Joyce (Joy) MacIsaac was born in Ogden, Utah on November 17, 1929 to Edward and Genevieve (Madsen) Welch. She grew up in Ogden, Utah, then Detroit, Michigan alongside her younger sister, Shirlene (Welch) Laidlaw. Joy spent many memorable summers at Burroughs Farms in Brighton, Michigan, where she met her husband, James (Jim) MacIsaac.
Joy and Jim were married at the Mayflower Congregational Church in Detroit, Michigan on May 27, 1949, followed by a honeymoon up the St. Lawrence River to the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada. Joy and Jim loved going on adventures together, from camping in the Algonquin wilderness of Ontario to winter picnics on the beach, to Europe and boating the Long Island Sound, the Lake Champlain and the Gulf Coast. Jim served in the United States Navy for many years, and Joy had fond memories of being stationed in San Diego, California, and Bremerton, Washington, before moving to Weston, Washington. Connecticut, in 1957.
Joy spent the next four decades on Norfield Road raising her four children, which was her favorite phase of life. Her Weston neighbors became lifelong friends; together they savored the joys of parenthood, threw parties and played Thanksgiving football games. Joy loved cooking for fun, so much so that she and a friend started a small catering business called Lettuce Feed You. She enjoyed working outdoors; Joy has cultivated a large vegetable garden in the neighborhood meadow and over the years has unknowingly found herself with a cow, a goat and a herd 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 caring for a herd of Scotch Highland cattle, a plantation of 5,000 Christmas trees and superb perennial and vegetable gardens. Joy could be found traversing the property on her Gator, meticulously trimming her Christmas trees while listening to Rush Limbaugh on her portable radio and hosting the most memorable get-togethers and barbecues for her family.
In 1996, Joy and Jim purchased a winter home in the Windstar community of Naples, Florida. Joy loved to give of herself and her time. For 10 years she was a reading mentor at Avalon Elementary School and for seven years she held the same position at Fun Time Academy. Joy also volunteered at the Botanical Garden of Naples. For more than two decades, Joy has been an avid member of the NCH Briggs Wellness Center, practicing water aerobics, tai chi, chair yoga and more. There she found a network of girlfriends, later called the “welfare women”, who bonded to celebrate and support each other through the latter part of their lives.
Joy has found immense happiness and fulfillment in nurturing her relationships with family and friends. She was the matriarch of her family, caring for, celebrating, defending and supporting her endless four children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His love and care for so many people was remarkable. She was and always will be a beacon for everyone close to her. Joy cherished her friendships; a friend of Joy was a friend for life. She knew all the events in the lives of her friends and the lives of their families. From gathering for breakfast after water aerobics to Saturday night dinners and sunset cruises, to phone calls and visits, Joy and her friends have supported each other through life’s ups and downs, without condition.
Joy was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, James MacIsaac; his sister, Shirlene (Welch) Laidlaw; his daughter Kathryn Ryan; and his son James MacIsaac. Joy is survived by her eldest daughter, Cynthia Langley of Burlington, Vt.; his youngest son, Robert MacIsaac of Weston, Conn.; his grandchildren, Neil, Joyce, Geneviève, Edward, Julianna, Dylan and Alexandria; and his great-grandchildren, Parker, Liam, Flynn, Greyson, Madsen and Alice.
The services will be private. If friends wish, 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.