While we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Joyce Josephine Conroy, on October 25, 2014, we are comforted to know she is reunited in heaven with her husband of 55 years, Aulder Joseph “Gus” Conroy.
Joyce was born October 1, 1923 in Prince George, BC, to Ernest and Agnes Carver and was the third youngest of nine children. Mom adored her father who was a conductor with CNR and because of his profession, the family moved between Prince George, McBride, and finally Vancouver where she lived until she met our dad.
As a teenager in Vancouver, Joyce completed her Secretarial Diploma and graduated from Pittman Business College. She quickly enrolled in the Canadian Army and was proud not only to work on behalf of her country, but to have the honour of wearing her uniform. Through her involvement in the army, Joyce met Gus, the love of her life, a Sergeant who was also stationed in Vancouver. After a time of courtship, they set a date to marry on Joyce’s 20th birthday: October 1st, 1943. As was true of the time, things changed very quickly during the war and Gus was re-stationed in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, in preparation for future deployment overseas. An army Chaplain told Gus that if he wanted to marry, he should do so very soon. Gus asked mom to meet him as soon as possible. She scrambled to get a leave of absence and boarded a train heading east, crowded with troops destined overseas. Ever honourable, Joyce refused to take a seat from a soldier heading for the Front, and ended up sitting on her suitcase in the aisle of the train for most of the journey. At 4:00 am on September 4, 1943, Joyce arrived in Maple Creek where she and dad were married two hours later. Two hours after their ceremony, Gus boarded a train for deployment to Europe and Joyce returned to Vancouver alone. She was a newly married bride who would not see her husband until his return to Canada two years later, following the end of WWII.
Upon Gus’s return home from war overseas, Joyce and Gus quickly started a family and welcomed the birth of their daughter, Gail. They would continue to grow their family in following years, welcoming to their family: son, Terry; daughter, Judy; son, Pat, and youngest son, Greg. In the years that followed, Joyce and Gus solidified their faith as active members of the Roman Catholic Church in Cranbrook, BC. Joyce was a valuable member of the Catholic Women’s League, serving as President twice. She was an active member of the Maverick Riding Club, was an avid reader, and astute card player whose talents were shared with children and grandchildren at home, and displayed in public during the BC Senior Games in Cranbrook.
Joyce was adored by her children and grandchildren who loved her beyond words – and for whom she would do anything to help. She will forever be a part of her children’s, grandchildren’s, and great-grandchildren’s lives. She is survived by her children Gail and Ken Conroy, and their children Kerri and Chris; Terry and Susan Conroy, and their children, Karen, Jennifer, Joe, and Glory; Judy and Bill Koopmans, their children, Kirsti and Shauna; Pat and Sharon Conroy, and children Niall, Nathan, Jon, and Michael; and Greg and Donna Conroy, and their son, Corey; as well as 15 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Joyce’s life and Catholic Mass will be held Friday, October 31st at 11:00 am at Christ the Servant Church in Cranbrook, BC.