Wed | Jun 7, 2023

Joyce Elaine Gayle - A woman of wisdom

Published:Friday | February 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Derrick Tulloch and Norma Kerr-Clarke, Contributors

Joyce Gayle, late of of 2b Lewis Street, Savanna-la Mar, was a woman of substance, brilliance, warmth, intelligence, popularity and love; a woman God created for the rest of us to use as a guide in fellowship with our brother man, possessing an indomitable spirit with a passion for living.

Joyce, affectionately called Mama, Grandma, Aunt Joyce and Miss Joyce will go down in our memories as 'timeless'. She was a practising Christian who was always punctual and committed to her tasks. Impeccably dressed for every occasion, everyone remembers her as jovial and one of the very few her age who was capable of bridging the generation gap, touching every life that she so encountered. Age did not matter to her and many of her friends were more than youthful, to say the least.

Born on April 1, 1929 at Hudson Street, Savanna-la-Mar, she was the sixth of 11 children for Louis and Emel Gayle. Aunt Joyce attended the Savanna-la-Mar Elementary School and graduated from that institution, taking with her the quality education she received in those days and the fond memories of her time at school. She believed in lifelong learning and never stopped educating others in Christian principles, business and world affairs.

Growing up in the turbulent economic, social and political period of the 1930s and 1940s, Aunt Joyce honed the skills received from the university of life to become the strong resourceful parent and citizen we knew.


As a single parent, she was a caring mother, wisely appreciating the unique qualities of all her children, while supporting their educational pursuits through diligent management of her resources. Today, the fruits can be seen as Maxine, Glen and Lynrose have all achieved excellence in their respective careers. A loving grandmother, sister, aunt, mother-in-law and friend, her experience, critical and financial advice were readily shared.

Miss Joyce was a faithful and dedicated Christian, a Eucharist minister and lay leader at the St Joseph's Catholic Church for many years. She was a very active member of the church, participating in all its activities. Her work took her to Grange Hill and Negril.

She was instrumental in the rebuilding of the church after Hurricane Gilbert, in 1988, and the building of the church hall.

On December 7, 1997 on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the diocese of Montego Bay at a service held at the Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament, she was awarded a certificate in recognition of her contribution to the Eucharist ministry and the growth and vitality of the Catholic community in Westmoreland.

When she had to relocate to Kingston, she transferred her fellowship to Our Lady of the Angels Parish and looked forward to the visits from the priest and Eucharist minister, receiving communion and sharing the Scriptures.

Effective member

Aunt Joyce worked with Solicitor Walter Tomlinson for many years. However, it was at the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited district office, which she joined in 1967 and from which she retired in 1991, that she made her mark.

She was a very effective member of the support team, providing assistance to the staff and customers as she effectively executed her duties with pride. She demonstrated Christian principles on and off the job and never failed to remind them of Christ and the need for good work ethics, honesty and savings for the rainy day.

Aunt Joyce would always open her doors to strangers and her home became the haven for many of her children's friends and many visitors who visited St Joseph's Church. Her caring and compassionate nature motivated her to become a certified first-aid officer with the St John's Ambulance Brigade.

In 2002, she encountered health challenges and she relocated to Kingston to live with her eldest daughter, Gem (Maxine). Aunt Joyce love of life was infectious; irrespective of the challenges which she was going through, she displayed unwavering optimism which can be compared to the appearance of the sun chasing all the dark clouds away.

She is survived by her children Gem, Maxine, Lynrose and Dave nine grandchildren - Nicholas, Dave Jr, Kristen-Kaye, Shelby, Rabia, Munir, Ishmael, Cindy and Kelle-Jean; sisters Ruby, Kathleen and Gwendolyn; brothers Roy and Lionel; several nieces, nephews, cousins, friends of St Joseph and Our Lady of the Angel Catholic communities and other relatives and friends and the Savanna-la-Mar community.

She died on January 28 at age 80.

'As a single parent, she was a caring mother, wisely appreciating the unique qualities of all her children, while supporting their educational pursuits through diligent management of her resources.'