Brenda M. Joyce

January 22, 2007

Brenda M. Joyce

BRENDA M. JOYCE – in South Royalton, Vermont, formerly of Woburn, January 22nd. Beloved sister of Maureen Noble and her husband John “Jack” of Winchester, Sheila Greenlaw and her husband Don of Woburn, and Atty. Daniel L. Joyce Jr. and his wife Beverly of Westford. Lovingly survived by ten nieces and nephews and several grandnieces and nephews, along with several very dear friends. Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Saturday, January 27th at 9 a.m Funeral Mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn at 10. Calling hours are Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Woburn. Donations may be made in Brenda’s memory to the Woburn High School Scholarship Fund, PO Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801.

OBITUARY:

Brenda M. Joyce peacefully and quietly passed away at her home in Vermont early Monday morning after an aggressive, hopeful and optimistic battle with breast cancer.

The beloved daughter of the late Dr. Daniel and Mary (Logan) Joyce, she was born in Woburn and educated at St. Charles School, graduating with the Class of 1955. Since she was a child, Brenda was extremely active and thoroughly enjoyed playing sports. Pursuing her love of sports, Ms. Joyce received her baccalaureate degree in Physical Education at St. Catherine’s College, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Following her graduation Ms. Joyce returned home and began her teaching and coaching career in Cambridge. After several years she relocated to Arizona, where she was involved in recreational therapy for a brief time, and again returned home, taking a position in the Woburn Public Schools as a Physical Education teacher, Kindergarten through High School. In 1959-1960, Ms. Joyce moved to the high school where she taught Physical Education and was the coach of the basketball, softball, cheerleading, field hockey, and swimming teams and started the first girls tennis team.

Beginning in the seventies, Ms. Joyce narrowed her fields of coaching and focused only on field hockey, basketball and softball. This was the beginning of a very long and successful coaching career, starting a winning tradition in girls softball. Her team won the first Middlesex League Championship in 1972, again in 1976 and then in 1978. She was a very well respected person and coach amongst her peers and colleagues throughout the Middlesex League. Ms. Joyce throughout her coaching career always stressed the importance of striving for one’s personal best in all that one sets out to achieve.

Throughout Brenda’s life she had a love of animals, especially horses, dogs, and cats and she had a special fondness for Vermont. As a youngster she took up horseback riding with her father, who also had a love of horses, and together they shared many happy hours together in shows and horseback riding.

In the late sixties Brenda aquired her farm in Vermont, where she and many of her friends spent many happy times. Nestled in the mountains of Vermont, Brenda was able to indulge her love of animals, and became co-owner of Royalton Hill Kennel, where she was able to give a loving home to many horses, dogs, cats, and Hereford cattle. All her vacation time and weekends were spent there and, when she retired in 1988, she moved permanently, but always came home to Woburn for holiday festivities with family.

Following her move to Vermont, Brenda became actively involved in her community there. She began tutoring at Royalton School, the Upper Valley Services, where she was assisting the disadvantaged and less fortunate, and the John Dunn House in Vermont, dealing with youngsters who were experiencing difficulty functioning within the realm of the regular classes.

A little over five years ago, Brenda was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she faced head on. Ms. Joyce followed the regimes ordered and also became part of the newer treatments presently in the experimental stages. On Monday morning Brenda succumbed to the illness she had so valiantly kept at bay.

In addition to her parents, Brenda was predeceased by her loving aunt, Marie Joyce, and her very dear cousin, Sr. Bernadette Joyce SND.

Surviving are two sisters, Maureen Noble and her husband John “Jack” of Winchester, Sheila Greenlaw and her husband Don of Woburn, and her brother, Atty. Daniel L. Joyce Jr. and his wife Beverly of Westford.

She is also lovingly survived by ten nieces and nephews and several grandnieces and nephews, along with several very dear friends.

The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Saturday, January 27th at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn at 10. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Woburn.

Calling hours at the funeral home will be on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m.

Donations may be made in Brenda’s memory to the Woburn High School Scholarship Fund, PO Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801.

Guestbook

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  1. Haley L. Graham RN

    To Susan,
    I had yet to feel such a connection to a patient and family until I met you and Brenda. 2 a.m. library conversations, splashes in the tub room and hundreds of warm blankets will never be forgotten. Your strength and devotion is that of an angel and I am forever changed because of you two beautiful women. Thank you.

    Haley L. Graham, RN
    Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center; 1 West Oncology

  2. To Susan, Sheila, Maureen, Dan and families–

    “Death is nothing at all.”

    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    I am I, and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

    Call me by the old familiar name.
    Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
    Put no difference into your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
    Laugh as we always laughed
    At the little jokes that we enjoyed together.

    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without an effort,
    Without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was.
    There is absolute and unbroken continuity.

    What is death but a negligible accident?
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
    Somewhere very near,
    Just round the corner.

    All is well.
    —Henry Scott Holland

  3. Priscilla (Prill) Brodeur
    My memories of times with Brenda run the gamut from our incompetent refereeing of field hockey games to rewarding years coaching the WHS softball teams to unforgettable backpacking and camping trips to quiet moments spent enjoying the peace and quiet of her beloved Vermont mountain. “Mountain Mama” was one one of those rare people who deeply touch the lives of those they befriend. As a teacher and coach she sought to bring out the best in her students and athletes and the fact that they still remember her words of wisdom and encouragement is testimony to her success.
    Her time with us was much too short but she left an indelible mark on all of us. Our memories of Brenda will always keep her close by. I am proud to have known her and to call her friend.
    Rest in peace, Brenda, until we meet again.

  4. After hearing of Brenda’s death my thoughts returned to the memories of her in my youth and later as a colleague in the Woburn School System. If I only had the choice of one word to describe Brenda..that word would be “solid” for she could be counted on for guidance,caring and support.

    Once Brenda gave you her friendship, you knew it was not a haphazard gesture but a real commitment to you. Another attribute of Brenda was her great sense of humor- she was very funny and enjoyed a good laugh- never at the expense of others but out of an orneriness manifested by the sparkle in those dark eyes..esp. when she knew she “got” you.
    My sadness is comforted in the lines of the poet Stanley Kunitz from his poem “Layers”.

    “How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?
    In a rising wind
    the manic dust of my friends,
    those who fell along the way,
    bitterly stings.”

  5. Geraldine Wegener Kiley

    How sad I am that Brenda was called away so soon. I am glad that she had so many years at her farm in Vermont, the place she loved so much, with friends who also loved her.
    I worked with Brenda for many years at WHS where we shared not only an office, but also part of our lives. Brenda had an unwavering sense of what was right and she imparted that to all her students. She also had strong ideas about most everything and she had the courage to stand up for what she believed, despite the opinions and criticisms of others. Brenda was kind, generous, and a loyal friend. May her soul find peace and joy.

  6. Karen Eustice

    I’m so glad I made it to Vermont
    and had a wonderful visit with Brenda- we shared our many escapades atStKates,experienceswhile working at the State Hospital in Arizona and particularly the summers developing the Clover Patch Camp for the cerebral palsied in Schenectady. How fortunate I am to have had such a special friend. – a unique individual. Love, Ksren

  7. Karen Sherba Easton

    I was a teacher and first-time coach at Woburn High in the mid-1970s. I will never forget the way Brenda took me under her wing and taught me so much about coaching high school students. I’m not surprised to learn that Brenda spent so much of her retirement years helping others.

  8. To the family of Brenda,

    I am so sorry for your loss, Brenda was an inspiration to myself and many others who pursuded eduacation as a career. Many times during my coaching and teaching experiences I would often remember her words of wisdom and support she often gave to myself and others. I am so sorry that such a wonderful lady has passed before her time. However, she will never be forgotten by all the people she has touched.

    Gail Griffith class of 76

  9. Michael Ryan and family

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there… I do not sleep.
    I am the thousand winds that blow…
    I am the diamond glints on snow…
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain…
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you waken in the morning’s hush,
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of gentle birds in circling flight…
    I am the soft star that shines at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry—
    I am not there… I did not die…

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