Obituary: Joyce MacIsaac, 1929-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Joyce MacIsaac, 1929-2022 

Family's matriarch loved to give of herself and her time

Published July 15, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated July 15, 2022 at 12:55 p.m.

click to enlarge Joy MacIsaac - COURTESY
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  • Joy MacIsaac
Joyce (Joy) MacIsaac was born in Ogden, Utah, on November 17, 1929, to Edward and Genevieve (Madsen) Welch. She was raised in Ogden, Utah, then in Detroit, Mich., alongside her younger sister, Shirlene (Welch) Laidlaw. Joy spent many memorable summers at Burroughs Farms in Brighton, Mich., where she met her husband, James (Jim) MacIsaac.

Joy and Jim were married at the Mayflower Congregational Church in Detroit, Mich., on May 27, 1949, followed by a honeymoon driving up the St. Lawrence River to the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec, Canada. Joy and Jim loved to adventure together, from camping in the Algonquin wilderness of Ontario to winter picnics on the beach, traveling throughout Europe, and boating on Long Island Sound, Lake Champlain, and the Gulf Coast. Jim served with the U.S. Navy for many years, and Joy had fond memories of being stationed in San Diego, Calif., and Bremerton, Wash., before settling in Weston, Conn., in 1957.

Joy spent the next four decades on Norfield Road, raising her four children, which was her favorite phase in life. Her Weston neighbors became lifelong friends; together they relished the joys of parenting, held festive parties and competed in Thanksgiving football games. Joy loved to cook for pleasure, so much so that she and a friend began a small catering business named Lettuce Feed You. She enjoyed working outdoors; Joy grew a large vegetable garden in the neighborhood meadow, and, over the years, she unwittingly wound up with a cow, a goat and a flock of chickens.

Joy and Jim purchased 270 acres of mountain property in Huntington and Starksboro, Vt., in 1981. There they built a hobby farm where weekends and summers were spent tending to a herd of Scotch Highland cattle, a plantation of 5,000 Christmas trees, and stunning perennial and vegetable gardens. Joy could be found traversing the property on her Gator, meticulously pruning her Christmas trees while listening to Rush Limbaugh on her portable radio, and throwing the most memorable gatherings and cookouts for her family.

In 1996, Joy and Jim bought a winter home in the Windstar community of Naples, Fla. Joy loved to give of herself and her time. For 10 years she served as a reading mentor at Avalon Elementary School, and for seven years she served in the same role at Fun Time Academy. Joy also volunteered at the Naples Botanical Garden. For over two decades, Joy was an avid member of the NCH Briggs Wellness Center, enjoying water aerobics, tai chi, chair yoga and more. There she found a network of girlfriends, later coined the "Women of Wellness,” who bound together to celebrate and support one another throughout the latter portion of their lives.

Joy found immense happiness and fulfillment in nurturing her relationships with family and friends. She was the matriarch of her family, caring for, celebrating, championing, and supporting her four children, her seven grandchildren, and her six great-grandchildren to no end. Her love and care for so many was remarkable. She was and will always be a guiding light for each of her kin. Joy treasured her friendships; a friend of Joy’s was a friend for life. She knew all the goings-on of her friends’ lives and the lives of their families. From gathering for breakfast after water aerobics to Saturday night dinners and sunset cruises, phone calls, and visits, Joy and her friends supported one another through the highs and lows of life, unconditionally.

Joy was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, James MacIsaac; her sister, Shirlene (Welch) Laidlaw; her daughter Kathryn Ryan; and her son James MacIsaac. Joy is survived by her eldest daughter, Cynthia Langley of Burlington, Vt.; her youngest son, Robert MacIsaac of Weston, Conn.; her grandchildren, Neil, Joyce, Genevieve, Edward, Julianna, Dylan, and Alexandria; and her great-grandchildren, Parker, Liam, Flynn, Greyson, Madsen, and Alice.

Services will be private. Should friends choose, contributions may be made in Joy’s memory to Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, 102 12th St. N, Naples, FL 34102, or to AVOW Hospice, Inc., 1095 Whippoorwill Ln., Naples, FL 34105.
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