We sadly announce the passing of Dr Joy E. Alex, PhD at the age of 65, on May 28, 2022. She died
peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, after a courageous 2.5 year battle against Myelodysplastic
Syndrome. We have lost a remarkable mother, sister, aunt, wife, and counselor. We can’t imagine a world
without Joy, as she brought such joy to the world. She was a brilliant, insightful, compassionate,
industrious individual with endless talents, determination, and love for life. One with nature, she was an
avid bird-watcher and gardener. She was always there for others, giving her time, energy, and expertise
to anyone in need, and striving to make this world a better place. She will be greatly missed, but never
forgotten. Her beautiful spirit will live forever.
Joy was born on Aug 16, 1956 in Pittsburgh, PA to Andrew and Helen Alex. She grew up in Mt Lebanon,
graduating Mt Lebanon High School in 1973. She graduated from Penn State in 1979 with a degree in
Parks and Recreation. She ultimately earned a Masters and PhD in Counseling Psychology at USC in 1996,
graduating with high honors for both degrees. As part of her PhD requirements, she taught at Johns
Hopkins and Towson State in 1996. She then practiced Clinical Psychology in Pittsburgh, working at
Southwestern Human Services from 2005 until she retired in early 2020 for health reasons. She loved
and excelled in her work.
Joy is survived by her devoted husband, John Hensler, her precious daughter, Elena “Ellie” Finley, her
wonderful step-daughter Janine Hensler, brother Howard Alex, Esq (Peggy), sisters Nancy McMillan,
MSW (Bud), Nadine Alex, MD (Tim Rhodes), Jean Weil, Esq (Jay), and many nieces, nephews, and
cousins. Joy is preceded in death by her parents, Andrew and Helen Alex, and her brother Andrew R
The family extends thanks to the excellent medical and nursing staffs at UPMC Shadyside Hospital and
Hillman Cancer Center, especially Dr James Rossetti and Nurse Linda in the transplant clinic. Special
thanks to her lifelong friend, Beth Kernan (Siegelman) for her unyielding support.
In lieu of flowers, we kindly request donations are made to the Sierra Club.
Friends welcome 1-4:00pm, SUNDAY, WILLIAM SLATER II FUNERAL SERVICE (412-563-2800) 1650 Greentree Rd, Scott Twp 15220. Blessing Service at 4:00pm. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later time.