Joy Howze

joy howze

January 19, 1946 ~ October 22, 2021

Born in: Robstown, Texas
Resided in: College Station , Texas

Joy Merritt Howze, 75, of College Station, passed away peacefully on October 22, 2021, surrounded by her husband and two daughters.

Joy was born on January 19, 1946, in Robstown, Texas, to Arthur Merritt, Jr., and Lois (Armstrong) Merritt. She grew up on the family farm, spending her days playing with the animals and reading under the trees. After graduating from Robstown High School, she attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, and received her B.A. in History from the University of Houston. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

In 1967, in Houston, she married her high school sweetheart, Jo. They were together for 61 years. After they married, Joy worked for IBM while Jo finished graduate school at Rice University. They then lived in Brazil for 18 months, where Jo taught at the Catholic University in Rio and Joy taught History and English at the American School. In 1972, when Jo received an Electrical Engineering faculty position at Texas A&M University, they settled in College Station and raised their family. Joy devoted her life to her family, took wonderful care of them day in and day out, and created a warm, loving, and welcoming home. She loved her daughters, Janet and Joan, and was always there for them through thick and thin. Joy adored her five grandchildren, and was an important part of their lives. The grandchildren will especially remember the wonderful holidays at Mom and Pop’s house. Joy had many interests and pastimes, including reading, gardening, needlepoint, volunteering, birds, and her many cherished dogs.

Joy is survived by her devoted husband Jo William Howze; daughter Janet Devlin and husband Matthew of Austin; grandsons Patrick Devlin and Andrew Devlin of Austin; daughter Joan Zurovec of Burleson; grandsons William Zurovec and Adam Zurovec, and granddaughter Emma Joy Zurovec, all of Burleson; brothers Gordon Merritt and Lynn Merritt, both of San Antonio; sister Shirley Carawan of Roanoke, Texas; several nieces and nephews; her longtime dear friend Jean McDermott of College Station; and many other friends who meant the world to her. She was predeceased by her parents, Arthur and Lois Merritt; sisters-in-law Caroline Merritt and Carol Merritt; and niece Stacey (Carawan) West.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Alzheimer’s Association (, or to Voices for Children / CASA of Brazos Valley (, where Joy volunteered her time and energy helping children navigate the foster care system.

A memorial service for Joy is set for 10:00 am, Friday, November 5, 2021, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center, 3001 South College Avenue, Bryan.

To share in Joy’s online memorial, please visit

Funeral arrangements are by Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Center, 3001 South College Avenue, Bryan, Texas 77801.

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  1. Dear Howze and Merritt family, We are sad to hear of Joy‘s passing. She was one of our very best friends from first grade forward. A bright smart person along with the rest of her family. We hate losing one of our outstanding Robstown classmates. Much love to you and your family, Richard and Nancy Wray Dugger

    • Mr. and Mrs. Dugger,
      Thank you so much for the sweet words and fond memories. We were so happy you could be there with us in Robstown. Thank you for the beautiful flowers as well.

      Joan, Janet and Jo

  2. Jo, Janet, Joan and all the Merritt family members. I am writing this on behalf of mom, Patsy McLean. She is so sorry about the passing of Joy. Joy was one of her favorite cousins and she loved visiting all the Meeritts in Robstown when she was young. One of her best memories is their annual Holiday crepe lunches at the Galleria in Houston. Joy, mom, Aunt Mimi and Ellen went for many years. Her loves is coming your way. Mary Grace

    • Mary Grace and Patsy,
      Thank you so much for the memories and the love sent our way. Thank you for the beautiful flowers as well. Please send our love to Patsy! Mom loved her so much.

      Joan, Janet and Jo

  3. Jo, Janet and Joan , We are so sorry to hear about the passing of Joy. Joy was always so gracious to our family and a very good grandmother to our shared grandchildren. I know this will leave a void in their hearts, as well as all family members. Praying the memories she left behind will comfort all in days to come. May she rest in peace

    • Pat and Steve,
      Thank you for the kind words and prayers for our family, especially for William, Adam and Emma.

      Joan, Janet and Jo

  4. Joy was named appropriately. She was such a gracious, and loving person; a joy to be around. She was a lot of fun. I’m sorry for your loss my friends. I pray that comfort and peace be with you.

    • Connie,
      Thank you for the prayers and being with us to say goodbye to Mom. Her name was perfect for her!

      Joan, Janet, and Jo

  5. I remember visiting an Arts and Craft store here…and this lady walks to me with this big smile…it was Joy…with her encouragement, she got me interested in arts and crafts. Never saw her without a smile on her face. I agree with what one of the ladies commented on…her name was appropriate for her. My prayers are with the family.

    • Mrs. Stasny,
      Thank you for sharing your sweet memories of my mom. Her smile will be forever missed. Thank you for the food and snacks for our family as well.
      Joan, Janet and Jo

  6. Janet and Joan , May you have peace knowing how much your mother loved you both. I am so glad she was able to see her daughters become the wonderful mothers and ladies you both are. She will forever be in our hearts with joyful memories . Prayers and thoughts are with your families.

  7. Shelley,
    Thank you so much for the kind words and thoughts and prayers. She will forever be with us!
    Joan, Janet and Jo

  8. I remember Joy fondly as a neighbor to my family and also as an Alpha Delta Pi alum who worked very hard to get the local chapter installed here in College Station back in the early 70’s. Joy was one who helped me become a charter member of the Zeta Lambda chapter here. I have recipes from Joy in my favorites box and just remember her sweetness and her humor too. She loved her family and was so proud of her girls!

  9. To the Howze family,
    My family was very close to all the Merritt family, the Simpsons, the Hauslers, etc. Joy was 6 years older. My brother, who was 2 years older than me, would always save a seat on the bus for Joy. The bus driver would stop the bus so Joy could put on her makeup. Mr. Malek knew who was special! Joy always had that peaches & cream complexion, perfectly flawlessly. The picture of Joy looks just like her mother, Lois. We will miss her. Im sure you already, too. We are so sorry for your loss.

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