Phoebe Joyce Howard 13/1/1922 – 31/10/2007

The following eulogy was put together by her son, Peter, with contributions from her siblings and children.

Phoebe Joyce was born at Stalker in the Otway Ranges in 1922. She grew
up surrounded by the bush, horses, sawmills and dairy farms. She loved
the tall trees, the wildlife and the cool creeks.

When she was young, her brothers and sister would walk 2 ½ miles to
the school at Barongarook following the Beechie train line for part of
the way. There was always something to see; blue tongue lizards,
birds, snakes and all kinds of plants and flowers. Her love of the
bush stayed with Joyce for her whole life.

As most of you would know, Joyce has always been a very independent
person. Her sister Amy remembers her being chastised for her
stubbornness on several occasions when they were young. Joyce was very
strong willed and even as a child had her own way of doing things,
especially with her art. She turned plants, stones and other objects
around the farm into artwork in very imaginative ways. We can just
imagine the smiles on her parent’s faces.

Joyce remained very artistic throughout her life. She painted and
created art and craft in a very individual style. She had a way of
seeing ‘into’ things and getting inspiration from them – flowers,
trees, galaxies and rocks.

Joyce went through some tough times in her middles years, but she
would be the first to correct us and say they were ‘interesting’ and
‘varied’. They weren’t times she liked to talk about much, but they
helped make her who she was – strong willed and a loving tenderer of
family bonds.

She loved reading, doing cryptic crossword puzzles, adding to her
Buddha ornament collection, gardening, and shopping in $2 shops for
strange and quirky nick-nacks.

A lot of people here would have spent many an hour sitting with Joyce
over a cuppa or two discussing things as varied as quilts, flowers,
deserts and science. One of the wonderful things about Joyce is that
she always had time for you.

Joyce’s siblings and children would like to share some of their own
special memories:

Amy holds dear to the memories of her early childhood with Joyce,
their trips around Australia together, and the loving letters and
talks on the phone: “Even though we lived a long way apart there was
always a bond of love between the two of us and I will miss her very
much. I will miss being able to pick up the phone to talk with her, to
share our family news and to hear her voice.”

David remembers the early years, rising in the frosty mornings and
walking barefoot with Joyce in the bush.

Keith remembers “My sister Joyce was always ready and good at patching
skinned knees, etc. when I was a little bloke. As I grew into
adulthood she was ever ready with advice, etc. Then she really
excelled herself by introducing me to a young lady who has now been my
wife for 53 years.”

Jenny, Joyce’s daughter has a special memory of when she was 4 years
old, one day when it snowed, she watched Mum build a snowman on a
table on the back porch.

Lee will always treasure the times when after she and her Mum would
get home from work they would sit together and have a cuppa sharing
quiet times.

Mark can think of nothing better than the love she had for her all
children, and how that love will continue on.

Peter will always cherish the how his mother taught him to see the
world around him. To find patterns in bark, animals in the clouds, and
faces in the stones.

Honorine always treasured her Mum calling her what she thought was an
endearing nickname “Idget” – until she found out it was her Mums nice
way of calling her an idiot when she’d done something wrong.

Everyone here will have their own memories of Joyce – the strong-
willed sister, the kind but firm mother, the doting Nanny, always
reading with a stuffed toy, or just the good friend that always had
the kettle on. But there are certain things we would all agree on.
Joyce was strong-minded, but never in-your-face, she was feisty
without being brash, passionate but reserved, quiet but never meek,
and always loyal, steadfast, artistic, bright and clever.

When we lose someone like Joyce it’s like losing the spine to a book –
we, the pages, may still be there, but now we’re just fluttering in
the wind, having lost the thing that held us all together.

Goodbye Joyce, Mum, Nanny. We love you, and we’ll miss you.

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One thought on “Phoebe Joyce Howard 13/1/1922 – 31/10/2007

  1. What a lovely tribute. I hope that when my time here draws to a close, that i will have lived life in such a way that people will be as positive as they are about your Nan…

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