Joyce McAteer Buis, of Sandy Springs, died March 10, 2020 at home at age 89, surrounded by her loved ones. Joyce was born in Webb, AL to John Allen McAteer and Susie Edna Webb and raised in Birmingham, AL. She received a B.A. in English and journalism from the University of Alabama in 1953 and married Charles E. Buis Jr. in 1954. The family moved to Sandy Springs in 1967, where Joyce got involved in Red Cross water safety during her children’s swimming lessons. This led to an interest in adapted aquatics, positions at Cobb and DeKalb YWCA swimming programs, and then a Master’s in therapeutic recreation and a Ph.D. in educational and developmental psychology in 1987, both from Georgia State University. Dr. Buis joined the GSU faculty in 1978 and retired in 1992.
She volunteered for the Metropolitan Atlanta Red Cross for over 30 years and taught at Red Cross aquatic schools around the country, receiving the Charles C. Rice Memorial Award for leadership in safety services in 1993. Dr. Buis was an active member of the Georgia Recreation and Park Association, which recognized her as the Therapeutic Recreator of the Year in 1986. In 1985, she was appointed to the Georgia Board of Recreation Examiners.
Dr. Buis was a founding member of the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Sandy Springs. She was especially interested in religious education of children and was active in the congregation for over 45 years. Joyce’s hobbies included swimming, white water canoeing, Braves baseball, and making Christmas ornaments and gift tags. She was known for her patience, kindness, and integrity.
For the last 5 years, Joyce had been living with and cared for by her daughter Elizabeth, son-in-law Dempsey, and grandchildren Cole, Wesley, and Joy, and Karah Venable. She is predeceased by her husband Charlie, her sister Marilyn Johnson, and her sisters-in-law Katherine Brooks and Ann Buis. Joyce is survived by her four children: Charles E. Buis, III (Marian); Susan Webb Buis (David Nixon); John Allen Buis; and Elizabeth Buis Hickman (Dempsey); 7 grandchildren, and 3 nieces.
Due to the current national health crisis, a Memorial Service will not be held at this time. Interment was private at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation Building Fund at 1025 Mt. Vernon Hwy, NW, Sandy Springs, GA 30327 (memo: Joyce Buis) or by texting “donateNWUUC joyce$__” to 73256.