Born Joyce Mahfood on November 6, 1928 in Kingston, Jamaica, the woman affectionately known as "Aunt Joyce" attended St. Ann and St. Anthony Schools, and is remembered by her childhood friends as having long been sociable and very fun loving. Daphne Bennett, one of her best friends since she was 7 years old until now, remembers Joyce as always being kind and full of life as a young woman.
In her late 20's Joyce moved to London, England and lived with another best friend, Cherrie Connolly, who she'd met at age 17. For over 6 years, Joyce shared an apartment with Cherrie and her husband Naldy, working as a garment inspector for fine ladies lingerie before becoming an accountant. For the rest of her life Joyce would praise Cherrie as "her rock," as the two friends supported each other through the many struggles they faced as young Jamaican women in London. They would remain best friends for the rest of their lives. Joyce, Cherrie, and Naldy managed to do a bit of traveling together while in Europe. Their most memorable trip was to Paris for the wedding of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly in 1956.
Two years later, when Cherrie and Naldy moved to Connecticut, they traveled with two daughters who had been born in London, DeAnne and Tamé. Joyce followed, choosing to settle in Brooklyn, New York to be close to her friends. Shortly thereafter Joyce married Hank Anderson, taking his name. She enjoyed the fast pace and fashionable lifestyle of New York. Yet she visited Connecticut frequently to spend time with Cherrie and her family, as well as another childhood friend, Gloria Faulk and her family. As Cherrie's family continued to grow, Joyce became godmother to both the eldest and the youngest of Cherrie's four daughters, DeAnne and Danielle. She also became godmother to her sister Gloria's daughter, Andrea. Although she had no children of her own, Joyce was a very devoted and loving godmother. Her sister, Gloria Brown also had two sons, Tony and Christopher. Joyce remained a very devoted and supportive aunt to them as well.
In New York, Joyce worked as a Nursing Assistant at Mount Sinai Hospital for 15 years. During those years at Mount Sinai, she would frequently bring containers of Jamaican food to share with her colleagues. Doris Harriette, yet another of Joyce's longtime friends worked with Joyce at Mount Sinai. She remembers her as a very kind and generous woman. During her work at the hospital she had the opportunity to meet many celebrities; however her most memorable encounter was not there. While dining one evening, she had the opportunity to meet who many consider the greatest athlete of the twentieth century, boxing champion Muhammad Ali. She would remember him fondly for many years as "a most gentle and polite young man". After leaving Mount Sinai in 1985, she worked as a nursing companion for over 10 years, always providing her patients with very loving and excellent care. Upon her retirement, she chose to move to Palm Bay, Florida buying a home with her sister, Gloria. After Gloria passed away, Joyce moved to Miami to be closer to Cherrie's children, who cherished her. For the last 2 years of her life, she lived at the Miami Jewish Home receiving the same loving and excellent care she had given others during her career. Joyce passed peacefully on Jan 10th while listening to the voice of her favorite Gospel singer and friend, Maryel Epps. She will be missed for her undying loyalty and affection, and loved indefinitely by her surviving family and friends. Her sweet smile and loving nature remains forever in their hearts.
In lieu of flowers please send donations in Joyce's name to Food for the Poor. Donations may be made online at www.foodforthepoor.org