1923 - 2016
COOPERSTOWN - Robert L. Joyce, a man of many interests who was never afraid to share his opinions, passed away peacefully Sunday evening, May 22, 2016, at his home on Prospect Place in the Village of Cooperstown with his family by his side. He was 92.
Born September 2, 1923, in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Bob was the son of Robert Lawrence Joyce, Sr. and Ruth Emma Maltby Joyce. In his youth he enjoyed spending summers with his grandfather and uncles on their farms in South Rutland (Tylerville).
A 1941 graduate of Glen Ridge High School, Bob attended St. Lawrence University, interrupted by WW II service, graduating in 1948. He obtained his Master's Degree in Science Education from Montclair State College in New Jersey in 1973.
A World War II veteran, Bob enlisted in the United States Navy on December 8, 1942. He attended Naval Air Corps Flight School where he learned to fly, and Naval Special Artificer School, which trained him in Electronics. While serving in the Navy he obtained the rank of Special Artificer D, Third Class and his duties included repairing and maintaining equipment used in training Naval Air Corps personnel and devices using mechanics-electronics, optics and audio circuits to simulate flight operating conditions, such as Link Trainer maintenance and operation. He was honorably discharged from the U. S. Navy on April 8, 1946.
After working in several science-related jobs, he turned to his foremost career as a teacher. He instilled a love of science in the students he taught from 1969 until 1985 at Long Valley Middle School in New Jersey.
On December 21, 1968, Bob married May-Britt Carlson in Montclair, New Jersey, and following his retirement, they moved with their two children to Cooperstown and settled into their home on Prospect Place, where they enjoyed 30 years of life in the Village.
Bob's interests and hobbies were varied, from agriculture and nature, to flying airplanes, camping, and playing Bridge. Much of his time was spent with car repair and construction. He liked to label himself a dairy farmer, a result of enjoyable times spent on family farms in his youth. He built his own home in New Jersey including all the foundation stonework and always enjoyed working on various projects around their century-old home in Cooperstown. His expertise in construction led Bob to be a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. He also helped delivering Meals on Wheels.
Following his years in the service he was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Recently, although he was told he should no longer drive motor vehicles, he had the opportunity to co-pilot an excursion flight over the Cascades of Oregon. A life-long passionate skier, Bob won the giant slalom gold medal in the 80+ age category at Hunter Mountain. Bob enjoyed many trips with his "80+ Club" friends at Scotch Valley in Stamford. It could be noted with some humor that they contributed to the ultimate demise of this well-loved ski area in Delaware County, as they skied for free, brought their own lunches, and would split one pitcher of beer.
A life-long liberal Democrat, Bob was proud to have voted for FDR, and was never reticent in expressing his opinions. During his years in Cooperstown, he became well-known for his prolific and opinionated letters to the editor of various newspapers, a feature many people missed during Bob's final years.
Bob is survived his wife of 47 years, May-Britt Joyce, of Cooperstown; four daughters: Carol Maltby ( Edward Ripley-Duggan) of Olivebridge, Donna Johnson (William) of Vermont and Florida, Jenny Joyce ( Rodney Roberts) of Seattle, Washington, and Julie Joyce of Portland, Oregon; two granddaughters, Alison and Suzanna Maltby-Duggan; two nieces and one nephew.
He was predeceased by two sisters.
In memory of Bob, an open house will be held Saturday, May 28, 2016, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Joyce family home, 3 Prospect Place, Cooperstown. Lefts, Rights and Moderates are invited to attend!
Memorial donations may be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820, or Habitat for Humanity of Otsego County, 291 Chestnut Street, Box #284, Oneonta, NY 13820-1229.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.