OBITUARY: Joy Keenum Bissonnette


Joy Keenum Bissonnette of Columbia, Tenn., passed away too soon on June 9, 2024, while traveling in Glasgow, Scotland.

She is survived by her only child, Andrew Scott Bissonnette (Jennifer) and three grandsons, Drew, Hudson, and Miller. She is also survived by her sister Judy True (Warren), and nephews Rob and Brad True.

She was predeceased by her parents Irwin and Mary Lee and her husband Louis, who passed on January 9, 2023, after a lengthy battle with Lewy Body Dementia.

Joy was born on January 14, 1949, in Texarkana, Texas, to Irwin and Mary Lee Keenum.

She graduated from Texas High School, Texarkana in 1967. In 1969, she met Louis Bissonnette while he was stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, Shreveport, La. They married on July 12, 1969 at the Base Chapel on Barksdale. During their marriage, Joy and Lou were stationed in many places including Louisiana, Goose Bay, Labrador, Idaho, Arkansas, Germany, Mississippi, California, Texas, and Japan.

After Lou retired from the Air Force, he and Joy settled in Biloxi, Miss. where he worked as a police officer and Joy worked as a contracting specialist at Keesler Air Force Base. She also enjoyed working part-time at Belk department store.

Joy earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with honors from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1994. She earned her Master of Business Administration from William Carey University in 2001.

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2006, Joy and Lou relocated from Biloxi to Spring Hill, Tenn. They became active members of Columbia First United Methodist Church through which they made many friends and participated in many mission trips locally and abroad. Recently, she had joined a new church, Cornerstone Covenant Church. Joy and Lou loved to travel and were proud to have visited all 50 states in addition to many foreign countries. As recently as March 2024, Joy joined her son and family on a week-long trip to Italy.

At the time of her passing, she was on a 23-day trip to visit England, Ireland, and Scotland and had booked an October trip to return to Italy and Germany. In addition to traveling, Joy enjoyed reading, sports, Trivia, singing in church, golfing, watching her grandsons play sports, exercising, and socializing with friends. Joy was an avid fan, loudest cheerleader, and backup scorebook keeper for her grandsons’ little league baseball games.

In addition, she loved playing card and board games with the boys and the occasional game of chess with Miller. She and Lou started an annual ski trip with their grandsons and family and enjoyed watching them learn to ski in Brighton, Utah, a place they had visited for over 30 years and at which they had also taught Andrew to ski.

A celebration of life service will be held on Monday, August 5, 2024, at 4:00 PM at Heritage Funeral Home in Columbia, Tennessee. The family will visit with friends on Monday from 2:00-4:00 PM at the funeral home.


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