Posted on May 3, 2022 Janyce Pixley, ABFMS/ Mexico and Nicaragua dies at 85

Janyce Irene (Babcock) Pixley died peacefully on April 2, 2022 at the age of 85.

Janyce was born on December 21, 1936 in the home of her maternal grandparents in Watervliet, Michigan and she and her younger brother, Craig, were raised in Comstock and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Janyce was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Kalamazoo when she was eleven years old. There, she sang in the children’s choir and later in the adult choir and participated in youth and camping programs. In her missionary application she wrote that “it was probably about this time that I had thoughts about becoming a missionary.”

Janyce attended the University of Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University, receiving a B.A. in Music Education. Janyce met George Pixley when he joined the church choir. During the summer of 1957 Janyce went to Europe with The Experiment in International Living. This was her first contact with a new culture and she found it very exciting. When she returned home, George was ready with a marriage proposal, and they were married on June 14, 1958.

Chicago was home for five years while George was studying. Janyce taught music at an elementary school and sang in the University of Chicago Choir. Their daughter Rebecca was born in 1959 and their son, Kevin was born in 1962. Janyce and George were involved with the Woodlawn Baptist Church, where they helped with the Sunday School, the Vacation Bible School, and the choirs. Janyce also edited their monthly newsletter for some time.

In 1963, the Pixley family moved to Puerto Rico, where Janyce continued her music studies at the University of Puerto Rico and also took courses in Library Science. She helped with the music and art programs children at First Baptist of Santurce.  She was their choir director, organist, and a member of the Christian Education committee. Janyce also gave piano, organ, and voice lessons. Additionally, she worked part time in the seminary library while George served as a Professor of Old Testament at the Evangelical Seminary. Their son, Mark, was born in San Juan in 1967.

In 1975, the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (ABFMS), also known as American Baptist International Ministries, appointed the Pixleys for missionary service in Mexico. Janyce served as a librarian in the library at the Theological Seminary in Mexico City and was involved in educational work with children. She continued to share her music skills. George was the dean at the Theological Seminary where the core of his ministry was concern for the poor and the disenfranchised.

The Pixleys were reassigned to Nicaragua in 1986 to serve at the Baptist Seminary in Managua. Janyce served as a cataloging and acquisitions librarian in the seminary library. She also remained active in her music ministry, joining the choir, founding the children’s choir, and directing the hand bell choir at First Baptist Church in Managua.

After a period of 27 years of committed service as missionaries for the Lord Jesus Christ, Janyce and George retired from the ABFMS on July 31, 2002 and settled at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California. There, Janyce joined the choir at First Baptist Church, Claremont and the Pilgrim Place Chorale. She also volunteered at the local Food Bank and occasionally played the piano for vespers at Pilgrim Place. Both Janyce and George were members of the Executive Board of the First Baptist Church. She also enjoyed quilting and other sewing projects and strolling through the beautiful grounds at Pilgrim Place.

Janyce was preceded in death by her parents, Merton and Irene (Ray) Babcock, her brother Craig Babcock and brother-in-law Robert Pixley (George’s brother).  She is survived by:  her husband, George V. Pixley; children Rebecca (Pixley) Adams (Larry), Kevin Pixley (Natalia Palacios), and Mark Pixley (Lisa Mehlmann); grandchildren Monica Alegria, Daniel Pixley (Alyscia), Cristina Adams, Andy and Stephanie Pixley, and Karla and Mark Tiessen Palacios; and great-grandchildren Noah and Lily Pixley. She is also survived by sisters-in-law Nancy Babcock (Craig), Gayle Pixley Pierce (Robert) and Elsie Cole (George’s sister).

The Celebration of Life/Memorial Service for Janyce was held on April 7, 2022 in Penner Garden on the Pilgrim Place campus in Claremont, California.