Joyce Rowena Fails Salm McKelvey

Portrait of Joyce Rowena Fails Salm McKelvey Headstone Photograph

Full Name: Joyce Rowena Fails Salm McKelvey
Location: Section:Patriots' Hill, Section 2 (A)
Row:J  Number:15
Reason for Eligibility: Wife of John Edward McKelvey 
Birth Date: August 21, 1926 
Died: June 12, 2014 
Burial Date: June 19, 2014 

MCKELVEY, JOYCE ROWENA FAILS SALM (1926 ~ 2014). The following is a family-placed obituary for Joyce Rowena Fails Salm McKelvey, wife of John Edward McKelvey, former chairman for the Veterans Affairs Committee.


Born August 21, 1926, to Evie Sanders and Ned Fails, Sr., in Taylor, Texas, Joyce passed peacefully from this life on June 12, 2014, in Round Rock, Texas.

Joyce graduated from Taylor High School at age 16, and entered the University of Texas at Austin that fall at age 17. Two and a half years later she graduated with a degree in English. She was a member of Delta Zeta sorority and was a Bluebonnet Belle nominee. She returned to Taylor High to teach English, drama, and public speaking. She also sponsored publication of the school’s first annual, “The Mallard.”

In 1960 Joyce joined the staff of the Department of Public Welfare, later renamed Texas Department of Human Services, where she served 25 years. While there, she pioneered the Child Care Licensing program and was the only woman on the Systems Design and Analysis team for the installation of the IBM 360 computer system in Texas. As Director of Special Services, she served as liaison with Congress and the Texas Legislature. She helped write the law creating the Central Adoption Registry and implemented the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. In 1978, Joyce was commissioned a Yellow Rose of Texas in recognition of her service to the Legislature and the people of Texas and was recognized by a Senate resolution for her assistance to the Texas Legislature. In 1960, she became the youngest woman elected State President of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Joyce retired from State service in February, 1986, moved to Electra, Texas with husband John, and became active in Electra and Wichita County organizations. In 1995, they returned to Round Rock.

Joyce was preceded in death by husband John E. McKelvey, and former husband L. C. Salm, Jr.; her parents; her brothers, Bill Green and Ned Fails, Jr.; and her sisters, Ophie Bryan and Nevada Lockwood. She is survived by her children and grandchildren: Linda Beene and husband Ken; Louis Salm and wife Patricia; Portia Hausmann, husband Allan, and son Hunter; and Priscilla McKelvey and daughter Kayden.

Visitation will be from 6-8:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 18, at Beck Funeral Home, 15709 Ranch Road 620, Austin/Round Rock, with graveside services at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 19, at the Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St., in Austin, with Scott Grant officiating. Honorary pallbearers are Ken Beene; Bob Bryan; Allan and Hunter Hausmann; Harry, Rance, and David Richter; and Patricia Salm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association; Operation Uplink (a program of the VFW that provides phone cards to active servicemen); or the Texas Baptist Children’s Home.

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