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'She was our girl': Former Baylor bear caretakers share memories of Judge Joy

Remembering Judge Joy
Posted at 3:32 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 23:54:14-04

WACO, Texas — Judge Joy Reynolds, the iconic Baylor mascot, is being remembered this week after her passing in July.

The university hosted a carillon recital in her honor and a memorial display can be viewed Thursday through Saturday.

Former caretakers, like Audrey Chisum, were in attendance to memorialize the bear they remember fondly.

"It's a beautiful but hard thing to say goodbye to a life well-lived and a life well-loved," Chisum said.

Chisum, a former lead keeper at the bear habitat, worked with Joy day-in and day-out, over holidays and on birthdays.

"It's a beautiful but hard thing to say goodbye to a life well lived and a life well loved," she said.

It was at the bear habitat where she met her husband, True Head.

"They were some of my best friends on campus," Head said of Joy and her sister, Lady.

Chisum and Head visited the habitat today for the carillon recital. They remember Joy fondly, admiring her "stubborn" personality.

"She was the older sister. She was smarter. She was stubborn. She definitely knew what she wanted out of life," Chisum said.

A memorial display is available to view at the bear habitat Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and on Saturday between noon and 3 p.m. Joy will be honored during Sunday's home opener at McLane Stadium as Baylor faces off with Albany.