NORTHCUTT, GLENDA JOY- Glenda Joy Northcutt was born at home on the very cold, snowy night of December 29, 1935, in Coryell County, Texas. Her parents were Garland Grey Northcutt and Doris Hurley Northcutt. Though they did not yet know it, Joy was born with a rare congenital disorder known as PMM2-CDG which causes many problems, including developmental delays. 20% of those born with this disorder do not survive beyond the age of 5. Yet Joy survived and thrived until the age of 84 when she passed on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
Joy was thrilled when a sister, Marilyn, was born 7 years later, and a brother, Jim, another 2 years later. Joy had strong maternal instincts and she loved caring for her sister and brother. She was especially caring of Marilyn who was so sick with asthma that her parents had to move to Carlsbad, New Mexico, in 1947 to keep her alive. There another sister, Charma, was born, and again Joy loved to hold and care for her new baby sister. She always loved children, especially babies, and even adults. Though many people only saw Joy as “mentally challenged”, we, her sisters and brother, really never thought of her that way, but just saw her as our older sister whom we loved deeply.
In Carlsbad, Joy went to a special school for the developmentally delayed people and learned how to do quite a few things, including reading at a lower level and writing. She loved being able to tell time and understand the calendar, and had an amazing ability to know everyone’s birthday and even what day of the week it would occur on. She was fascinated with mail, whether letters to her parents or her, and would try to read as much of it as she could. Joy’s grandmother, Lela Hurley, taught her how to embroidery, and the family members still have pillow cases, dresser scarves, and etc. that were beautifully embroidered by Joy.
Joy lived with her parents in Carlsbad, then in Cloudcroft, and Portales before eventually moving to Roswell where they lived since about 1964. Though Joy lived at home with her parents, she went to the Tobosa Developmental Services during the day.
Joy’s dad died in 1992, and then her mother died in 2002. At the death of her mother, Joy’s sister, Marilyn Burchett became her legal guardian, and she moved to Hondo to live with Marilyn and Jerry Burchett. Joy became part of the family, joined the Capitan Methodist Church and the Lincoln County Home Extension Club, and went on many trips with the family. She also went through the tough process of a burned house, and the building of a new house. Eventually Joy moved to the New Horizons Developmental Center in Carrizozo where she soon found many friends, especially her two roommates. Again Joy’s nurturing ability came into play and she enjoyed “mothering” the rest of the clients there. Her favorite saying became, “I like you”!
It was there at New Horizons that Joy passed away under the care of Encompass Care Hospice, and surrounded by the staff, on January 30, 2020. Preceding her in death were her parents, Garland and Doris Northcutt. Left behind her to grieve were her sisters, Marilyn Burchett (Jerry Burchett), and Charma Whitehead (John Whitehead), and her brother, Jim Northcutt, and their families. Her nephews and nieces were Doretta Barlow, Joe Burchett (deceased), and Robert Burchett; Kim Northcutt and Lisa Briggs; and Chad and Mathew Whitehead and many great nieces and nephews. A special “Thank You” goes out to the staff of New Horizons and the hospice team for Joy’s care.
Joy was cremated and her memorial service will be held in the early part of March at the South Park Cemetery in Roswell, New Mexico, next to the graves of her parents.
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