Deceased August 8, 2019
I first met Tom Joyce in Stearns Hall in September 1949. He was my roommate and became one of my best friends for the next four years. There I was, a nervous freshman, worried, and unsure of myself. There he was, relaxed, happy, and extremely cool. Tom always seemed to have things figured out. He was at ease wherever he went. He had a wonderful girlfriend, Barbara Pritchard, who came down for special weekends from the University of New Hampshire. Tom and Barb were married in March of their senior years, so right after graduation, they could go to Long Beach, Calif., where Tom began his naval reserve training. Tom and Barb celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary and had already had a “long-distance romance” for four years. That’s true love!
Tom and I were members of Phi Gamma Delta; we roomed together with Hugh Zeller ’53 and Ted Wentz ’53. The two of us stayed up all night when we were seniors and the Korean War was on, trying to decide whether or not to let ourselves be drafted or join the naval reserve. We agreed on the navy. We went to New York, took the physical, etc., and went to Navy Officer Candidate School, he in Long Beach, Calif., I, in Newport Rhode Island. When he was an ensign, he was assigned to the USS Cavalier. I asked to be assigned to a cruiser but was sent to Hawaii, a bit of heaven on earth.
From 1956 to 1968, Tom worked for Alcoa in Dallas, later in Detroit and Milwaukee. In 1978, he and his family moved to Tampa, Fla., but he continued working for Alcoa until his retirement and remained active and productive for many years, traveling to England and Wales, fly fishing in Alaska, New Mexico and Colorado. In Tampa, he was the leader of the local Boy Scouts Council; he volunteered as house manager at the Tampa Performing Arts Center; he was on the Board of the Osher Lifetime Learning Institute (OLLI, Learning in Retirement) and was involved in starting the program in the Tampa area; and, as though that was not enough to keep him busy, he became a master gardener!
Tom is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara; his children, Tom, David, Lisa and Steven; his nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Tom lived a happy and very good life. He was a modest person. I never heard him boast, though he had plenty to boast about. He was a smart, handsome good scout, much loved by his family and friends.
Robert Kiely ’53