Joyce M. Johnson - Heritage Village - Southbury, CT
2/1/1921 - 3/4/2018
“A pen in one hand, coffee in the other.”
Joyce M. Johnson, 97, passed away peacefully in the presence of family on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at the Lutheran Home in Southbury, CT.
Born in the Bronx, Joyce and her beloved dad were avid Brooklyn Dodgers fans and she remained, through her last breath, a devoted Mets fan. In her final days, she fluctuated between feeling “ready to go,” and asking when Spring Training would start! Weeks before her final birthday, she wasn’t sure she’d make it to 97, but as she’d done many times prior, she surprised even herself.
Joyce spread a smile and sharp wit with all who crossed her path. Days before her passing, she was still cracking jokes, such as, “I’m going to miss you. Well, you’re going to miss me.”
The accomplishment of which she was most proud was celebrating 43 years of sobriety. “One Day at a Time,” read her bumper sticker back when she still drove. The first day of sobriety came on 3/9/75 when she learned of her daughter’s pregnancy. On the heels of this news, she returned to AA and this time it stuck. As she put it, “You have to be sober in order to enjoy life’s gifts.” Quite auspiciously, her granddaughter was born on 9/3/75 in Italy, where they write the date as 3/9/75! She was also a member of the Lay Franciscans (Third Order) for many years.
Joyce retired after 50 years working as a legal secretary; her last and favorite job was Secretary to Samuel V. Schoonmaker III at Cummings & Lockwood in Stamford. Never one to sit still, she attended Norwalk Community College and won an award for her poetry at age 71. She then embarked on a second career as a Certified Alcoholism Counselor. While co-facilitating a program of recovery for seniors at the Meridian Center in Stamford, Joyce created a small tri-fold booklet named SMILE to share with clients. Upon retiring (again), she was encouraged to publish a larger version of SMILE nationally. SMILE became Joyce’s third career which she enjoyed for 20 years (last issue published in 2014), forging many friendships that lived on beyond the pages of SMILE.
Joyce is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Tom Sherrier & family; daughter, Clarice Azzoni; former son in law, Riccardo Azzoni; granddaughter, Elena Azzoni; grandson, David Azzoni; and great-grandson, Enzo Azzoni Eddy. She was predeceased by her parents, Royella and Walter Meads; former husband, Ralph M. Johnson; aunt, Helen Caswell; many dear friends; and most recently Oreo, her favorite cat ever who “visited” her almost every night in her last days, quietly comforting her with his loving eyes.
Sincere thanks to Mary, Joan and John, and her many caregivers for their love and kindness.
Please join us for Mass in celebration of Joyce’s life on Monday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. at:
The Chapel at Sacred Heart Church
910 Main Street South
Southbury, CT 06488
Gifts may be made in honor of Joyce M. Johnson at: www.littleflower.org or by mailing a check to:
Society of the Little Flower
1313 N. Frontage Road
Darien, IL 60561