Mom’s obit

Mom 001

Joycelyn Ward
April 23, 1942 – June 15, 2008

We mourn the loss of Lilith Joycelyn Ward. She leaves behind her daughter, Julie, her son, Richard, her brother, Forrest, her sister Lori, her mother, Virginia, her Aunt Florence, and her many nieces and nephews, and their children. And of course, she was Maya’s Granny.

Joycelyn was born in Oakland, CA, and moved a great deal in her lifetime. She lived in California for much of her life, most recently in Sacramento and Citrus Heights, but also spent many years in Stockton and Berkeley. She lived in Juneau, Alaska from 1993 until February of this year.

She devoted much of her life to helping children, from her early days as a Montessori teacher, to her days teaching parenting classes and working one-on-one to help parents who were at risk of losing their children. She also worked as a volunteer coordinator, as a research analyst, as a secretary, and at an organization working to prevent teen alcoholism.

She was a voracious reader, loved to write and tell stories, and found great joy and satisfaction in her blog, Maya’s Granny.

Her wisdom and wicked humor will be greatly missed.

Donations can be made in her memory to her favorite charity, Heifer International.

(This obit ran today in the Stockton Record, sans picture. A slightly shorter version ran in the Sacramento Bee, and Richard ran one in the Juneau Empire as well.  Photo circa 1990.)

23 thoughts on “Mom’s obit

  1. This is an incredibly difficult time for you, gosh, so sorry. I remember when my father passed, I was just a fucking mess. I screamed and cried and demanded retribution somehow. Gosh… this is making my eyes swell with tears again. We all know the end is inevitable, but I’m so sorry the time is now. So so sorry.

  2. You mom sounds like a wonderful woman. I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I had found Maya’s Granny’s blog sooner – after just a quick browse, I’m sure I would have loved hearing more from her.

  3. Oh my gosh, J! I had been away from the computer for a few days and hadn’t read any of my favourite blogs. I was really shocked to read this post. It certainly wasn’t something I’d expected. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Even though I’ve only known your Mom on your blog, it’s clear that she was a wonderful and remarkable woman. This post really made me cry…I’m exceptionally weepy these days!!

    Hugs to all of you XOXO

  4. Dear J,

    My heart is hurting for you. I’m so very sorry for your loss. You mother was a very special woman. I’m so glad she recorded so many of her wonderful stories of your family history on her blog–a loving legacy for her beloved family.

    Love and a big bear hug,


  5. good words and I like the picture. We saw very few photos of her. The photo shows her bright eyed awareness of the world. Says a lot about the woman

  6. I love that picture of her and the one Ted has on his blog of her and Maya. I think of you so very much these days. Hang in there. It will get better with time. You’re so lucky to have had such a wonderful, loving mother. Some people live their entire life without knowing that love.

  7. J, I am so, so sorry for your loss but happy for the life you were able to share with her. No matter our age or status in life, we all, inevitably, feel like orphans upon losing our parents.

    Thinking of you and your family.

  8. Many of us “met” your mom here and at her site. When you shared stories of the lessons she taught you and the way you were raised, I couldn’t help feeling your mom was a remarkable woman.

    I know she’s left you and your family much too soon, but without even knowing her personally, I can both see and imagine all the lives that she touched through her work with children, parents, and through her blog.


  9. The kindness and tolerance of her nature is apparent in her features. I am thinking of you, J., and hoping you soon feel as if you can draw breath unfettered.

  10. You don’t know me and I’ve never posted anything here before, but I wanted you to know I ran across your blog “by chance” earlier this year and read it from time to time.

    I just wanted to say I’m sorry to hear about your loss and that you and your family are in my thoughts.

    I wish you all the best in this sad time.

    Take care…

  11. Thank you for posting this beautiful picture, J. This is how I remember her (I hadn’t seen her since she moved to Alaska). She is in my heart and thoughts, just like you are.

  12. I am so sorry for you loss. I know everyone experiences loss differently and I can’t imagine how you feel. When I loss the man who raised me I was only consoled by the memories of him and the wisdom he passed on to me. I pray that you can find a way through your pain and sorrow. I will keep your mother and those who loved her in my prayers!

  13. J
    I’m numb for you shug! Hugs is all I can say! Stay busy and think of the beautiful memories she made for you all.
    A lot of folks never had a mom like yours. You were so very fortunate to have her.

  14. Just wanted to let you know that I have lost a good friend and breakfast buddy. I know you are tearing yourself apart about whether the right decisions were made for your mother or not.. Trust me, you and Richard did what you felt in your hearts was best for her and live with it.. Hindsight will not accomplish peace of mind.. I went through some of these same decisions with my mother and I know she appreciated all that was done before she passed away.. Julie remember she loved you and Richard very much and knew that you both would do whatever it would take to make her life comfortable.. May you find peace of mind….

  15. I’m sorry, too. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you, other than keep you in my heart. I wish you peace and the blessing of your memories. Thanks to you, I had the fortune of sharing the tiniest of interactions with your mom near the end of her life, although none of us could have known that then.

  16. J,
    I haven’t been reading much lately, and just came upon your sad, sad news. I’m so sorry for your loss, wish you peace in moments of time when you need it most, and the strength to eventually allow your memories to make you smile.


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