She walked in beauty… Joyce Annette (Russo) Ebbets, age 84, of Ormond Beach, Florida passed peacefully into her Savior's arms on April 12, 2017. She is survived by her children Charles Chobee (Becky) Ebbets, Toby Joyce (Leslie) Bagley, Bruce Allen (Crystal) Ebbets, and Tami Ebbets (Charles) Hahn. She was the special Grandma' Joyce to eight grandchildren: Alexis Ebbets Buffum, Samuel C. Ebbets, Jerad M. Owen, Chelsea (Bagley) O'Connor, Victoria F. Ebbets, Brian M. Hahn, Zachary C. Hahn and Paige Bagley Rivera. She was also the proud great-grandmother of Ava & Chase O'Connor, Callen Buffum, Wayde Owen, Joshua Gervais, Mika Safford, Robert Rivera, Jr., and Madelyn Rivera. She is also survived by her brother Malcolm Gerard (Jerry) Russo, his wife Martha, nephews John Russo (Joy), David Russo (Kari), niece Laura McGarvey (Jeff) and their beautiful clan of her great-nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her beloved sister Dolores Faye Russo, and her precious granddaughter Celeste Ebbets. Joyce was born to Leon Malcolm and Mary Ruth Russo in New York on September 4, 1932. She graduated from Miami Senior High school and worked for several years as a professional fashion model. In 1950 she married famed Miami photographer Charles Clyde Ebbets. Together they raised a beautiful family of four children. Through the years, Joyce was a dedicated wife and mother and enjoyed fishing, writing, photography, and travel with her family. She shared her husband Charlie's love of photography, and for the past decade she had worked with her daughter Tami archiving the 50+ year estate collection of pictures taken by Charlie and contributing to a book being written about his life and work. She was also part of a documentary that is in development centering on his career and his most famous work, the 1932 image entitled "Men On A Beam" which shows 11 steel workers eating lunch high above Manhattan, NY as they worked on the completion of the Rockefeller Center. After raising her children, Joyce went on to work as a newspaper feature article writer, in the travel industry, and later in local politics. She was the Vice President of the Miami chapter of the American Business Women's Association, a member of First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, and served as a volunteer with their telephone ministry. A resident of Ormond Beach for over 25 years, she served as a City Commissioner for the City of Ormond Beach for 2 terms. Working on issues which served the area's senior population and promoted environmental conservation was her passion. Always a staunch conservationist of our natural resources and wildlife, she was instrumental in writing some of the first grants that helped established the magnificent Central Park system in Ormond Beach. She also used her own talents with a camera to document the area's natural beauty and her photos frequently appeared in the local newspapers. Sharing the beauty of her beloved city was a full-time passion for Mrs. Ebbets and one she pursued tirelessly. In 2007, in appreciation for her efforts on behalf of the local environment, the Joyce Ebbets Fishing Pier and Observation Deck was dedicated in her honor in the Hand Avenue park. It brought her great joy over the years to visit the pier and see families enjoying the park system she had helped to create. Joyce continued to serve her community even after her retirement from the City Commission as Ormond Beach's first official City Ambassador and media liason. Her ultimate dream for the city was to one day help establish a permanent "living classroom" within the park for the families of the area where her love for the environment and this very special community could be passed on for generations to come. That dream came true on May 21, 2016, when at the age of 83, she participated in the ribbon cutting for her beloved Environmental Discovery Center at 601 Division Avenue. Her family is committed to continuing Joyce's work and her environmental "Legacy of Love" with the establishment of a children's scholarship program in her name. The EDC has established a wonderful Enviro Camp summer educational program for children ages 7-10 which runs for two 4-week sessions on a variety of environmental topics. Her family members have worked with the OB Department of Leisure Services to set up the Joyce Ebbets Children's Environmental Educational Scholarship Fund which will sponsor a number of deserving children from all backgrounds to attend this unique camp each summer. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Mrs. Ebbets consider making a contribution to the above children's scholarship fund in her name. The funds will be administered as a 501(c) 7 nonprofit by the Ormond Beach Department of Leisure Services and 100% of funds will go to educating the children of our area on the wonders of our natural resources and how to respect and protect them. Checks can be made payable to The City of Ormond Beach, with the notation "Ebbets Scholarship Fund" in the memo and mailed to Ormond Beach Leisure Services Department, 399 North Highway US 1, Ormond Beach, FL 32174. The family will receive visitors for a viewing on Monday, April 17 from 4-7 pm at Haigh-Black Funeral Home located at 167 Vining Court, Ormond Beach , FL. 32176. A Celebration of Life service will be conducted on Tuesday, April 18 by Reverend Thomas C. White at 3:00 pm at Tomoka Christian Church located at 1450 Hand Avenue Ormond Beach, FL 32174. Following the service, a special reception for family and friends will take place at the Environmental Discovery Center at 601 Division Avenue, Ormond Beach, FL. from 4:30-6:30 pm.
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