Remembering Joyce Priestly

Priestly (Pickford), Joyce Of Alexandria, New Hampshire, formerly of Quincy and Brookline Massachusetts died peacefully in Pine Heights Rehabilitation Center on July 18, 2017 in Brattleboro, Vermont at the age of 86 years.

Joyce was predeceased by her parents Marcus L. Pickford, Vena D. Pickford (Horne) and her stepmother Louise D. Pickford (Arsenault). She is survived by her five children Mark Priestly, Fall River, MA, James and Tracy Priestly, Bellingham, MA, Eric and Barbara Priestly, Middleboro, MA, Bonnie and Carlton Garland, Brattleboro, Vermont, Paul and Roberto Lauro-Priestly Brookline, Ma. Her beloved Grandchildren & spouses Jeffrey & Delaine, Tanya & Jared, Heather & Keith, Mandy, Jonathan, Adam & Niki, Jessica, Chrystal, Mark, Molly, Vena & Calvin, Rebekah & Michael. Her cherished great-grandchildren, Savannah, Jacob, Henry, August, Ellie, Bentley, Geovanni, Armani and Anorah.

Joyce was born on Good Friday, April 3,1931, in Berlin, NH. She graduated from Brighton High School in 1949. She then went to Beth Israel Nursing School graduating with a RN class of 1952. She worked full time at Beth Israel Hospital as a Head nurse in the operating room. She worked tirelessly as a single mother raising her five children. She left the hospital in 1969 and became a school nurse in Braintree Public Schools for 23 years. She worked many summers at Camp Child Boy Scout Camp as the nurse.

Joyce was accomplished at community activism, during the 1960’s and 1970’s she was part of the Poverty Coalition of Brookline, Ma appearing before the senate sub-committee and speaking about the issue. She was also active in the civil rights movement, a passion she held fast to for her entire life. She was involved with the Harvard Church of Brookline in such programs as the church exchange, a program where black and white churches worship together, along with Sunday school teaching and assisting. She helped with the formation of The United Parish of Brookline, the joining of three local churches into one family of faith. In the midseventies she and two other nurses started the Emmanuel College Nursing Continuing Education Program that bloomed into continuing education for adults making it possible for the college to fiscally survive. As a school nurse she worked and helped many teenagers with personal issues and helped guide them on life’s journey. After her retirement Joyce moved to Alexandria, New Hampshire where she kept busy nurturing her garden and grandchildren, listening to music until the end of her days.

A celebration of life memorial service is scheduled for August 12 at 2:00 pm at The United Parish Brookline, Massachusetts 02446. A light reception will follow in the church parlor. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her honor to Planned Parenthood or WGBH Boston.