It was with much sadness that we learned of the peaceful passing of Joy Fraser on 26th September 2023 after a short illness.
Joy was known and loved by many both in her homeland of Scotland and further afield.
She was the daughter of Alexander and Daisy, her father a minister in the Free Church.
She was brought up in Dumbarton, the middle of five children. After leaving school, she embarked on a career in nursing and midwifery, in which she was much respected and which was to take her to Malawi and Nazareth.
Her career started at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where she became a sister in A & E and a Night Duty Supervisor. After some years, she was called to missionary work in Malawi, serving as a midwifery tutor in the Church of Scotland Hospital.
She then returned to Scotland as part of the commissioning team for the new build at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Joy then moved to the Highlands to be a Divisional Nursing Officer at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
It was from here that she went with EMMS to serve as Director of Nursing at the Nazareth Hospital in the mid 1980’s. During her time there, she was highly regarded and played a significant role in the work of the hospital, going on to serve as a trustee and making many long-term friendships.
She completed her eminent career in Inverness, working as a Health Board Executive for the Highlands.
During her time in Inverness, she was an active member of Smithton Free Church.
In 2009, Joy moved to Carluke. Although retired, she did not in any way slow down. She was very involved in many areas of church life within St John’s Church of Scotland and the local community.
Joy had a real heart for people, but especially young people, being involved with various youth groups and the local High School. She was a regular attender at worship, often leading prayer meetings and Bible studies and assisting at the weekly coffee morning.
She was a committed member of the prayer team at Braehead Christian Healing and Retreat Centre, where she also served as a trustee.
Joy was a member of Listen Well Scotland and was instrumental in establishing Carluke Listeners, now with a large number of volunteers offering Christian listening throughout the local area.
A service of thanksgiving for Joy’s life was held in Carluke, attended by people of all ages and from all walks of life, many of whom had known her from times shared both in Scotland and Nazareth. During the service, Rev Elijah Obinna led the congregation in a prayer of thanksgiving for Joy’s sense of what was good, right and decent, for her warmth and love, for every life she enriched and for the faith by which she lived.
At Joy’s request, the gathering afterwards in the church hall was an opportunity to share fellowship together. However, most importantly, it gave an opportunity to share how God had touched people’s lives through knowing Joy.
At her burial the following day in Inverness, Rev David Meredith described Joy as an independent and strategic thinker with a keen, biblically informed mind who was not afraid to challenge the status quo and whose advice was always fresh and insightful.
She had a heart for God’s church and its mission in the world and was generous in sharing her many gifts with others. She was particularly gifted in hospitality, counselling and listening and had a deep affinity with young people, developing strong relationships of trust and encouragement.
Joy will be remembered for her elegance and for the calm and sensitive way she shared her faith.
But in everything, Joy sought only to give glory to God. Her life was rooted in her strong Christian faith and her love for the Lord, whom she trusted and served all of her days.
She will be much missed by all who had the privilege to know and love her.
May she rest in peace with the Lord she loved and served.