WAKEFIELD — Joyce (Houlder) Nichols, 83, a lifelong resident of Wakefield, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, March 26, at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose following a brief illness.

Joyce was born in Medford on March 8, 1932, a daughter of the late Geoffrey H. and Frances (Stephens) Houlder. She grew up in Wakefield where she was educated in the Wakefield Public School system and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1949.

Joyce received her associate’s degree from Fisher Junior College as a legal secretary. Joyce was a homemaker most of her adult life and took great pride caring for her husband and three children.

She enjoyed visiting the beach, the picnics on Lake Quannapowitt with her family and her passion in life was her interest in family geneaology.

Joyce was the beloved wife of the late Robert S. Nichols. She was the devoted mother of Linda-Joy Gignac and her late husband Jerry Gignac, Deb Estes and her husband Robert Estes and Dave Nichols. She was the loving Grammie to Shawn, Crystal, Michael, Matthew, Jen, Geoff, Melissa, Gary and her great-grandchildren Becca, Cassie, Josh, Sam, Sophie, Ben and Ryan. She was the beloved sister of the late Rear Admiral Richard Houlder (Ret.) U.S. Navy and his surviving wife Jeanne Houlder.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours for Joyce on Sunday, March 29, from 2 to 4 p.m. in The Carr Funeral Home, 1159 Main St., Wakefield/Melrose line. Her funeral service and burial will be private.