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Dorothy I. (McKenna) Joyce

Dorothy I. (McKenna) Joyce
  • January 18, 1926 - December 21, 2020
  • Waltham, Massachusetts

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“To the Joyce Family,Losing a loved one is an experience that we wish to never have to go through. That loss is enhanced now due to the times we are...Read More »
1 of 57 | Posted by: Nancy Caruso

“To the Joyce family, I am very sorry for your loss. May she rest in God's peace. ”
2 of 57 | Posted by: Lisa Taddeo - Waltham, MA

“Dear Frank, Paul and I send our sympathies to you and your family. Your mom sounded like a wonderful woman who gave you a lifetime of memories to...Read More »
3 of 57 | Posted by: Donna Benoit - Waltham, MA

“Please accept my condolences and prayers. she nurtured a great family. ”
4 of 57 | Posted by: Fr. Wendell Verrill - Hingham

“Dear Frank, Maura and the entire Joyce family, Wishing you my heartfelt condolences at the loss of your mother especially during the season of...Read More »
5 of 57 | Posted by: Paul McKenna - West Medford, MA

“Frank and family, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a wonderfully written obituary. May God bless your family during this sad time. ”
6 of 57 | Posted by: Steve Bowlby - New Braunfels, TX

“Barbara,Annie,Martha,Maura,Frank, JustineI want to offer my condolences to you all on the passing of your mother and grandmother. She was the...Read More »
7 of 57 | Posted by: Peggy McGettigan Vaglica - Newton, MA

“Dear Barbara,Martha,Maura, Frank, Justine, and families,We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Aunt Dot. She will always hold a special place in...Read More »
8 of 57 | Posted by: Martha Tascione - Northboro, MA

“Frank,So sorry for the loss of your mother.Our sincere condolences to you and all your family.Beautiful obituary for a beautiful lady. ”
9 of 57 | Posted by: Walter Welch - Waltham, MA

“Dear Barbara, Martha, Maura, Frank, Chickie and the rest of the family, We are so sorry for the loss of your mom. She was a wonderful lady and aunt....Read More »
10 of 57 | Posted by: Nancy Deveau - Northborough, MA

“To the Joyce Family,Sending you prayers as you send off your mother/grandmother. You have supported thousands of families over the years. Who...Read More »
11 of 57 | Posted by: Karen and Mark Liljegren - MA

“Our condolences on the loss of your mother. She, like our mother, truly was 'the best mother in the world'. ”
12 of 57 | Posted by: Sarah and Nancy Brodrick - MA

“Our deepest condolences go out to Barbara, Annie and Meghan, who loved and adored their mother and grandmother. Dot was a wonderful lady and was...Read More »
13 of 57 | Posted by: Galina and Misha Shtivelman

“Mr. Joyce,Our thoughts and prayers are with and your family during this difficult time. Your Mother was an amazing and kind person. I always enjoyed...Read More »
14 of 57 | Posted by: Joan The Vincent Family - VA

“Frank and Family, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Mom. Your family has meant so much to Waltham and I wanted to share my support at this...Read More »
15 of 57 | Posted by: Kim Bowse (Jones) - Merrimack, NH

“Frank & Family Our deepest sympathy on the loss of yourdear Mother. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this mostdifficult time.Fondly, Fred &...Read More »
16 of 57 | Posted by: GRACE ALBERICO - WALTHAM, MA

“To the Joyce family our sincere conodolences and prayers go out to you during this difficult time. I have so many fond memories of stopping by the...Read More »
17 of 57 | Posted by: Phyllis (DiGiovine) Moniz - MA

“To Frank and FamilyWe are so sorry for the loss of your mother. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Margie (Edmunds) and Paul Clifford ”
18 of 57 | Posted by: Margie and Paul Clifford - MA

“I am so very sorry for your loss. She will always be by your guardian angel. ”
19 of 57 | Posted by: Angela Sanscrainte (DePamphilis) - NH

“Frank, another beautiful obituary. My condolences to your family. ”
20 of 57 | Posted by: Erin Connearney - Watertown, MA

“Frank and Family,We were very sorry to hear of your mom's passing. You did a beautiful job with the obituary, she would be very proud.For years you...Read More »
21 of 57 | Posted by: Judy Keough - Waltham, MA

“Dear Joyce Family,I was so sorry to learn about your mom's passing. My mother and father held the Joyce Family in high regard, as do the rest of my...Read More »
22 of 57 | Posted by: Lyn Sturtevant - Waltham, MA

“Frank: please accept emily and my deep sympathy on the loss of your mom/ dot.. we go back many years knowing your mom and dad from their...Read More »
23 of 57 | Posted by: TONY MANGINI - Waltham, MA

“Frank, Kathleen and Family,We are sorry for your mom's passing but we know she is now at peace. A happy marriage, a wonderful family and memories to...Read More »
24 of 57 | Posted by: Anna and Keith Meliones - Wayland, MA

“Sorry for your loss Martha You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers ”
25 of 57 | Posted by: Janet Walsh Madden - Watertown, MA

“Frank & Kathy,Please accept our condolence of your mom's passing. Although she had a long wonderful life I'm sure it's been hard for you and your...Read More »
26 of 57 | Posted by: Peter Joyal - Friend

“To the Joyce Family,We were sorry to read of Dorothy's passing. Hold on to your wonderful memories. You are in our thoughts and prayers.Tom & Jan...Read More »
27 of 57 | Posted by: Tom @ Jan Demeo - Waltham, MA

“Hi Frank,Very sorry for your loss. Mothers certainly are special people! We could probably never read, write or say enough about our parents....and...Read More »
28 of 57 | Posted by: Phil Conway - lynnfield, MA

“Dear Frank Kathy and family, So sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. We know that she was very much loved by all of her family. What a...Read More »
29 of 57 | Posted by: Kevin & Carol Quinn - Waltham, MA

“DEAR BARBARA, MARTHA, MAURA, FRANK, JUSTINE, AND FAMILY, WE ARE SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT THE PASSING OF AUNT DOT .AUNT DOT WAS A WOMAN WHO QUIETLY LED...Read More »
30 of 57 | Posted by: Ned & Sue Coen - MASHPEE, MA

“To Frank and family,So Sorry for the loss of your Mother. May you find peace in your many memories and the comfort your family has given to so many...Read More »
31 of 57 | Posted by: Mary Baker - Waltham, MA

“So sorry for you and your family’s loss Marty ”
32 of 57 | Posted by: Anita

“Our deepest sympathy to the entire Joyce family. Reading Dorothy's obituary made me feel like I knew her personally. What an amazing strong and...Read More »
33 of 57 | Posted by: Gerry and Bud Chiasson - Waltham, MA

“Frank, Kathy, and family -We were so sorry to hear about your tragic loss. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.Sincerely, Sean and Debbie Bendall ”
34 of 57 | Posted by: Sean & Debbie Bendall - Maynard, MA

“Dear Frank and Family,We are so sorry for the loss of your mom. May she rest in eternal peace and again with your dad.Our thoughts and prayers for...Read More »
35 of 57 | Posted by: Joe Founier Founier - Waltham, MA

“My condolences to Frank and the whole Joyce Family. ”
36 of 57 | Posted by: Jack Joyce - Friend

“Frank, To you and family our deepest sympathy for your loss.The Raynor Family, Virginia, Ellen Looney and Mary Raimo ”
37 of 57 | Posted by: Virginia Raynor - MA - Friend

“I don't know you I'm so sorry to hear about your mother passing she is now Resting in peace may god be with you and your family you are all in my...Read More »
38 of 57 | Posted by: Lorraine Butler - Derry, NH

“Frank and family, so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you alll at this difficult and sad time. Susan...Read More »
39 of 57 | Posted by: Susan Mehigan - Watertown

“MAURA FRANK and all of DOROTHYS FAMILT I JOSEPH AND RITA LEBLANC ANF FAMILY WANT TO OFFER OUR CONDOLENCES FOR MOM AND WILL REMEMBER HER IN OUR...Read More »
40 of 57 | Posted by: Joseph H Leblanc - Friend

“Just wanted to send my condolences to Frank and the family.I will be thinking of you during this unusual and difficult times.take care stay safe. ”
41 of 57 | Posted by: Lori Baruch - Waltham, MA

“Dear Frank, I am saddened by the news about your dear mother. My cousin, Clare Welch, alerted me to this sad news. You and your family have always...Read More »
42 of 57 | Posted by: ROYAL RHODES - Gambier, OH

“Dear Frank my warmest and heartfelt condolences to you and your family on the passing of your mother. You are so fortunate to have her all these...Read More »
43 of 57 | Posted by: David Mcgann - Waltham, MA

“Frank & Barbara: I never knew your mom but she sounds like my own mother, except that she was French Canadian. What beautiful words written so...Read More »
44 of 57 | Posted by: Elaine Harvey - Waltham, MA

“What a beautiful tribute to your mother. The memories shared testify to what a wonderful woman she was. Can you just imagine how happy she must be...Read More »
45 of 57 | Posted by: Ann Witham - Waltham, MA

“ Hi Frank My sincerest condolences to your family . God Bless your mother's soul. A beautifully written obituary., full of love and...Read More »
46 of 57 | Posted by: Paul Bedrosian - Watertown, MA

“Frank,So very sorry for your losing your Mom. It is particularly difficult at times of celebration and joy as is during the Christmas season. I...Read More »
47 of 57 | Posted by: Lynne Lazaro - Weston, MA

“We are so sorry for the loss of your mother and grandmother. What a lovely heartfelt and genuine tribute written in her honor. Prayers of love and...Read More »
48 of 57 | Posted by: Jim & Michelle Cristofori - MA

“Frank, I am so sorry for your loss. You have an amazing family for support of each other. God love you all. Marilyn Kelly ”
49 of 57 | Posted by: Marilyn Kelly - Leominster, MA

“Frank, Kathy, Maura and Family,So sorry for the loss of your Mom. It's never a good time to lose family but it sure does make it worse around the...Read More »
50 of 57 | Posted by: Liz Kantowski Distasio - Friend

“Dear Barbara and Annie,My deepest sympathy at the passing of Dot. I have fond memories or Dot, Mimi (my grandmother) and the ladies gathering at...Read More »
51 of 57 | Posted by: Maryann (McKenna) Littlejohn - AL

“Frank,I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom especially so close to a Holiday I can relate my Mom passed just before Thanksgiving 11 years ago. My...Read More »
52 of 57 | Posted by: Patty Bertrand - Billerica, MA

“To Barbara, Martha, Maura, Frank and Justine thank you for sharing Dot with us.While my brain says that Aunt Dot fought the good fight and it is time...Read More »
53 of 57 | Posted by: John Kavaleski - Marlborough, MA

“My deepest sympathy to you all on the loss of your Mom. She has and always will have a very special place in my heart. She welcomed me into her home...Read More »
54 of 57 | Posted by: Kathleen Cyr - Wakefield, MA

“Hello Frank,Please accept my condolences on the passing of your Mother. We all only get one Mom and I'm sure She was very special. I will keep your...Read More »
55 of 57 | Posted by: Steve Vanaria - Waltham, MA

“Frank, my sincere condolences on the loss of your mom. ”
56 of 57 | Posted by: BILL JARRETT - Waltham, MA

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you on the loss of your beautiful mother and grandmother. May Rest in Peace ”
57 of 57 | Posted by: John and Peg Comer - Holbrook, MA


My mother did not want a book written about her after she went but when you're the undertaker there are certain privileges in writing it . . . and sometimes obituaries are written as much to help us grieve as they are to tell a story. Anyway, she won't get a book, but it won't be short either.

Let's get the important stuff out of the way first. She was the best mother in the world. I hear that a lot. And you know what? . . . it's always true for every family that says it.

Dorothy McKenna was born in her grandmother's home in Arlington on January 18, 1926, the third of seven children born to the late Edward L. and Irene A. (O'Keefe) McKenna. Her father was a phone company man and his job brought the McKenna's to Harding Avenue in Waltham when she was an infant.

She went to the Bright School with her sisters and brothers and they'd walk home for lunch every day. She said it was almost always a baked potato and pudding and the way that she described the delicious way that her mother made it, you'd think it was just shy of a roast beef dinner. Dot graduated from Waltham High in 1944, at the height of World War II, and that's the same year that her father, Ed, a WW I Army veteran died of cancer. That was a hard blow for her family. But they were Irish. They were always o.k.

After high school she worked for a time at Cronin's and for the phone company, almost all the McKenna's took their turn at the phone company, before landing a job in the assessor's office at Waltham City Hall.

In the late 40's she started dating Bob Joyce, a year older than her and a Navy corpsman during the war. He started working with his father at their funeral parlor after he got out of the service in 1946. The pair married in Saint Mary's Church on June 10, 1950. They really loved each other and made Waltham their lifelong home where Dot became a full time wife and mother. That was really her calling.

In 1958 the family moved across the street from Saint Jude Church where Dot became active in parish life. She belonged to the Ladies Sodality and attending Mass and Wednesday Novena's were a regular and expected part of family life. Holidays were huge . . . Christmas and Easter at the house created lifelong memories for generations of her family.

The other thing that created cherished memories were Sunday dinners when her kids were young and Tuesday dinners at Grandma's with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In February, 1979 Dot endured tragedy again when her husband Bob died suddenly of a heart attack when the two were on vacation in Florida. Widowed at fifty-three she became president of the funeral home company and held that position until she retired when she was seventy. She met her fate the same way that she'd done it before . . . with strength, courage and a huge dose of faith. Experience can be a hard teacher.

After her grandchildren started arriving she really had a new lease on life. She loved going shopping with her sister Eleanor and any number of the kids who were around. Coupon days at Bradlee's and Filene's not only meant a new outfit but also a trip to Friendly's.

She never missed a birthday party or Christmas show or a Grandparent's Day at Saint Jude's. She loved seeing the kids and the feeling was mutual. Summers meant going 'down the Cape' to her house where it seemed there were always people coming and going. She set herself up on the porch and loved keeping up with all the family news and what was happening 'back home'.

Dot also loved her sisters and brothers and they all got along like in a movie. In later years brother Billy became the driver and Friday nights meant dinner at O'Hara's or at the Chateau followed by a pot of coffee and a penny card game around the dining room table. Her sister Martha was the Christmas Tree expert on the Cape where the crew spent many happy evenings finding another great buy.

Life, love, faith, family and friendships were the hallmarks of her life. She was fiercely loyal and loving but, being an Irish mother, also knew how to hand out advice in a way that made it hard to negotiate. Family, she knew, was just like music . . . some high notes . . . some low notes . . . but always a beautiful song.

Dorothy Irene (McKenna) Joyce died on Monday, December 21, 2020 at Maristhill Nursing Home in Waltham following a period of declining health. She was 94.

In addition to her parents waiting for her in heaven, were her husband, Robert E. Joyce; her grandson, Jeffrey D. O'Neil and her sisters and brothers, Eleanor V. Kavaleski, Margaret A. Coen, William J. McKenna, Edward L. McKenna, Jr., M. Ruth Forster and Martha E. Marinoni.

She leaves her children, Barbara A. MacIntyre of Maynard, Martha M. Cronin of Watertown, Maura E. O'Neil (David) of North Reading, Francis J. Joyce (Kathleen) of Waltham and D. Justine Ryan (Thomas) of Darien, Connecticut; her grandchildren, Anne E. MacIntyre (Elliot Bruce), Maj. Robert P. Cronin, USMC, Meghan J. Wilson (Michael), Peter W. O'Neil, Ashley J. O'Neil, Robert E. Joyce, James M. Joyce, John F. Joyce (Krista), Katelyn M. Joyce, Jacqueline M. Joyce, Connor T. Ryan, Taylor M. Ryan and Casey M. Ryan; her great-grandchildren, Michaela, Garrett and Cameran Wilson and Harper Joyce and many nieces, nephews and their families.

Family and friends will honor and remember Dorothy's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Wednesday, December 30th from 4 to 7 p.m. Her Funeral Mass in Saint Jude Church and burial in Calvary Cemetery, Waltham will be private.

Those who would like to view Dorothy's Mass

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