Joyce Ann (Connolly) Orsillo of Stoneham, formerly Woburn, passed away peacefully at her home on December 30th. She was 72 years old.
Born & raised in Woburn, MA, Joyce attended St Charles school with her lifelong friend, Margaret “Peggy” Doyle. They both started working as candy stripers at Choate Hospital. It was working there that Joyce met the love of her life, Larry.
Joyce & Larry shared a love that many are not lucky enough to see. Per Larry’s grandmother, “Mama” was giving Joyce a tour when they passed Larry. Mama introduced them and they’ve been together ever since. Larry still remembers their first date on April 30th, 1966, a Saturday night.
Joyce & Larry were together through the rest of high school. They went to each other’s proms, Joyce’s at St Charles, & Larry’s at Winchester High School. They got married June 17, 1972 at St Charles Church in Woburn.
Joyce and Larry showed everyone what true love really is. They said hello & goodbye with a kiss & an “I love you” every day of their lives. They not only loved each other, they really liked each other, and they loved spending time with each other.
Traveling was a favorite of their pastimes. Every March they went somewhere warm: Florida, Aruba, Puerto Rico, St Maarten, Bermuda, Bahamas, & many more. They loved going to visit Joyce’s friend Peggy & her partner Randy when they lived in New Jersey. Each visit included lots of laughs, and always a trip to the city for a show.
Joyce adored her two children, Julie & Jeffrey. When Julie was young, Joyce sewed clothes & had Julie in a preschool fashion show. Joyce was in the PTA, a classroom mom, Julie’s brownie leader & chauffeur. Joyce loved having Julie also living in Stoneham, although she wasn’t a fan Julie’s large dogs.
Joyce took Jeff to every one of his soccer & little league games & practices, & they shared a very special mother-son bond. She was so grateful he lived close by, in Woburn, & would see him & his girlfriend Christie often.
After Jeff started middle school, Joyce went back to work full time at Lechmere. She was great at closing companies. After Lechmere closed, she worked at a few other companies until they closed, including Addison Wellesley, Longman publishing in Reading, then Ezenia in Burlington. In 2015, after over a decade with them, she retired from Royal Air Systems in North Reading. She loved her time working there with the whole Pickett family.
Joyce had so many friends, & a crazy social schedule. She had her bingo buddies in Billerica, Foxwoods friends, golfing girls, & bowling belles. She loved going to the movies with her friend Bernice “Bernie” Coumounduros. Joyce & Larry loved seeing Bernie & her husband George at Foxwoods.
Joyce loved to garden and the yard was always full of different shades of pink, her favorite color. She spent years going to ceramics, & the mantle was full every holiday.
Family was very important to Joyce. She loved the years she spent over July 4th up at York Beach, Maine where her late parents, Dorothy “Dot” (Davies) & Martin “Marty” Connolly rented a cottage every summer.
Before he passed, she loved when her brother Michael & his wife, Donna Lee, came to visit from California. It would always include a big family party with her sisters, Marion & her husband Joe of Winchester, Kathleen & her partner Tom of Martha’s Vineyard, her late aunt Mary (Connolly) Canney, and all her nieces & nephews.
Another summer trip Joyce always looked forward to was heading down the cape to “her” beach in Dennis. Every summer, from before they were married, Joyce & Larry would head down to Horsefoot Path with the Orsillo family. Cots, air mattresses, & cooler upon cooler, Larry’s late parents, Mary (Maiullari) Orsillo & Larry Senior, had a full house. After a day on the beach, sun soaked, full from a family dinner, guitars were out & the music started with Larry’s brothers, Paul & his wife Karen of Kittery Point, Maine, Tom of Gloucester, Jim & his wife Peggy of Woburn, along with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces & nephews. The most important guest was Larry’s sister Lorraine of Woburn. Lorraine would always tell Joyce, “I love you Joyce Orsillo”.
Throughout the years, Joyce always had a camera by her side, capturing so many family memories. Those photos lined the walls of her home.
Joyce still has a high school wallet photo given to her by Larry in 1966, when they had been dating for only 6 months. On the back, he wrote:
You’re the sweetest kid anyone would ever want to know. We’ve had a lot of fun together these last 6 months. I’ll never forget them and I know the next 6 will be even better. Maybe some night, when and if you’re feeling low please look at this picture and think of us and the fun times we’ve had. Be good and may God bless.
Love you, Larry