Meet Joyce: Never one to back down from a challenge


For this month’s Resident Spotlight, we turn to Joyce and her can-do attitude. Community Relations Manager Kate and I sat down with her daughter Cindy to discuss her mother's achievements and fiery zeal. Read on below to learn about Joyce.


Turkeys and Tree climbing:


Joyce was born in a small Pennsylvania Dutch town. Her mother was a school teacher  before having children and her father worked in the lumberyard. Joyce was known for being quite the “tomboy,” spending her childhood climbing trees and chasing the local turkeys around. Since youth, Joyce possessed a determined spirit to never back down from a challenge. In 8th grade Joyce's uncle told her she’d never get good grades on exams if she spent all her time in the trees. Joyce told him that she’d get 100% on the next exam and bet him $20 from him if she did it. Her uncle accepted and sure enough, Joyce sauntered back and made him pay up a few days later.


Getting the show on the road:


After High School, Joyce knew there were few prospects in her sheltered rural town and, despite never having left, she had to spread her wings. She had heard there were jobs in D.C. and swore to her then-boyfriend that she would just hop on a bus and go there “if someone would give her two cents to do it.” In response, he sarcastically slid two pennies onto the table. Challenge accepted; Joyce took them, and she and her best friend were on the bus to D.C. by the end of the week. At 18 years old, they found a hotel, pinned their clothes with safety pins, and got straight to work.


Across the States, and the Pond:


While working in D.C. Joyce met her soon to be husband Neal. They met at a party and hit it off right away, and the two were married after three months. They later moved to Colorado where they resided for two years. Neal worked with the airlines and therefore he and Joyce had the good fortune to visit many exciting places. In Scotland, they had known friends for over 25 years and got to visit them multiple times. Egypt and England were some of their other exciting adventures. One of Cindy’s favorite places she remembers visiting with her parents was Kaua’i, one of the Hawaiian islands. There, the lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and scintillating rivers were perfect for a family getaway.

Other than traveling, Neal and Joyce both possessed a strong work ethic that they bonded over. After his career in the airline, Neal had a tax accounting business from his home that he and Joyce both worked diligently on. Cindy recalls that this was when Joyce was at her happiest. Together, she and Neal would spend late hours working together on their business while enjoying a Bourbon on the rocks.


Work hard, Drive Fast:


Accepting challenges and working hard were cornerstones of Joyce’s character and that could easily be seen through her long career at Cadillac. Cindy enthused to Kate and I that Joyce’s accomplishments there would be what she’s most proud of. She worked as a bookkeeper for Cadillac for many years and was well admired by her peers. So well admired, in fact, that after she retired at 66 they asked her to come back. She accepted, and continued to thrive with gusto. Her passion for her job was reflected in her favorite car as well. Joyce owned her very own Cadillac with a lipstick red interior. And she loved to drive it fast! Cindy jokingly said that as soon as the car started to run you could feel your stomach drop through the floor.


Kate, Cindy, and I wrapped up our time discussing some of Joyce’s favorite things. Here are some of her highlights:


Favorite Hobby: Gambling and Slots


Joyce loved gambling and slot machines. In Illinois,one of her favorite places were the Aurora boats. Once, on a cruise in Alaska, Joyce’s main hangup about the trip was that the boat had a terrible casino.


Favorite Pet: Baby the Pomeranian Mix


Cindy brought Baby home from a neighbor. But it soon became clear that Baby was Joyce’s little girl through and through. The pampered Pomeranian held a special place in Joyce’s heart.


Favorite Relaxing Activity: Reading

Joyce was a voracious reader throughout most of her life. Her favorite books to read were romances.


Favorite Fads:

Joyce loved to wear a good pants-suit. For her hair, she preferred the iconic “double-bubble with a flip.” She used to wrap her hair in toilet paper at night to achieve her preferred look.


Favorite Music:

Joyce loved Nat King Cole and got to see him when she was 16. She also loved the Welsh Singer Tom Jones and she loved to watch his show “This is Tom Jones” with his variety of musical guests.


We’d like to Thank Cindy for taking the time to meet with us and we loved learning about Joyce and her accomplishments. Thank you for coming along for the ride with us.

Leave a Comment