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Kenneth Joyce '62 August 17, 2023 12:44 PM updated: August 25, 2023 4:55 PM

Kenneth G. B. Joyce, Colonel USAF (Ret) 

January 28, 1940 - August 15, 2023 

Colonel (retired) Kenneth G. B. Joyce, born January 28, 1940, passed away on August 15, 2023, at age 83. He was predeceased by his father, Lt. Col. (retired) Kenneth B. Joyce, mother Eleanor Joyce, and stepmothers Peggy H. Joyce and Betsy Joyce.

Ken is survived by his loving wife of fifty-eight years, Mary; daughter Kristen Parrish (Marc); son Scott Joyce (Tami); grandkids Sarah Berry (Patrick), Samuel Lucas, Newt Parrish, Rachel Joyce, and Audrey Joyce; sister Debbie Dewey; and brothers Stuart Joyce (Jo) and Christopher Joyce.

Ken graduated from Glen Lake High School, Maple City, Michigan, as 1st valedictorian in 1958. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. degree in history and an Air Force Commission in 1962. While at A&M he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and served on the Student Senate as chairman of the Aggie Muster on campus. Ken received a deferment from the Air Force to attend law school at the University of Texas, graduating with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1965. He met and married his beloved wife, Mary Ann Garrett, while both were at the University of Texas.

Ken entered active duty in 1966. His numerous assignments over the next thirty years included a year at Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam; Assistant Staff Judge Advocate (ASJA) Bitburg Air Base, Germany; SJA (head lawyer), Air Force Military Personnel Center, San Antonio, Texas; Chief, Personnel Law, Headquarters USAF, Pentagon; Chief, Military Law Tactical Air Command; Chief Military Law Air Combat Command; SJA, Air Force Communications Command; and SJA, Air Education and Training Command.

In addition to specializing in Personnel Law, Ken also participated in numerous aircraft accident investigations, including high-profile incidents such as the crash of the Thunderbirds demonstration team during a practice session.

His military decorations include the Bronze Star, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (4), and the Legion of Merit (3). Ken’s military education consisted of Squadron Officer School, where he served as class president; Air Command and Staff College; and the Air War College in residence.

After retirement in 1996, Ken moved his family to Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. There he served on the Brookstone Homeowners Association Board and was an usher, elder, and member of the Mission Team at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Hermitage, Tennessee.

Ken’s hobbies included collecting miniature automobile and aircraft models, collecting vintage movies, watching sports events featuring his beloved Aggies, spending time with the grandchildren, and taking walks and trips with Mary.

Services will be held at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Peagram, Tennessee, with military honors, at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may take the form of donations to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church food pantry at this address: 1003 Hickory Hill Lane, Hermitage, TN 37076


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