October 17, 1930 ~ March 14, 2023
Joyce Jensen Robinson of Andover, Massachusetts, died of pneumonia on the morning of March 14, 2023, at the age of 92. She was born on October 17, 1930, to Oliver and Hazel (Rasmussen) Jensen in Marcellus, Michigan. She was the firstborn of four children followed by brother Carroll, sister Deanna, and brother Bruce. Joyce was educated in the Marcellus Public Schools graduating Valedictorian of the High School class of 1949. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics at Western Michigan College in Kalamazoo, MI in 1953 and a Masters in Home Economics from Michigan State in 1956. She married Marcellus classmate Willard Robinson in 1953. Willard had finished nearly four years in the Navy and was attending Valparaiso Technical Institute in Indiana.
They settled in Valparaiso and Joyce taught clothing to middle school students in Chesterton, IN. In 1954 after Willard’s graduation, they moved to New Jersey where Willard had accepted a job at Bell Telephone Laboratories. They moved to West Orange, NJ where Joyce taught foods at the High School for three years before the birth of their first child Katherine Joy in 1957. A second daughter Karen Jean was born in 1960 and they bought their first house in Morris Plains, NJ. Two more children were born, Willard Jay in 1964 and Frances Elaine in 1967. In 1971 Willard’s job at Bell Labs was moved to a branch lab in North Andover, Massachusetts. The family relocated to Andover and became active members of the Ballard Vale United Church.
Joyce never went back to teaching and was happy being a full-time mother and a volunteer in many worthwhile causes. She was an active member of the United Methodist Women for many years, including being president (1987-1990) of the UMW of Southern New England Conference. She was elected as a delegate to the United Methodist Church’s General Conference for one their quadrennial meetings. She was a Director of the UMC General Board of Global Ministries from 1988-1996. She was a founding member of the Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action in New England. She served in the League of Women Voters in Andover including being president (1978-1980). She was also involved in the Girl Scouts for many years. She worked on the social issues of peace activism, racial inclusion, and LGBTQ acceptance.
Joyce was an avid camper with her family traveling all over the United States and visiting many National Parks and Monuments. She loved to garden with both flowers and vegetables. She was an excellent cook and baker and loved sharing her food skills with others.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Carroll, and her sister Deanna Hogarth. She is survived by Willard her husband of 69 years; and her children Katherine and fiancé Mark Kane; Karen Kravits and husband Phillip; Willard J. and wife Kathleen (Manning); Frances and husband Malcolm Wooff; and grandchildren Taylor and Jacob Kravits, Nolan and Audrey Garon, Anna, Avery, and Meghan Robinson, and Tia Adamchuk (Wooff).
Arrangements: A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial gifts may be sent to the Ballard Vale United Church, 23 Clark Road, Andover, MA 01810