Joyce Leone Burwick was born April 2, 1940 to William M. and Helene C. (Skilling) Foster in San Diego, California and passed March 10, 2020 in Joplin, Missouri after a long illness from the results of a Traumatic Brain Injury she suffered in 2015.
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Joyce spent her early years at The Orphanage in San Diego, CA and then in multiple foster homes. Around her high school years, her father had remarried and she was invited to move in with them. Life at The Orphanage was hard for her but one bright light was the constant and unconditional love she received from her paternal-grandmother Theresa Foster.
During her high school years, Joyce volunteered at soup kitchens and at the USO. Joyce loved to dance and would spend most of her weekends at the USO dancing. Joyce loved socializing and connecting with people. Later in life that focus would change to “little ones” as she spent the majority of her later working years running a preschool / daycare in her home.
Joyce raised her two daughters, Theresa Joyce and Diana Lynn as a single mom and worked very hard to support them. For a time, she held one full time job and multiple part-time jobs all at the same time.
Joyce married the love of her life, Lawrence “Larry” F. Burwick on May 31, 1968. Joyce said she finally felt loved, cherished and protected after she met Larry. Joyce said life couldn’t be any better than what she had with him. Larry moved the family to Missouri in 1973. Larry and Joyce had almost 36 years together before he preceded her in death on May 15, 2005.
Joyce loved to sew, shop, attending Burwick family get-togethers and learning. Joyce, aka Nana, loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She would often be caught purchasing multiple toys or clothes for them and then tell papaw they were on “clearance” so she couldn’t resist. Joyce was known for her great sense of humor!
As an adult, Joyce’s passion for children compelled her to continue the home-based preschool / daycare for over 30 years. She was licensed in California and then Missouri. She was continuously taking classes to better educate herself in order to provide the best care possible for the children under her watch. She told the story that in a child development class the professor gave a term paper assignment that couldn’t be less than 5 pages. Joyce asked what was the maximum pages allowed and the professor snobbishly replied “write everything ‘you’ know on the subject.” Joyce submitted an 87-page single-spaced term paper!
Joyce may have had a rough start in life but no matter how she felt on the inside, she was determined to keep moving forward … to be strong, grateful and to make the best of her situation. She will be missed but we will forever be thankful for the sacrifices she made to love us all!
Joyce is survived by two daughters Theresa (Randy) Smith of Billings, MO, Diana England of Carl Junction, MO; three grandchildren, Zachary (Sarah) Massey of Carl Junction, MO, Rachel (Luke) Weldon of Billings, MO, Francesca Mathis of Joplin, Mo and her mother, Helene C Sireci of Friendswood, TX. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband Larry Burwick, granddaughter Angelique Burwick, father William M. Foster and son-in-law Ronald England. Joyce has 14 great-grandchildren and myriad of wonderful relatives on the Burwick side.
The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date.