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On Tuesday, April 30th, Joyce Lorraine Kenyon Granger headed off on her forever honeymoon to rendezvous with her best beau Paul Granger. Ironically, it was a Tuesday evening, which Dad called “Drink and Swear” night where Joyce and her best gal pal, Nancy LeClerc, drank a box of wine over some choice words and then Mom smuggled Nancy’s garbage into the village for Wednesday morning pick up!
Joyce was born on November 12, 1929, the only child of Grant Cameron and Hildred Mary (Perkins) Kenyon. Joyce was a proud Stony Creeker who was born and raised on the Hudson River. She went to a one room schoolhouse in Thurman with all boys until she was 12. An unfortunate incident involving her tin lunchbox and her male classmates’ heads forced her to hop on a bus to Hadley Luzerne, where she eventually graduated as Salutatorian in 1948. During her school years, Mom learned to play guitar and always had a full dance card at the Stony Creek Inn at the Saturday night square dance. Mom was accepted to SUNY Plattsburgh but was forced to return home due to lack of jobs for women to work while attending college. She started working in Gloversville as a seamstress sewing thumbs on gloves and later was well known for the many wedding gowns including her own, she made for many a local bride. With the money from her first job, she purchased a house in Stony Creek for her parents with an $80 monthly mortgage where she would later host her wedding reception. When Paul and Joyce met, it was the beginning of a lifelong affair of the heart. After a little prodding from Joyce, they were married at St. Cecelia’s in Warrensburg on June 28, 1952 and spent the next 60 years travelling life’s backroads until Paul’s passing in May of 2013.
Mom loved raising a family, gardening, flowers, baking, driving and an occasional Whiskey Sour. In addition to raising those 9 perfect children (just ask her), she welcomed an occasional exchange student from every continent and even a few from South Corinth. Her door was always open and whether it was meatballs on the stove or a fresh baked strawberry rhubarb pie, taking care of those in need were second nature to Mom. Mom always said with nine mouths to feed, who noticed a few more. If you visited, you got fed and hugged and loved. Growing up Granger was an education, an adventure and most of all an honor. Mom was a homemaker with great baking, canning, gardening and driving skills. In the early days, after church on Sunday, an afternoon drive was common for Joyce, Paul and their growing family. First up and down the Northway to visit grandparents and then after joining the Adirondack Regional Hospital Auxiliary with her friend Nancy Randall on “lab runs.” She drove to see dad at his away workplaces for weekend visits from Maine to Oswego and back and driving kids and eventually grand kids on paper routes or to college or to work was a daily occasion. If our “pre cursor to Uber” Mom couldn’t find one of her own children to drive, she was known to drive other people’s kids to college or wherever they needed to go. She was well known in Saratoga and Warren Counties as the “flower lady” as she drove the flower van for Jim the Florist, Flowers by Deb and Meme’s. Mom knew every backroad and after dad’s retirement they enjoyed many an hour in the car, watching birds and savoring the cuisine at many a roadside diner. Gardens were a must to have winter supplies for the family and as a member of the Garden Club, flowers became a lifelong hobby and passion. As part of her planting style, she would throw seedlings in holes and tell them “grow damn it!” Although public recognition was not her thing, the Exit 18 McDonald’s which she gardened with Mo, was recognized by the Queensbury beautification committee several times including most recently in 2018.
With humility and an amazing sense of humor, Mom raised her family and extended family for over 6 decades. Numbers 1 thru 4, Jeff, Suzy, Wendy and Kevin had the 20 something mom who spent her evenings playing guitar, singing songs and reading stories. Number 5 and 6, Angela and Renee had the 30-something busy mom who left them and their tightly braided hair in the lax supervision of Suzy and Wendy. Number 7,8 and 9, Chris, Maureen and Matthew had the 40/50 something mom who was juggling babies, teenagers, college students, and a husband whose job kept him far from home which meant no supervision what so ever. Mom had too many rules to mention them all, but one of her cardinal rules was about equality. She had an extraordinary ability for empathy and acceptance, and she was often known to say, “I don’t care if they are green, red, black, white or purple, you treat everyone the same!” Mom possessed a formidable work ethic and often was heard saying “many hands make light work.” We were incredibly blessed to all hold the title of “Mom’s Favorite” well knowing she wouldn’t trade a one of us in!
Joyce was pre-deceased by her one and only Paul Edward David Felix, as she affectionately called him, Granger; her parents, Grant and Hildred, several cousins including George and Irwin Ireland who she thought of as brothers, a son in law, Michael Reardon, her lifelong friends Anne Frye, Bev Anderson and Joan Woodcock and her Needham, Hill, and Borman cousins in Warrensburg, Stony Creek, Athol, Thurman and beyond.
Left to cherish the memories are her 9 children; Jeffrey (Cheryl) Granger of Central Square, NY, Suzanne(Bob) Congdon of Hudson Falls, NY, Wendy(Ken) Stein of Greenfield, NY, Kevin(Michele) Granger of Corinth, Angela(Lyle) Baxter of Oswego, NY, Renee (Jeff Garry) Reardon of Queensbury, NY, Christopher (Stacey) Granger of Corinth, Maureen Kelly and her companion Todd Moslander of Corinth and Matthew of Corinth. Grandchildren Michele( Mike) PostvanderBurg of Harlem, NY, Benjamin (Serena) Granger of Queens, NY, Corey (Hunter) Burdick of Burlington, VT, Allyson (Joe) Burdick of Rochester, NY, Casey Stein of Hanover, New Hampshire, and Aidan Stein of Watertown, MA, Rachel , Aaron and Alex Baxter all of Oswego, NY, Sophia and Paul Granger of Corinth, NY, great grandchildren Kenyon, Raoul and Helena Joyce Granger of Queens, NY. She will also be remembered fondly by the Needham families of Warrensburg, lifelong friends Don and Lorraine Niles, Jimmy and Althea Rivette, Janet and Gerry Stockman, David Woodcock, Godson Michael (Lori) Woodcock, Peter, Peggy and her special “Jon” Kelly, nieces and nephews, Greg, Kathleen, Clarisse and Michael Cowles and Cecilia and Joseph LaVoy, her "adopted" grandchildren Gavin and Alex Garry, Jason Cardinale, Bobby Thompson, Mikki Bakken, the O’tooles family, and a cast of thousands who's lives she touched! An extra special thanks goes out to the amazing staff of caregivers on 2A at the Saratoga Nursing Center for the patience, kindness, love, and attention they provided for Mom (Momma Joyce) as she winded down.
Friends are invited to share their memories with the family on Sunday, May 5, from 2 -6pm at The Hadley Luzerne Weslyan Church, 445 State Rte. 9, Luzerne, NY. A funeral mass will be held at Holy Mother and Child Catholic Church, 413 Palmer Avenue in Corinth on Monday, May 6, at 10:30. "Joycebearers" are sons, Kevin Granger, Christopher Granger, Matthew Granger, grandsons Benjamin Granger, Aiden Stein and Mike PostvanderBurg, son in law, Lyle Baxter, and late night listener, Todd Moslander. Honorary “Joycebearers” are godson; Michael Woodcock, grandsons Alex and Aaron Baxter and son-in laws Ken Stein, Bob Congdon and Jeff Garry. Burial will be at St Mary's Cemetery immediately following mass with a reception at the Corinth Village Firehouse, 16 Saratoga Avenue. Donations in Joyce's memory may be made to the Corinth Fire Department, 16 Saratoga Avenue, Corinth, NY or Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Mom was Classy, Sassy and most often Smartassy. She was a woman of many, many, many words (including the last word), powerful faith and deliberate actions. When she arrives at the " pearly gates", Dad will be waiting with a cold whiskey sour (or else), a country song and dance and we know if there is a heart to mend or a hug that is needed, Mom will be ready with open arms and a healing heart!