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Obituary for Gary E. Joyce

January 24, 1950 – May 29, 2023

Gary E. Joyce passed away on May 29, 2023.

Gary E. Joyce
Gary E. Joyce

He was born on Jan. 24, 1950, in Racine, the son of Marcella Joyce and the late Donald Joyce. Gary moved to Sturtevant at age 12.

On Nov. 14, 1970, he was united in marriage to Sharon “Sis” Anderson at St. Rose Catholic Church in Racine.

Gary served two years in the United States Navy at the submarine base in Pearl Harbor. He chauffeured many high-ranking officials including Adm. Rickover. Upon discharge, his commanding officer noted, “Gary walks softly but carries a big stick.” 

Gary was employed as the Director of Buildings and Grounds for St. Catherine’s High School for over 30 years, though his workday never ended with his day job. He used his many talents to remodel two homes for his family, teaching each of his children much about this type of work along the way.

Gary spent years working with his closest friends in his garage doing bodywork and restoring cars. He was an avid NASCAR fan and spent many years in the Racine Performance Machine’s Car Club sharing his incredible work. Even though he thoroughly enjoyed his hobbies they also served as another way to provide for his family. Sis and the kids never went without a thing. All that “fun” in the garage also paid for many memorable trips to his favorite family destination, Wisconsin Dells.

He taught all his children the value of hard work demonstrated by each of their successes today. His most memorable line kept the family grounded: “Don’t look at those who have more than you; look at those who have less than you and be grateful for all you have.” Though Gary’s kidneys began to fail, his spirit never did. He found joy in feeding and spending time with his chipmunks and squirrels, who answered to him when called. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 53 years, Sis; sons, Donald (Maureen), William (Tara), Benjamin (Kasey Daher) Joyce all of Racine; and daughter, Dena (Kevin) McCormick of Burlington. He is further survived by grandchildren, Kylee (Ben) Miller, Sebastian Joyce, Cheyenne, Johna Smith, Caden, Joseph McCormick; bonus granddaughters, Jaisyn, Piper Daher; brother, Thomas Joyce; sisters-in-law, Deborah Peterson, Candice Luxem; brother-in-law, Bob (Barb) Anderson; nephews, Edward, James (Danielle) Joyce, Todd Thillemann; niece, Melinda (Willis) Wray, and many other loving friends and family.


Inurnment with a service of committal for Gary will be held at 9 a.m. on June 14 at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery followed by full military honors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Children’s Wisconsin.

A celebration of life will be held at 4 p.m. on July 3 at the Joyce residence in Gary’s garage until the fireworks.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Gary’s little sister-in-law, Candy Luxem, and nurse Thomas Payne for their wonderful care of Gary.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.

I Thessalonians 4:13-14 

Obituary and photo courtesy of Sturino Funeral Home.

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