OBITUARY

Joyce D. Anderson

November 6, 1928January 10, 2013
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Born Joyce Mahfood on November 6, 1928 in Kingston, Jamaica, the woman affectionately known as “Aunt Joyce” attended St. Ann and St. Anthony Schools, and is remembered by her childhood friends as having long been sociable and very fun loving. Daphne Bennett, one of her best friends since she was 7 years old until now, remembers Joyce as always being kind and full of life as a young woman.

In her late 20's Joyce moved to London, England and lived with another best friend, Cherrie Connolly, who she’d met at age 17. For over 6 years, Joyce shared an apartment with Cherrie and her husband Naldy, working as a garment inspector for fine ladies lingerie before becoming an accountant. For the rest of her life Joyce would praise Cherrie as “her rock,” as the two friends supported each other through the many struggles they faced as young Jamaican women in London. They would remain best friends for the rest of their lives. Joyce, Cherrie, and Naldy managed to do a bit of traveling together while in Europe. Their most memorable trip was to Paris for the wedding of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly in 1956.

Two years later, when Cherrie and Naldy moved to Connecticut, they traveled with two daughters who had been born in London, DeAnne and Tamé. Joyce followed, choosing to settle in Brooklyn, New York to be close to her friends. Shortly thereafter Joyce married Hank Anderson, taking his name. She enjoyed the fast pace and fashionable lifestyle of New York. Yet she visited Connecticut frequently to spend time with Cherrie and her family, as well as another childhood friend, Gloria Faulk and her family. As Cherrie’s family continued to grow, Joyce became godmother to both the eldest and the youngest of Cherrie's four daughters, DeAnne and Danielle. She also became godmother to her sister Gloria’s daughter, Andrea. Although she had no children of her own, Joyce was a very devoted and loving godmother. Her sister, Gloria Brown also had two sons, Tony and Christopher. Joyce remained a very devoted and supportive aunt to them as well.

In New York, Joyce worked as a Nursing Assistant at Mount Sinai Hospital for 15 years. During those years at Mount Sinai, she would frequently bring containers of Jamaican food to share with her colleagues. Doris Harriette, yet another of Joyce’s longtime friends worked with Joyce at Mount Sinai. She remembers her as a very kind and generous woman. During her work at the hospital she had the opportunity to meet many celebrities; however her most memorable encounter was not there. While dining one evening, she had the opportunity to meet who many consider the greatest athlete of the twentieth century, boxing champion Muhammad Ali. She would remember him fondly for many years as "a most gentle and polite young man". After leaving Mount Sinai in 1985, she worked as a nursing companion for over 10 years, always providing her patients with very loving and excellent care. Upon her retirement, she chose to move to Palm Bay, Florida buying a home with her sister, Gloria. After Gloria passed away, Joyce moved to Miami to be closer to Cherrie’s children, who cherished her. For the last 2 years of her life, she lived at the Miami Jewish Home receiving the same loving and excellent care she had given others during her career. Joyce passed peacefully on Jan 10th while listening to the voice of her favorite Gospel singer and friend, Maryel Epps. She will be missed for her undying loyalty and affection, and loved indefinitely by her surviving family and friends. Her sweet smile and loving nature remains forever in their hearts.

In lieu of flowers please send donations in Joyce's name to Food for the Poor. Donations may be made online at www.foodforthepoor.org

Services

  • Service Sunday, January 20, 2013
REMEMBERING

Joyce D. Anderson

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DeAnne Graham

January 24, 2013

DeAnne Graham

January 24, 2013

DeAnne Graham

January 24, 2013

DeAnne Graham

January 24, 2013

DeAnne Graham

January 24, 2013

Nathan Connolly

January 21, 2013


I remember the way her apartment in Brooklyn used to smell – like yams and plantain still ripening, like the smell of salt fish and ackee lingering in the noontime air since breakfast. Like Rumcake. I learned, later, that Aunt Joyce's apartment smelled like the corner Jamaican grocery in Miramar, or the way West Indian kitchens always smell in those few hours of the day when someone isn't cooking.
Aunt Joyce was my grandmother's best friend. She was my mother's godmother. To me, she was also magic in the sense that she was always a taste of home, even when I was far from home.
As a seven year old visiting her in Brooklyn, I tried to make sense of the strange sounds of New York outside of her window. I wondered about the homemade apple juice that still had the peels floating in it. I wondered about the plastic covers on her furniture, or why her bed, so perfectly made, was puffed up with so many frilly pillows. Everything about Aunt Joyce's apartment in Brooklyn seemed both foreign and wondrous…and a little familiar. When she later moved to Palm Bay, Florida, her home kept its magical quality. Aunt Joyce's home was always draped in love. Sometimes I would drive my grandmother the two hours to visit Aunt Joyce for this occasion or that. I always remember the happy embrace the two of them shared. She always greeted me the same way.
In Aunt Joyce's loyalty to and friendship with my grandmother, she took Cherrie's family as her own. She had been in the room for the birth of my mother, DeAnne, and had been there again twenty-eight years later when DeAnne's own son, Joshua, my brother, was born.
Year upon year – milestone after milestone – Aunt Joyce was there. And as I grew older, I came to associate holidays and good times with the musical sound of her accent and the sweetness of her cakes. It was the warmth of her hugs and smiles that I'll miss the most. I'll miss the way we always spoke, briefly, but bubbling with affection, every Novemer 6th. This date was the birth-date we shared, some fifty years apart. I will always love Aunt Joyce, and I will miss those conversations.
For every birthday I have going forward, I will think of her. I also know the next time I walk into a West Indian grocery or crave a slice of her black rum cake, I will think of her. I will think of her every Palm Sunday, and every Easter, and remember the way her simple presence made any family event a little grander. And I will always remember the musical and magical sound of patois that used to wash over the house from around my grandmother's table whenever Aunt Joyce, Aunt Gloria, and Grandma began chatting about relatives and old friends. They chat about us still, in heaven, loving us.

Janelle Graham

January 21, 2013

Too often when a loved one passes we become filled with grief, pain, and sorrow. But in remembering you Aunt Joyce it's near to impossible to do anything but rejoice. You have lived such a full and adventurous life and have accomplished so much through your generosity and unending love.

On January 10 I was up in Birmingham for a track meet and someone spoke to my spirit and told me to text my mom, I wasn't sure why but I just obeyed. A few minutes later mom called me and told me you had pneumonia and to send a prayer up for you. Shortly after she called me back and told me you passed away peacefully to the angelic sound of Maryel's voice. As I hung up the phone I began to have flashbacks of you as tears began to flow down my cheeks and made a bouquet under my chin; I thought of how your face would glow with the mention of ice cream, and how wide your smile would become followed by chuckles when the story of you meeting Muhammad Ali would arise. But I mainly thought of the time when mom was away in Brazil and she asked me to take you to church because she wouldn't be here. I remembered how your cheekbones rose and you resembled a little girl when I brushed your hair back and how soft your cheeks and forehead were against my lips when I gave you kisses. You kept thanking me for taking you to church that day but little do you know, I was the one thanking you. You showed me how to appreciate and embrace life. You allowed me to see that no matter what life throws at you you have to catch it and mold it into something positive. You have left this world with so much Aunt Joyce, it would be blasphemy if anyone claimed you lived your life in vain. On the night of January 10 I cried, I cried as if someone stuck their hand in my chest and pulled my heart out. On the morning of January 11, I woke up rejuvenated and filled with joy because I saw the face of an angel, I saw you. There isn't a single doubt in my mind that my grandma, your best friend, met you as you entered heaven, and I also know my father is taking you both horse back riding and dancing. As your body is left here on earth I know your spirit lives on through us all. You are now free of any pain, you now can remember any and everything down to the most profound detail, you are now literally how you were on earth, a free spirit. A day will never pass that I don't see your sweet innocent smile, I miss you dearly Aunt Joyce. But knowing that you are at peace makes the days easier to swallow even with knowing you're no longer physically here. The place you already held in my heart will never be replaced or forgotten. May you rest in paradise until we meet again. I love you!

DeGloria Bailey

January 18, 2013

We remember our dear beloved friend Miss Joyce, as being a wonderful friend to all who know her. She was a kind and generous person and helped people who need her assistance. We spent many times together taking long walks, going to church, going to lunch after church and spending time with us in our home, just talking. My son Richie would take her to see the birds and assist her in running errands. She is dearly missed and we will never forget her. She is a beautiful lady with class and poise and have a great personality. Rest in Peace our Friend. May God Bless you and keep you in his tender loving care. Please sing GATHER BY THE RIVER THAT FLOWS BY THE THORNE OF GOD. FROM DeGloria Bailey and Family.

Bibi Andrade

January 17, 2013

Beautiful tribute to your Aunt!

DeAnne Connolly Graham

January 13, 2013