Obituary: Joyce M. Phipps

by | Jun 11, 2020

Joyce M. Phipps left her loving earthly family on 9 June 2020, peacefully and without any discomfort to join her heavenly family. She was born in San Francisco, Calif., in 1934 to John J Brophy and Laura O’Farrell Brophy. She was raised in Redwood City, California and graduated with honors from Notre Dame College of Belmont, California. In 1956, she married Richard L. Phipps, (1933-2003) and they had five children: Ron Phipps (wife, Susan Martins-Phipps) of Warwick; Greg Phipps (wife, Ingrid Phipps) of Wickford; Victoria Bird (husband, Robert Bird) of Estero, Fla.; A. Denise Ellis (husband, Rick) of Franklin, Wisc.; and Hillary Gibbs (husband Jonathan) of Exeter. She is survived by her brother Jack J. Brophy of Pleasanton, Calif. She has 18 grandchildren and 16 + +great grandchildren.

Joyce was an adventurer and a pioneer. She lived with her family in San Francisco, Placentia, and Santa Clara, California; Portland, Oregon; Government Camp, Oregon; Vancouver, Washington; Kansas City, Missouri; and arrived in Rhode Island in 1973. Joyce engaged sports her entire life, particularly downhill skiing, swimming, and tennis (killer left-handed doubles player). She became a real estate agent and established Phipps Realty on April Fool’s Day, 1976. It was one of the first female broker-owned real estate firms in the state. Her family’s experience with the relocation process made Phipps Realty a leader in the field. It was her belief that helping people with their move was paramount. She was a trail blazer for women and was a master at Grit with Grace. It was because of her gender, not in spite of it, that she could do ANYTHING she committed to. Always a leader, Joyce co-founded The East Greenwich/Cowesett New Neighbor’s Club. The company’s motto has remained constant through all of these 44 years: “Let our family take care of yours.” She was a proud Realtor and committed to contributing to the profession working with the Kent County Board of Realtors (past Board President) and the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. Her professionalism, passion, and compassion were acknowledged by her peers with the Rhode Island Realtor of the Year  Award in 1985. She was awarded the National Association of Realtors Emeritus two years ago.

Joyce was one of those rare individuals who encouraged everyone around her to BE their best. Those who knew her well, knew her as a private person. She wore her heart on her sleeve, but in that case, she wore long sleeves. Her family was her rock, her solace, her purpose, and her summit. Her relationship with her husband, Rick, was a true love story. Each pushed and comforted the other. Each celebrated the achievements of the other. They loved each other’s company. That love lives on as loyalty, respect, and service to others.

When Rick passed in 2003, the sun shown a little dimmer in Joyce’s life. To her credit, she kept going, literally. She left from Long Beach, Calif., on a six-month voyage around the world by herself. She has spent the last several years teaching the next generations about their heritage and each’s purpose: Living a life of service to others.

It was her hope and our mission to continue our life’s path furthering the trail of living lives of service to others, each one of us respecting and caring for everyone around us.

While Joyce LOVED flowers, particularly Hawaiian flowers, please omit flowers. If you wish to celebrate her life with us, you can join us at a memorial service in the future, or if you are so compelled to contribute in her name to the Rick Phipps Scholarship Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation [email protected] , to Hospice Rhode Island, Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer, or ALS Rhode Island. The funeral service will be private.

Find the online condolences page on the Hill Funeral Home website HERE.

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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Bobbe Bertrand Petreikis
Bobbe Bertrand Petreikis
June 12, 2020 12:46 pm

Joyce was one of our “favorite” cousins. She was a friend as well as niece to our mother when we lived in Palo Alto, California. When the Bertrand clan moved to Louisiana and the Phipps clan moved to Rhode Island, we stayed in touch and visited often. Her sense of humor always brought a smile. We will miss her. The Bertrand Family


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