Richard David Joyce Sr. died March 5, 2014 at his home in Ridgecrest, CA, USA.
He was born on April 13, 1928 to Flora Elaine and Martin Joyce in Leonia, New Jersey. His mother Flora Elaine was a former Ziegfeld Girl and both she and his father, Martin, worked as vaudeville entertainers. Richard was 14 when his mother passed away in 1942 and he went to live with his eldest step-sister, Frances in Miami, FL. When Richard turned 17, he joined the Navy, but he wasn’t called in for duty until September 1945. After boot camp, he was ordered to serve on the troop trains as a cook for our returning veterans. This detail ended when on September 13, 1946 when he received orders to report to the Naval Ordinance Test Station (NOTS) which at that time was located in Inyokern, CA at 0800.
Just over a month later on October 22, 1946, after reporting for duty at the NOTS commissary store, he and a shipmate followed a pair of young ladies out of the movie house to the bus stop and that’s where he met his darling, Lenora. He would love her the rest of his life. They married 17 days later on November 8, 1946.
When Lenora came into his life she brought with her two children, Jack and Patsy. Orders for sea duty took them to San Diego and it was a very happy time. He served briefly on both the USS Iowa and the USS Saint Paul.
His son, Richard Jr, was born on March 18, 1948 in Long Beach, CA and his youngest daughter, Teresa, was born in Ridgecrest, CA on August 18, 1951. He was discharged from the navy in 1951 and he then went to work for the Fire Department where he would work until 1955.
In the years that followed, he held a number of different and varied jobs and positions that allowed him to travel a great deal. But, most of all, he devoted his time and his energy to his family and his friends. He became a Charter member of the B.P.O. Elks in April 1956 and proudly sponsored the membership of his wife, sons, daughters and two of his granddaughters, Sandra and Wendy. He was a wonderful man with a generous heart and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He leaves behind four children, nine grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at Desert Memorial Park on Wednesday, March 12th at 10am. The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.