Joy Elaine Warriner Pinnell

Joy Elaine Warriner Pinnell was born on July 15, 1942, and died February 19, 2022, in Saratoga, N.Y.

Joy would never have called herself or even believed someone would think this, but she really was a strong, brave, determined, persistent, trail blazing woman.

Joy began her adult life by graduating from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a degree in Home Economics and then marrying her college sweetheart, James “Jim” Pinnell, weeks later. In just a few years, with the birth of her first child, she made being a mother and wife her top priority, while enjoying the life of a full-time homemaker and part-time volunteer.

Joy decided her own path in life, instead of letting it decide her path. She always had a Plan B. She did not let the situation she found herself in, with having a terminally ill husband and two young kids, be considered a tragedy. It was not going to stop her. She returned to college to earn a graduate degree in Computer Science from Union College and embarked on a new career.

Joy quickly learned that being a working woman in the engineering field was her place. She enjoyed learning new skills and making new friends. One of those friends was a neighbor and carpool mate, widower William “Bill” Schilling. The two married and embarked on building a life together. They moved to Galway, New York and began traveling the world. They were the hit of many events as their stories and pictures were always fun and entertaining.

Joy was saving the planet before it was cool. She always found ways to recycle and upcycle before there were such things as recycle pickup days and websites filled with art and craft suggestions for your old clothes. She kept a drawer full of used computer punch cards for shopping lists and other notes. She was proud of her sewing skills and loved sharing how inexpensive it was to make the outfit she was wearing. Without embarrassment, Joy pulled a chair out of a neighbor’s trash. After some creative refurbishment, she was proud to show off the better than new result.

Joy enjoyed her creative side and had a drive for excellence that she showed off throughout her life, including in her hobbies. When Jenean and Eric were little, she would make sure they had wonderfully decorated birthday and special holiday cakes. She perfected bread-making and was known for her delicious herb bread, homemade potato rolls and grandchild-approved pizza crust. She loved to knit, crochet and sew and spent hours making clothes and other items. She wasn’t just a pattern follower; she made her own. When her son wanted pockets on everything, or to wear his dad’s formal tux or her daughter wanted to design her own wedding dress or make something to cover her furniture, Joy made it happen. She made wonderful things for each of her grandchildren, including helping her daughter finish projects she started and ran out of time and talent to complete.

Joy loved to be active and enjoyed having fun. She was an avid walker, enthusiastic hiker and keen bike rider. Holidays meant great food and fantastic decorations. With the assistance of her husband and son, many Christmases were spent at her home in Galway, N.Y., in front of a 20+ foot beautifully decorated real Christmas tree.

With the craziness of raising children behind her Joy found additional hobbies. Two that became passions were reading mystery novels and being an artist. All mysteries were good from Dorothy L. Sayers to “The Cat Who…” series by Lilian Jackson Braun. Her artwork, no matter the medium was always wonderful, even those pieces that she said were not her best work.  

Joy was preceded in death by both her husbands: James “Jim” Pinnell and William “Bill” Schilling; her parents: George and Phyllis Warriner; and her beloved grandmother, Ethel Applebee.

She leaves behind two sisters: Sherry (Scotty) Robertson and Marsha (Jeff) Konrad; two children: Jenean (Jeff) Farmer and Eric (Brittany) Pinnell; two step-children: John and Brian (Erin) Schilling; and seven grandchildren: James Otis II, Meghan and River Pinnell, Harrison and Meredith Farmer and Riley and Sammy Schilling.

A graveside service will take place on Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 1 p.m. in the French Creek Presbyterian Cemetery, French Creek, W.Va. with Reverend Jonathan Acord officiating.

We, at Clutter Funeral and Cremation located at 21 Elnora Circle in Buckhannon, W.Va., are honored and privileged to serve the family of Joy Elaine Pinnell. Online condolences may be expressed at


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