victoria Island, Lagos -- looking for our classroom, hoping the other had the answer. During that year we became very close ... Gboyega and I also enjoyed time with her family in Surulere and later in London as well.

As the years rolled by our combined villages grew -- our collective family and friends in London, Lagos, the States, and her dearest friends Marilyn and Guy in St. Lucia became more intertwined. She was second mom throughout our boys' many years of boarding school in England and her booming presence continued into their adult lives. They loved her -- she met and loved their friends too.

Nothing of significance happened without her - she would hop on a plane to celebrate a big birthday or to mourn the loss of one of our parents. And, she was always emphatic and happy to tell us exactly what she felt we should do. She was bossy. Joy was direct, clear, and did not mince words. But who didn't love that about her.

No words can express how much our entire extended family and friends will miss her. Joy was a big vivacious part of our lives. She loved life, as all these stories reveal.

Our whole family had our last big gathering with her this past Christmas and New Year in London. We rented a house big enough for us all, every meal was a feast, we enjoyed robust conversations, every day was filled with delightful laughter over our games table. Quarantine? Who cared, our time together was the best gift any of us could have ever had. I'd never seen her so animated and competitive "We must win!" she would boisterously declare to her games partner. Although she appeared frail, she was completely invigorated by a house full of everything that one celebrates when a family comes together.

Although we felt it would be the last time, on January 2nd, we still spoke of doing it all again this spring....maybe May or June. Why shouldn't we dream ...

In one of two lengthy good-byes, she asked that we be at peace. She spoke of gratitude, love and appreciation for all that we had shared. In the end, these are the gifts we will always remember -- and in one word, they spell JOY!

In loving remembrance -- by Mozella, Gboyega and family.
Posted by Chioma Ugha on April 13, 2021
Joy,

You have transitioned to the realm of your Glorious Maker where there is no sickness, strife or pain. May the loved ones you left behind find comfort in the fact that you have re-united with your loving Mother and Brother. You were a true powerhouse of a big sister to your Siblings and a great support and rock to your friends. That void will be hard to fill.

Although these days will be full of sadness, God will wipe away the tears.

Joy, rest in the Peace of our Amazing God and become an Angel of Joy and Peace IJN.
Posted by Pamela Ndukwe on April 12, 2021
Aunty Joy Okoye was a hard worker. I met her once but she was soft spoken, kind and nice. May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Posted by Lakshmi Appenteng on April 12, 2021
From Dzifa Kuma Wilkinson .

Dearest Joy ,
You were a great friend and someone to be cherished . I am reminded of you every day through a phrase , a joke , a place and even a fashion garment - What a Classy and elegant lady you were !
I can even hear you calling me ‘Jeefa’ , your own unique way of pronouncing my name . I have found comfort and warmth from these small but significant memories .
I will always remember your smiling face , laughter and sharp wit . You were cheeky and playful at times and I was often the loser in our playful and lengthy arguments How you loved sparring ,Joy
I admired your joie de vivre . You travelled the world , took part in marathons , and lived a very fulfilling life both professionally as a successful Barrister and in your personal life .It is an honour to have been your friend .
I cherish you and I am blessed for knowing you ,loving you and for having met you .
You always encouraged me to be my best self with your words of advice and wisdom . 
You , Joy, were my greatest confidante from the moment we met in our youth . It is said that friends are the family we choose and thank you Joy for regarding me as a member of your family .
I always admired your loyalty , kindness , generosity and integrity .
Since the loss of you , Joy, I have learned that when anything goes wrong , to never give up on what is right because it can only make you strong . I will never forget the immense resilience you demonstrated during challenging times .
I will miss you and I think about you every day . You will always be my closest friend and that is all I have to say .
As I loved you in life , I will treasure you in death .Even the dearest of friends must part.

Rest peacefully , Joy , in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the company of Mummy .
till we meet again .
Posted by Rachel Anyika on April 12, 2021
My dearest aunty Joy,

I have shed many tears since Easter Saturday when I heard the heartbreaking news that you had been taken from us.

You were always so kind, warm and loving, and it was a delight to be in your presence. You brightened up any room you were in with your beautiful smile, infectious laugh, sparkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. I will miss our chats over dinner or afternoon's at your house so much. We would talk about life, love and everything in between, always with plenty of laughter. You helped so many people and you always gave the best advice. You were a nurturing, motherly figure to so many of us, and I am so grateful how you helped my immediate family over the years. You really had such an amazing knack for understanding exactly what was going on, in any given situation. I remember a couple of years ago when I heard you were going to be on The One Show on BBC1, I was so excited. I watched it with great delight hearing you talk about the experience of adopted Nigerian children in the UK back in the 70's & 80's, we were all so proud of you, I only wish I had recorded it! Hearing about your work as a barrister was always a pleasure, a great example of a strong woman that has inspired me greatly.

I just wish there had been more time, I was so hopeful for a miracle that you would get better, and could not bear the thought of you not being here. Though I am comforted that you are no longer in any pain, and I will always carry your memory and encouragement with me. You will continue to glow brightly and bless us with your warmth always. I love and miss you so much.
Rachel xxxxxxxxxx
Posted by Constance Oranu on April 11, 2021
Joy Nwamala Okoye was a rare breed,extremely intelligent, bold and courageous. Joy was kind,giving and accommodating. Joy was a role model and a mentor to many people. She was a renowned lawyer in the United Kingdom.

I remember when I first met my cousin Joy, she dazzled me with her poise and elegance. I thought I had met the Queen of England herself. Her Queen’s English was impeccable. As a little girl I could barely understand her grammar. Joy had an interesting personality and was funny. When she loved, she loved with her whole heart. Joy’s life was a blessing and her memory a treasure. She was indeed Joy. When I heard her health had deteriorated, I prayed for a miracle but then it pleased God to call her to his garden.

          Joy Girl

God looked around His garden
And He found an empty place.
And then He looked down upon the earth,
And saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you,
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering,
He knew you were in pain,
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough,
And the hills were hard to climb,
So He closed your weary eyelids,
And whispered, “Peace be thine.”
It broke our hearts to lose you.
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home

Rest In Peace my darling cousin. ❤️❤️❤️
Posted by Uzo Inno okoye on April 11, 2021
It is really difficult to write this tribute, still speechless & in shock on the passing unto glory of a precious beloved consin, Joy Okoye. She was senerely beautiful, an articulated intellectual & accomplished lawyer. We have lost you painfully to the cold hands of death, oh death where is thy sting? but we are consoled with the knowledge that heaven have gained an Angel .Your death would surely create a big vacuum in the lives of those loved by you.You came,lived convincely within your beliefs, conquered & left an unprecedented footprints as an achiever.To live in the hearts of those you love is not to die,you will always be in our minds.May your journey to eternity be smooth & may the good Lord grant your soul eternal rest until we meet to part no more.Fare thee well ❤
Posted by Annetta Harriett Verin on April 11, 2021
My husband and I met Joy over 30 years ago when we first travelled from Bessemer, Alabama in the United States to London for the purpose of speaking to an association of lawyers. I shall never forget that day. When Joy met us at our hotel, all three of us immediately bonded and became friends. She ultimately progressed to being my sister and was kind enough to share her biological brothers and sisters with us. We all became family.

As lawyers, we absolutely loved discussing the law and comparing the differences between various legal systems. Hence, during her many visits with us here in Alabama, she addressed organizations about various topics of law in the United Kingdom. In London, she in turn coordinated events where we spoke about legal issues impacting lives in the USA. Even when we travelled the world together on vacation, the three of us often ended the trip by looking for a courthouse or in some way studying the country’s legal system.

Some years ago, both my husband and I ascended to the State Court Bench. The move from lawyers to judges required winning elections. Joy was absolutely intrigued by the entire process and helped us with our campaigns. We often quipped that she obtained votes for us because of her voice due to the electorate’s fascination with her British accent.

We have so many wonderful memories of Joy. Personally, I am already missing our telephone conversations. Sometimes we talked for two or three hours without either of us realizing it. Since Joy was so quick-witted and humorous, we often laughed during those hours for what seemed like several minutes without stopping.

I was blessed to spend the last two weeks with Joy in her home before her transition. I will be forever grateful for that honor. Since her departure, I’ve now returned to the United States with a heavy heart. Similarly, all who knew her here in Alabama are heartbroken. However, I find peace in her assurance that she will be waiting to welcome me in that glorious heavenly place.

May Joy’s memory continuously and forevermore bring joy to all of us who loved her.
Posted by Ijeoma Chinaka on April 11, 2021
Spoke crystal clearly always in the most gentle of voice. Lived a life of content to my full admiration. She was voracious in accommodating family members and friends and would be dearly missed. Heaven gained her. Journey well Sister Joy.
Ije fine
Posted by Donu Kogbara on April 11, 2021
This tribute appeared in Vanguard newspaper on 11th April.


The last time I spoke to my dear, precious, brilliant friend Joy Okoye, I promised to see her when I next visited London.

I flew into London from Abuja last Saturday, just before Easter Sunday. Joy died the same day, so our reunion never happened.

Nearly 40 years ago, when we were both in our early 20s and fresh out of the British universities we’d attended, I met Joy in Lagos. She was at the Law School in Victoria Island. I was doing my national service (NYSC) at Shell Petroleum’s headquarters on Marina.

We bonded immediately and deeply for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that we were both feisty, both thoroughly enjoyed Life and both smoked and drank like Oyinbo girls at a time when such habits were regarded as inappropriate for Nigerian ladies from good homes.

When traditionalists complained about our “misbehaviour”, I would point out that Joy and I were, at least, not sexually promiscuous!!!

In some ways, we were tomboys; and we liked to hang out with male chums who treated us like fellow guys and engaged us in lively intellectual discussions and heated but amicable debates about current affairs, philosophy, legal matters, et cetera.

That year in Lagos (1981-82) was absolutely fabulously carefree and one of the happiest years of my life. We made so many wonderful friends and went to tons of fun parties and nightclubs and beach picnics on Tarkwa Bay. We fondly reminisced about these halcyon days whenever we got together in the decades that followed.

Joy and I eventually decided to return to the UK where I became a journalist and she a barrister who took a keen interest in defending ethnic minority underdogs who were victims of a British criminal justice system she constantly assured me was racist to the core.

When we were in our late 30s, I decided to have another go at living in Nigeria; and I moved to Abuja with my husband and son.

Joy came to stay with me for a while; and I looked for her whenever I was visiting London. As we aged, our conversations mostly revolved around the multiple painful disappointments we had endured.

We would talk for hours and hours about the stupid mistakes we had made and the bitter betrayals that had been inflicted on us by folks we had helped and expected small basic kindnesses from.

We reacted differently to the emotional suffering, financial worries and professional problems that scarred us so profoundly.

I got tougher and angrier and more selfish. Joy continued to be an angel.

She was one of the most generous and courageous individuals I have ever had the privilege of knowing; and she wore the sadness and fear that she often experienced with superhuman dignity.

I nearly collapsed from raw, head-spinning grief when she calmly told me that the cancer that had attacked her body was terminal.

Since I was told about her death, I have shed so many tears.

I am totally, inconsolably heartbroken. May she rest in peace in the bosom of the Almighty. Farewell, until we meet again, JoyGirl.
Posted by Azanne Kofi Akainyah on April 11, 2021
I do not now remember when I first crossed paths with Joy. What I do know is that by the mid nineties we were firm friends. This friendship deepened further after I moved to Finchley and started worshipping at St. Paul’s. Joy could be frank, uncompromising and stubborn and these were qualities which some claimed I also shared. As a result we used to have disagreements on many issues but the friendship remained because Joy had integrity, compassion and a generous spirit. She loved children including my daughter Almaz and my son Elias who have been left devastated by her passing. Indeed, if I remember correctly my wife and I were first informed by Joy of her diagnosis either at Christmas 2002 or 2003. She came to visit us bearing gifts for the children. As we sat in our kitchen having a drink and some cake all seemed well. In this convivial atmosphere she lobbed the bombshell revelation of her cancer diagnosis. But she remained sanguine. We all held hands and I said a prayer affirming our belief that our merciful God would care for her. I emphasised that God needs us to work with Him so she had to do her part. I therefore begged her to stop smoking. Regrettably she never did.

Joy was British. But she was more. She was one of the few black people I would consider to be undoubtedly English in character and outlook. And yet she was not deracinated. This was because she was also deeply African and black. She made friends of all races and was an implacable, realistic and practical anti racist who had no time for the humbug and pie in the sky pronouncements of some activists.

Joy was a loyal friend. There was no affectation. She was genuine. She could laugh. She called me Emperor. I asked her for the reason. She said it was because I did not care what others thought. Which, strangely, was exactly what I thought was her attitude!

Ironically, despite her intelligence and tenacity Joy and I did not work together to any significant extent. This was essentially because my law firm did not handle much family and children litigation. However, I had the misfortune once to be instructed by Joy in one of her racism complaints against the bar. The hearing was in a small courtroom in the high court. It was presided over by a lady judge who was known to me because the previous week she had been the judge in a case of mine. Joy sat behind me but interjected, interrupted and intervened so much that the judge with a wink and a smile asked whether I needed a few minutes with my client. I took the opportunity to warn Joy in the severest terms that I would withdraw if she persisted. She stopped. But she was not happy. In later years we would laugh about this.

Joy and her family threw a surprise leaving party for us before we relocated to Ghana in 2005. She was also able to visit us here on two occasions. She left an indelible mark on my wider family, staff and friends. We remained in regular contact by WhatsApp. One of her last posts to me in response to something I had forwarded to her was typically robust: “keep your crap”.

I last spoke to Joy in February when she disclosed that she had been given only three more months of life even though she felt very well. I said I would pray for her.

God knows best.
Posted by Victoria Whyte on April 11, 2021
From Luke Whyte:
To my dearest Aunty Joy my best friend, my teacher and most importantly my role model. Thank you for always being there through the highs and lows, looking forward to seeing you soon, rest in perfect peace Aunty Joy.

From Jason Whyte:
Auntie Joy was a fantastic person. A special, caring and loving Auntie. An amazing role model who I looked up to and respected a lot. God bless her soul and may eternal rest grant unto her and let perpetual light shine upon her and May she rest in peace.

From Ian Whyte:
Joy Okoye was like family to us. She was a selfless and caring person who always looked for things to do to empower the lives of others. She was always there for my children and every Christmas dropped something off for them until they became men. She was a great woman and she will be missed by many. May her gentle soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

From Victoria Whyte:
Farewell my Aunty Joy, you’re leaving and it was time for you to go. Still finding it hard to process, but your friendship was a blessing
to me and my entire family and I will miss you so much. God is here to take you home.
Now you and I must part.
I love you, and forever you will live
within my heart. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

I commend you, my dear Joy to almighty God, and entrust you to your Creator.
May you rest in the arms of the Lord who formed you from the dust of the earth. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May the soul of our
faithful departed Sister, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Posted by Lesley Wilson on April 11, 2021
I was so saddened to hear the news of your passing, dear Joy, but also grateful that you are no longer suffering or in pain and you are now with your God who you were so devoted too.

I am so grateful that Ruky introduced us and whenever I found out that you would be at her place to join us for lunch, I would get really excited to see you, as I knew for sure that we would have such a giggle and real belly laughs together.

The first time we met was at Ruky’s 50th. Brendan and I had no idea she was turning 50 as she kept it a secret and you showed up with a 50 balloon - we thought it was a joke, but realised it wasn’t and when we met, we laughed about it so much and I realised that you were my type of person - the person who never lets big events go ahead quietly.

The last time I saw you was at Ruky’s 60th and again, we laughed, cried a little and you gave me the best advice - Trust that whatever is happening has a purpose and a learning. I won’t ever forgot that piece of nugget of advice.

Joy, you were, without a doubt, loved so very much by so many people. Your laugh was infectious. You were super witty, smart and whilst awful with time-keeping, from what I know, you always showed up for others in need.
May you rest in peace, wonderful Joy. The world will certainly be a little darker without you.
Sending our thoughts to all of your family and friends. Love Lesley, Brendan and Aaron.
Posted by Inkky Olayiwole on April 10, 2021
Dear Cousin Joy,
My heart aches.....to think I just saw you once again in 2019. I thought how wonderful and soft spoken you were and made a note to myself that a visit to you each time I’m in London was imperative. We hugged and I promised to visit again but that was your goodbye.
My Mother told me stories about you as a little girl. She remembers taking you with her to Kingsway stores and how perfect you were as a child. She was so proud of you.
We must trust in God’s love, God’s timing and God’s wisdom to take you home at this time. To Him be all the glory for your life, your times and your journey.
Rest in peace dearest Cousin Joy, surrounded by light, beauty and glory forever

The memory of the righteous is blessed...
(Proverbs 10:7a)
Posted by Joy Oti on April 10, 2021
My dearest darling Joy!
Over 50 years ago we met as young girls and became inseparable.
You have been more than my childhood friend, you became a sister to me: fiercely protective and always ready to fight my battles. You believed so much in me, encouraging me even when I doubted myself. You were my confidant and I could always unburdened myself to you knowing my secrets were safe with you. You were unstinting in your support and generosity. Your passover to eternity has left a void in my life because there is only one you.
I take consolation that your personal battles and suffering are over.
You are now with your beloved mother whom you told me the night before you died was with you.
Rest in peace my darling sister, my hero until we meet to part no more.
Forever in my heart.
Joy Oti.
Posted by Mona Moses on April 10, 2021
My dear friend Joy. No words can describe how much we shall miss you albeit we hadn’t seen each other of late given then current climate & other factors. This brings me sadness that I didn’t have the opportunity to bid farewell to my friend in the manner in which I would have hoped to do. You deserved so much more in life Joy, you gave so much to others. Smart, witty and so very genuine, my dear Joy may you rest in peace, you shall be rewarded for all your kindness and greatness. A true lady until the end, fearless and full of Joy always, this is how I wish to remember you as I have known you always to be throughout the years. God bless my friend , Mona, Selma, Amir and Izabella.
Posted by Alexander Okonta on April 10, 2021
My Darling Aunty Joy,

Words can't express how sad I feel. My eyes are filled with tears but my heart is filled with Joy that you are in a place where there is no more pain, no more sickness. Rest wellm. Until we meet again in paradise.
Love you always.
Chin Chin xxx
Posted by Lakshmi Appenteng on April 10, 2021
Joy was a very special lady. An extremely intelligent,very compassionate and elegant lady. Joy was an accomplished Lawyer who was a faithful ,loyal and generous friend to all who had the privilege to know her .
There are so many memorable moments I shared with Joy ,over four decades , in London and here, in Accra. Joy welcomed me in her life as Dzifa’s younger sister during their university days . In no time at all I became her younger sister as well with all the friendship and support that comes with that. Sadly , our moments together may be over but love, friendship and memories live beyond goodbye .
Joy was a shining light to everyone who knew her and a gift to everyone who met her . The ‘ wives ‘ are greatly saddened and have shed tears because she is gone . We will , however , continue to smile because you , Joy, have lived .
With the many great achievements she accomplished in life and personal challenges she faced , Joy found time to share her love and kindness with all on the ‘wives ‘ WhatsApp group . Her posts were funny , serious and informative . Joy invited discussions in all manner of things .

I extend my heartfelt sympathies to Joy’s family. She will be greatly missed .
Farewell , my sister . Your friendship was a blessing and I will miss you . God is here to take you home and now, you and I must part.
Rest peacefully in the arms of our Lord and Saviour , for it is richly deserved .
Adieu, Joy , till we meet again .

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