In Memoriam : Joy Holman

Joy Holman Joy Holman - age: 2 months
(May 26, 2018 to July 17, 2018 )
Resident of Lexington, South Carolina

Visitation Information:
Funeral services for Joy Holman will be held on Sunday, July 29, 2018, 2:00 PM at Lexington High School, located at 2463 Augusta Highway, Lexington, SC 29063. Viewing will be available from 12 to 2 pm at the high school.

Viewing for Ms Joy will be held from 10am to 7 pm on Friday, July 27, and Saturday July 28, at the J.H. Robinson Funeral Home, 701 Hendrix St. Lexington, SC.


Joy Ann Holman was born to the late Corzine Holman in Harlem, New York. However, she was raised by her late maternal grandparents Sylvester Ben and Carrie Lee Jones in Lexington, South Carolina. Joy accepted Christ into her life at an early age and became an active member of Spring Hill A. M. E. Church in Gilbert, South Carolina until her death.

Her long career in athletics began in recreation league softball at age 9. From there, Joy attended all Lexington County Schools and graduated from Lexington High School in 1974. At Lexington High, Joy lettered and excelled in volleyball, basketball and track. Joy was also a varsity football cheerleader: team captain and MVP for the volleyball and basketball teams. Lexington High School inducted Joy into their Hall of Fame for her high school basketball career in 1993.

In 1974, Joy attended Benedict College on a basketball scholarship. During her Tiger career, Joy also played basketball, volleyball, softball and performed with the dance group. As a Benedict Tiger, Joy served as captain and MVP of all three sports, made all conference and all state for softball and basketball. Joy pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated in the Fall of 1975, 32 Shades of Essence. Appropriately, her name was Ms. Basketball, #6. Joy received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from Benedict College in 1978. Joy continued her post-graduate studies at the University of South Carolina.

In 1978, Joy played in the first women's professional basketball league in the USA, the WBL (Women’s Basketball League), for the Dayton Rockettes. Joy played the positions of point and wing guard for 3 years before the league was dissolved.

In 1980, Joy was hired by the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department as a Park Leader. She rose to become an Athletic Specialist/ Program Coordinator. Joy worked at Valley Park, now King Park from 1980-2018. While at Valley/King Park, Joy coached and played with the Valley Girls Basketball Team. The team was comprised of college and professional players and won several city and county championships. At Valley/King Park, Joy also coached and played Co-Ed Softball & Volleyball. Joy continued to play recreational sports as an adult. She played softball with Lexington Community Softball team, Alet’s, and the Ebony Ladies out of Columbia, South Carolina. The Ebony Ladies won national & world titles. They were together 28 years after starting out as an all-star team.

From 1982-1985, Joy worked at Babcock Center in Lexington, South Carolina as a Developmental Program Instructor. She trained young adult clients with mental and physical disabilities for job skills in specific job placement.
On February 11, 1985, Joy implemented a competitive Double Dutch Program at Valley Park, the Valley Park Double Dutch Forces which later became just the Double Dutch Forces. The team was comprised of 4 teenagers, Leah and Freda Davis and Jowana Harris (sisters) and Victor Morris. The group was interested in getting fit and asked Joy to train them. Joy accepted the challenge and became their Double Dutch coach even though she knew so little about the sport. The team grew from just four members to over 100 jumpers. “The Forces” won 338 State of South Carolina titles, 137 World titles, 99 2nd Place World titles, 29 National titles and 5 Grand National titles. Her teams set 5 national speed records! One team, The Lil’ Special Force, currently holds the world record in speed: 447 Steps! The Forces embodied the dignity, slow and easy-going manner of southerners, slowed down the ropes and earned her teams the moniker “Doing It Southern Style”

In 1985, Joy left Babcock to start her career in the Aiken County School System as a physical education teacher. Joy taught at Cyril Busbee Elementary School and A. L. Corbett Middle School in Wagener, South Carolina for 30 years before retiring in 2015. While at Busbee, Joy implemented a Double Dutch Program, extending her double Dutch expertise to even more children. The Wagener Force also became State and World Champions and were recognized by their school and the mayor for their success.

The Forces traveled for performances, competitions and to conduct training workshops across the United States, Paris, France, Toronto, Canada, and the Dutch Caribbean Islands. The teams performed at Disney World, Carowinds and Atlanta’s 1996 Summer Olympics. The Forces were the only Double Dutch team to ever perform at Olympics. The teams also performed at the half time show for Michael Jordan’s final game at the Georgia Dome.

The Forces have been featured in the following publications: Double Dutch: front page article, “The State” newspaper (2 times), the Wall Street Journal article, Sports Illustrated for Kids, the
Burdett Ginn Math text book, Lexington Life Magazine, Sandlapper Magazine and Columbia Business Magazine. Joy is personally mentioned in the following books: A Cover article “Roar of the Tigers!” An Illustrated History of Benedict College Athletics; “Mad Seasons” (history of 1st Women’s Professional Basketball League WBL).
Professional athletes who have supported and sponsored the Forces include Alex English, Ray Allen, Tyrone Corbett, Xavier McDaniels, Willie Scott and Mike Jones. The Forces have also been sponsored by the City of Columbia, Willis and Clara Langley, McWhirter, Bellinger and Associates, P.A., the Five Points Association as well as countless family, friends and community groups.
In 2003, Benedict College selected Joy into their Hall of Fame for basketball, volleyball and softball. Joy was the youngest inductee and only the 3rd woman selected in the school’s history. Joy was also inducted into the Women’s National Basketball Hall of Fame on June 9,, 2018. On July 14, 2018, Joy Ann Holman was presented the Order of the Palmetto by Mayor Stephen Benjamin at her home for her outstanding service to the State of South Carolina. The Order of the Palmetto is the highest honor awarded by the Governor to a South Carolinian for exceptional contributions to the state.

On July 17, 2018, the Lord called Joy Ann Holman home.
Joy was proceeded in death by her beloved friend and fellow Double Dutch Coach Michael Peterson. Joy leaves behind to mourn her passing 3 uncles: Freddy Holman (Evelyn), Washington, DC; James Hiller, Lexington, SC; and proceeded in death by Samuel Hiller (Florence), Lexington, SC; Margaret Holman (Trudel d.), Lexington, SC; Godmother: Shirley Jackson Harris (Sherrell), Lexington, SC; 5 Godchildren: Crystal Simpkins, Lexington, SC; Samuel Gortman Jr. (Shayla), Columbia, SC; Antonio Hiller (Niki Summers), Lexington, SC; Joy Hiller Mills (Brock), Lexington, SC; and Ava Watts, Lexington, SC. Joy also leaves behind a host of loving cousins, friends and her adopted Double Dutch Family.

Funeral arrangements will be under the direction of J.H. Robinson Funeral Home in Lexington. The funeral will be Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 2:00pm at Lexington High School. There will also be a Memorial Celebration at Martin Luther King Park 2300 Greene Street in the Five Points area of Columbia on Friday, July 27, 2018 at 6:00pm. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers
donations can be made to the Double Dutch Forces. For further information you may contact Donna McGreevy at 803-237-7241 or

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Vira Derrick - July 21, 2018Contact this person Contact this person
Loss for words on the passing of my cousin, classmate and friend. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.The Derrick Family sends their condolences.

Patrina Dawkins - July 23, 2018Contact this person Contact this person
A true soldier and awesome woman has been called to glory after leaving such a strong impression on the many young lives she has touched during her life. I was fortunate enough to see my daughter grow under Joy's direction 10 years ago and during that year she claimed 1st & 2nd place world titles in Sumter while I was recovering from a brain aneurism. Joy was there providing comfort, strength and guidance to Paris and to this day many of those characteristics are instilled in her as she turns 20. Joy you are an awesome force and the heavens are blessed as you have blessed many here on earth. Many jumped for Joy and will continue to do so. Much love to your memory sweet lady.

Robin Howell - July 23, 2018Contact this person Contact this person
I can't begin to express my feelings hearing the news about the loss of Joy. I have always considered Joy to be such a wonderful lady. It saddens me to the core to loose such a wonderful person. I am so lucky to have had her as a classmate and get to know Joy just a little bit. God bless all.

Winston McCarthy - July 25, 2018Contact this person Contact this person
No words can make your sadness go away. However, please find comfort in knowing that a united and loving community is here for you and your family with many shoulders to lean on. Winston McCarthy, Washington, D.C., Benedict College Class of 1977.

John DeLyons - July 25, 2018Contact this person Contact this person
I was deeply saddened upon hearing of the passing of my Benedict College Alumnae Joy. From the eighties until the last time I saw Joy at King/Valley Park every time I saw her or spoke with her she had a great and welcoming attitude. She even allowed me to observe her team practicing with no reservations. She never seemed to be to busy to speak to me when I would visit King park and received compliments of her team with grace. I was proud to say I went to Benedict with her whenever I would hear of her Double Dutch Team accomplishments. Joy and her teams represented Benedict, Columbia, Lexington, South Carolina and the United States professionally and well. Rest well until we meet "Where the golden sunshine falls..."

Teresa Owens - July 28, 2018Contact this person Contact this person
Joy, thank you for being a friend and coworker at the Babcock Center. Thank you for picking me to be a volunteer when the Forces first began with Leah, Freda, Jowanna and Victor. I have such beautiful memories of these times, especially our trip to Connecticut for one of the first championships. Your friendship was so special with the crazy adventures when we were in our 20s, and of course the Friday night trips to Annabelles! Love you so much soul sister and I will see you in Heaven.