Joyce L. Henriques, of New Rochelle, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her family on June 29, 2017. She was 92 years old.
The story of Joyce’s life is one of unselfish love, compassion and understanding. She was born in Cuba in 1924 where she spent her early years. Her parents returned to Jamaica and resumed living on their farm when Joyce was a teenager. In Jamaica, Joyce learned to speak English and made new friends, some became life long friends. As a young child she developed a deep interest in nature and remained true to the philosophy that natural foods are best. She maintained her love of all things natural throughout her life.
By her early 20’s she was well organized and resourceful, she participated in community events for local farmers, to which the local Colonial Government officials attended. It was at one of these events that she met a young reporter named Irvine B. McGeary who was destined to change her life. When Irvine proposed marriage Joyce agreed but there was one hitch. Irvine was raised by his Irish and very Catholic maternal grandmother, while Joyce was the product of a Sephardic Jew and a nondenominational Christian. Irvine could not marry Joyce in the Catholic Church unless she converted. This she did. She embraced Catholicism and raised her children to be true and faithful Catholics. She remained a true believer all the days of her life.
Joyce and Irvine’s marriage produced four children, Keith, Judith, Patrick and Richard. Sadly and unexpectedly Patrick predeceased her in 1993. As a wife and mother she taught English and Arithmetic at St. Catherine’s Grammar School, she also sold her baked goods to the local country store. She spent many happy years living at home, while caring for her family and her ailing mother. After her mother passed away she went to New York on vacation, and loved it.
Joyce discovered a new life in New York and decided that this was the life she wanted for her family. She saw opportunities and thought her family would thrive there. Unfortunately, Irvine did not want to move to New York and stayed behind in Jamaica with his business interests. So, displaying her strong determination and against society’s norms, she moved to New York and soon found a position with Texaco. After a few years she was able to bring all four of her children to live with her. Joyce did well at Texaco and they showed their appreciation as she rose to become a member of the Executive and Administration team. Joyce worked at Texaco for more than 30 years before retiring.
After retirement she spent more time with her two youngest grandchildren in Connecticut. Children were the joy of her life. Her influence was multi-generational. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and
great-grandmother. She insisted that books must be part of a child’s early development, she also believed that children must use their own imagination to develop and create their own stories.
Joyce faced many difficulties throughout her life, but I never heard her raise her voice or shout at anyone. She had a unique way of listening closely to the opposite point of view; did not get angry, then would quietly think about the matter, before making her decision. Joyce was authentic, confident and fearless, she had a genuine love for people and life, this made her attractive to all who came to know her.
Above all else, Joyce was a mom, grandma and friend to all who came to know her.
Joyce leaves behind her children, Keith of Florida, Judith of New Rochelle, Richard of Connecticut, brothers Roy Henriques of Canada and Owen Henriques of Florida. Four grandchildren; Robert and spouse Trudie Coverdale with great grandchildren Solomon and Sophia Coverdale, grand daughter Heather Azzan with great grandchildren April, Ariana and Dorian. Grandson Gerard and spouse Sarah McGeary of New York, granddaughter Ashley McGeary of South Korea and Washington DC, many dear friends and her dear childhood friend, Vinton Beckett.