Owned and operated Joyce Funeral Home, Waltham

Published December 31, 2020

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

Dorothy McKenna was born in her grandmother’s home in Arlington on Jan. 18, 1926, the third of seven children born to the late Edward L. and Irene A. (O’Keefe) McKenna.

Dot graduated from Waltham High in 1944. After high school, she worked for a time at Cronin’s and for the phone company before landing a job in the assessor’s office at Waltham City Hall.

In the late ‘40s, 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 made Waltham their lifelong home where Dot became a full-time wife and mother. That was really her calling.

In February 1979, her husband Bob died suddenly of a heart attack when the two were on vacation in Florida. Widowed at 53, she became president of the funeral home company and held that position until she retired when she was 70. She met her fate…with strength, courage and a huge dose of faith.

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, Conn.; her grandchildren, Anne E. MacIntyre-Bruce (Elliot), 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 honored and remembered Dorothy’s life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham, on Wednesday, Dec. 30. Her Funeral Mass in Saint Jude Church and burial in Calvary Cemetery, Waltham, will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to The Michael Lisnow Respite Center, 112 Main St., Hopkinton, MA 01748. www.hopkintonrespite.com.

To leave an online message of condolence on the guestbook, please visit www.JoyceFuneralHome.com.