Born in Montreal to Allen and Sally Leigh, Joyce attended D'Arcy McGee High School and St. Joseph's Teacher's College. She taught at Pius Tenth and Town of Mount Royal Catholic High.
Joyce is survived by her husband, Albert White, her children Michael (Tonja Leach), Stephen (Shelly White), Alicia (Aaron Curtis), and her grandchildren Cora, Nya, Evelyn, Karina, and Brianna.
In 1966 she married Albert White and their son Michael was born in 1967. In 1968 they moved to Burlington, Ontario where their son Stephen and their daughter Alicia were born. In 1975 they moved to Ottawa and in 1979 they moved again to St. John's, Newfoundland, the home province of her husband, Albert. During this time in St. John's, she completed a Master's Degree in Education at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.
In 1984 they move back to Ottawa where Joyce was manager of adult basic education and English as a second language for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. For her work in this area, she was awarded the Kenneth J. Mattran Award by the Commission on Adult Basic Education in the United States, the first time it has ever been awarded to someone outside of the United States.
Also, during her tenure at the Ottawa District School Board, she was selected to be the representative for English Canada on a UNESCO task force for international literacy in 1990. In this capacity she travelled extensively in France, Germany, the US, Kenya, India, Thailand and other countries.
She retired in 1998. When her husband retired in 1999, they began travelling extensively in Australia, Europe, South America, Russia, the Yukon and other places. Joyce was always ready to take up a challenge, and extremely enthusiastic about life.
At the age of 60 she took up running and kept it up until the last weekend of her life. She ran too many races to count - Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Ottawa, New York, Disney Marathons and too many other races to mention. Usually placing in the coveted top 3 spots in her class she has an impressive medal collection that most runners could only wish for.
She has been an inspiration to education professionals, her granddaughters, and running communities in Ottawa and Newfoundland for many many years. She will be greatly missed.
Friends and family are invited to visit at Beechwood Cemetery and Funeral Services, 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, from 5 – 7pm on Friday, December 3. A Memorial Service will be held at Canadian Martyrs Parish, 100 Main St, Ottawa, on Saturday, December 4 at 10:30am. The Family have chosen to remove the distancing requirement and capacity limit at both the visitation and the Memorial Service but all patrons must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination and government identification upon arrival.
In Lieu of flowers, donations to Shepherds of Good Hope are appreciated.
Molly and Kevin Stacey
Our deepest condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless.
Al and Family
My deepest sympathy and sadness for your great loss.
So very sorry.
God Bless you.
She is an inspiration to me and is always full of energy. We will miss her.
So sorry for your loss. Joyce was quite an accomplished person. A life well lived.
John & Rita White
We are so sorry to hear of Joyce's sudden passing. She was a lovely person and we always enjoyed her visits to St. Brendan's. We are thinking of you all.
Martina and Ed O’Neill and family
Our deepest sympathies along with thoughts and prayers are sent to Albert and the whole family. We have some wonderful memories that will keep Joyce in our lives always. 💝🙏🏻💝🙏🏻💝🙏🏻💝
My sincere condolences to Albert, Michael, Steven , Alicia and her family. A special thought to Allison Dunn who was very close to Joyce. My prayers are for you and my thoughts too. I am a good friend of Allison.
So sorry for your loss. I will keep Joyce, Al and all the family in my prayers.
I will surely miss our early morning walks, bonding with nature and wildlife and the freedom to say and discuss whatever was on the agenda for that day Love you Joyce you will be missed
John and Patricia Dunphy
We got to know Joyce and Al through Marriage Encounter years ago. What a wonderful couple. Through time we learned much about Joyce and Al and their family. Our condolences to Al and the family.