Dr. Joyce  Wilder
Dr. Joyce Wilder

December 30, 1941 - May 15, 2020
Born in Nashville, TN
Resided in Bowling Green, Kentucky


Dr. Joyce Ann Sherrill Wilder, (78), former Associate Professor, Department of Psychology at Western Kentucky University, died on May 15, 2020 at Christian Health Center of Bowling Green, KY.

Dr. Joyce Wilder was born on December 30, 1941, in Nashville, TN, the only child of the late Erma and James Madison Sherrill. On July 17, 1965, she married Jerry Ray Wilder in Nashville.

Dr. Wilder was the recipient of 3 degrees: Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Middle Tennessee State University; Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from George Peabody College for Teachers; and a Doctorate of Education in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Wilder dedicated her professional life to teaching and community service, with an emphasis on sign language interpreting. She received numerous awards for achievements in teaching and public service, including: 1) Jefferson Award: Bowling Green, KY, for her outstanding service in working with the special needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community throughout Kentucky; 2) University Wide Award for Community Service for her dedicated service throughout both WKU and Bowling Green; 3) East High School Hall of Fame Award, Nashville, TN, for her contributions to the fields of education and service to the deaf and hard of hearing populations; and 4) Carrie Moseley Award, for her outstanding contributions to the Kentucky Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She was proud of her long association with the Chi Omega sorority at WKU as academic advisor.

Dr. Wilder’s career at WKU lasted over 35 years and allowed her to work with and serve thousands of students and engage in research. She authored and co-authored numerous articles and manuscripts and served on many university-wide committees. She was integral in establishing and developing American Sign Language courses at WKU. She was a member of the Kentucky Board of Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Joyce loved teaching her students and was a constant advocate of the deaf and hard of hearing. Most of all, Joyce had a profound love of her husband Jerry, her children and grandchildren and countless friends and colleagues. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Bowling Green, KY.

Dr. Wilder was preceded in death in 2019 by her loving husband of 53 years Jerry Wilder. Survivors include two daughters, Laura Lynn Wilder and Kimberly Ann Carter (Kent); and son, Jerry R. Wilder, Jr., and two grandchildren, Reese Caroline Carter and William Hobbs Carter of Chicago, IL.

Due to current health and safety directives, a memorial service will be held at a later date, at which time Joyce and Jerry will be laid to final rest together at the WKU Columbarium at the Chandler Memorial Chapel.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the J.C. Kirby and Son Lovers Lane Chapel.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to the Alzheimer’s Association (act.alz.org), National Association of the Deaf (nad.org), or Kentucky Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (kyrid.org).




Funeral Home
J.C. Kirby & Son Lovers Lane Chapel
820 Lovers Lane Chapel
Bowling Green, KY 42103


Alzheimer's Association
919 N Michigan Ave Ste 1000
Chicago, IL 60611
The purpose of the Alzheimer's Association is to provide support for the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association.
National Association of the Deaf
Kentucky Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf