Obituary: Janet Alma (Johnson) Joyce, 79

by | May 29, 2020

Janet A. Joyce, 79, passed away on Saturday, May 23. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Thomas R. Joyce, formerly of Pittsburgh, Penn. Janet was the daughter of Edwin and Mildred (Frye) Johnson. A lifelong resident of East Greenwich, Janet was known for her kind heart, gentle wit, and unwavering dedication to family and community.

Janet Johnson Joyce, Feb. 8, 1941 – May 23, 2020.

Growing up on a small family farm in the River Farm area of East Greenwich, Janet graduated as salutatorian of her class at East Greenwich High School, and went on to earn her associate’s degree from Bryant College in 1961. She later earned a B.A. degree in Early Childhood Education at URI, graduating in the same year as her daughter Jennifer.

Janet was especially proud of the impact that she had on the lives of hundreds of children in her 29 years as a teacher and 6 years as the director at the Barbara M. Tufts Cooperative Preschool. Janet also served the Town of East Greenwich as the Director of Welfare in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Inspired by her Lutheran faith and deep belief in the common good, Janet volunteered her time to many community programs, including Safety Town, The Ecumenical Emergency Loan Fund, The East Greenwich Ecumenical Food Cupboard, The East Greenwich Academy Foundation, Teen Center, and the ReJOYce Thrift Shop, recently renamed in honor of Janet and Tom.

Janet’s family and friends gave her great joy. She is survived by her three daughters and son-in-law, Pam Joyce, Joanne McEvoy and Jennifer and Matthew Wallace, and two grandchildren, Emerson and Amanda. She is also survived by her cherished brother, William, and sister-in-law, Elizabeth Johnson. She will be remembered by all her beloved nieces, nephews and family members in Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, South Carolina and Kentucky.

Among Janet’s many accomplishments were her pioneering efforts throughout her life to improve support for children and adults with special needs. To honor this legacy, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center ( OR mail to: Trudeau Center, 3445 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886). Online or mailed donations made for the next 30 days will be accepted in memory of Janet Joyce.

Due to public health restrictions, her funeral and burial will be private. If you wish to virtually view the funeral service on Monday, June 1, at 11 a.m., go HERE at that time.

A memorial service will be planned at a later date.

Visit Hill Funeral Home HERE for online condolences. EG News Obituary Policy: We post obituaries relevant to our readers. If you would like to share an obituary, send it to [email protected]. Put “obituary” in the subject line. 


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Patricia Cote
Patricia Cote
May 29, 2020 1:41 pm

Miss Janet we worked together at the CO-OP for a lot of years. We had a lot of laughs and shared a lot of sadness too. But that is what friends do. I was sad when you left the school and missed you a lot. But at the end you came into the 3 year old room and helped us again, the children loved you for your love your smile and your laughter. The one thing we had together were the children, we both loved them a lot. Thank you for the years we worked together we were good friends . Will miss you a lot. Time goes Janet but the good memories never do, thank you for those.

David Zenga
David Zenga
May 29, 2020 4:00 pm
Reply to  Patricia Cote

So sorry for your loss Joyce family!

Daniel Casey
Daniel Casey
May 29, 2020 2:37 pm

I had Janet as my nursery school teacher who later became a dear friend. Thank you Janet for being the light in the storm for so many who needed help. Thank you and I’ll miss you!

David Desjarlais
David Desjarlais
May 30, 2020 6:36 am
Reply to  Daniel Casey

My deepest sympathy to Lieutenant Joyce and family!

Bob Farrell
Bob Farrell
May 29, 2020 3:46 pm

My condolences to Tom and family. Janet was just the perfect citizen all her life. She gave so much to the town starting with the children. Her dedication to folks who needed help along their way in life was inspirational. If anyone deserves a set of wings it’s Ms Janet. RIP

Nancy China (Ogren)
Nancy China (Ogren)
May 30, 2020 9:00 am

I have very fond memories of Janet. She was my Sunday School teacher as sweet as can be. MY sympathy to Johnson and Joyce families.

June 3, 2020 8:40 am

Janet Joyce exemplified “service above self “, to our East Greenwich community, it’s children, our citizenry and helped so many with her kind and empathic ways. My family knew Janet from church, then as a preschool teacher to our children, then as Safety Town coordinator along with Officer Tom, instilling all types of safety knowledge to numerous children. Her smile, warmth, wit , and “can do spirit,” were always available to help anyone. Hopefully, her legacy will live on in those she touched. Our thoughts and prayers to Tom, and family.

Joseph Tavares
Joseph Tavares
May 31, 2020 12:11 pm

My condolences to Tom and family. Janet will be remembered as a true giver. A beautiful person inside and out. So many fond memories of Janet and Tom giving to and helping our community. Truly one of the jewels of East Greenwich. Janet was an angel on earth and now in heaven. Thank you.

Joe Tavares

Donna Rice
Donna Rice
May 31, 2020 1:41 pm

Tom and family;
Our deepest sympathy to you all. Janet was an amazing person. May your memories help you all at this time.
We were so happy and proud to have known her.
With love and faith and peace.
Cliff and Donna Rice


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