Patricia “Patsy” Joyce, 101, a lifelong resident of Beechview whose passions were her family, her Catholic faith and her Irish heritage, died on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022 after a short illness. Patsy resided for the last seven years at Fair Oaks Senior Living where she could be counted on to participate in all activities and thrived with support from a caring staff. Patsy was born March 21, 1920 at her family’s home on Cape May Avenue in Beechview, the daughter of Thomas Joyce and Mary O’Toole Joyce, immigrants from County Galway, Ireland. Their house teemed with Irish relatives and friends who stayed for days, weeks and sometimes years after they arrived in the U.S., and Patsy recalled her uncles referring to it as “Immigrants Hotel” or the “Irish Underground.”
Among her earliest memories was answering the front door to find people standing on the porch with suitcases. Her mother frequently paid their cab fare. Patsy graduated from St. Catherine of Siena School and South Hills High School and her early jobs included making sandwiches at John’s Drug Store in Beechview, and wrapping packages at Horne’s department store, Downtown. After high school, she attended Duff’s Iron City College and worked at a number of local businesses before joining the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare from which she retired in 1985.
Patsy’s life focused on doing for others instead of herself. While shopping at Horne’s basement in the early 1950s, she bought a Santa Claus suit so that a family member could wear it and distribute gifts at her clan’s Christmas Day gathering – a tradition her family has carried on ever since. Also in the 1950s, she and her sister, Fran, built a cottage in Somerset County that became the site of treasured family vacations and picnics – featuring her famed orange cake – for decades. Patsy never slowed down in retirement. She was a familiar sight walking in her Broadway Avenue neighborhood. She traveled to Ireland and other locales, marched in Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade into her 90s, and spent many days at the Beechview Senior Community Center and volunteering for Meals on Wheels. She was a member and devoted volunteer with St. Catherine of Siena Church, the Gaelic Arts Society, Catholic Daughters of America, All-Ireland Social Club, and was a charter member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 32.
Survivors include a sister, Mary Helen Gannon of Scott; 11 nephews and nieces, Joseph A. Joyce, Joseph W. Joyce, Mary Ellen Donohue (the late Jack), Martin Gannon (Jenny), Joyce Gannon (Dennis Roddy), Nancy Anderson (the late Todd), Cate Gannon, Thomas Lamb Jr. (Katie), Jim Lamb (Ann), Michael Lamb (Jill) and Barbara Garvey (Bill); 11 great nieces and nephews; two great-grand nieces and one great-grand nephew. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her siblings, Joseph Joyce, John Joyce, Coleman Joyce, Frances Joyce and Barbara J. Lamb; and two nephews, Michael Joyce and John F. Gannon Jr.
Friends received from 12-6 p.m. on Sunday at BRUSCO-NAPIER FUNERAL SERVICE, LTD., 2201 Bensonia Ave., Pgh, PA 15216. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 10 a.m. in St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish—St. Catherine of Siena Church, 1810 Belasco Ave., Pgh, PA 15216. Burial to follow in Calvary Cemetery, Hazelwood. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patricia A. "Patsy" Joyce, please visit our floral store.
St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish
1810 Belasco Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15216