Vail Daily obituary: Joyce O’Leary Wilson, 1952-2017 |

Vail Daily obituary: Joyce O’Leary Wilson, 1952-2017

Joyce O'Leary Wilson was an adoring wife, a proud mother and a faithful friend. Joyce passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017.

Joyce was born at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, on May 20, 1952 to Jerry and Ruth O'Leary. She spent most of her childhood in Norfolk, Virginia, attending Bayview Elementary, Azalea Gardens Junior High and Norview High School. Norview is where she met her future husband and best friend, Ken.

Joyce graduated from Norview High School in 1970. She then attended Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she earned her degree in Home Economics in 1974.

On Feb. 2, 1974, Joyce and Ken married and began life together in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Joyce worked for the State Agricultural Extension Service as a 4-H Club organizer for the county.

In 1975, Joyce and Ken moved to Vail to start what turned out to be their lifelong adventure. As any true "local," Joyce worked a variety of jobs, most notably at the Golden Bear on Bridge Street. It was there where she met and became friends with many people who are still very important to her today. For more than 25 years, Joyce managed homes and forged personal relationships with Mountain Properties Associates clientele.

Joyce's life took a monumental turn in 1984 with the arrival of her son, Zachariah. Four years later, her family was complete when her daughter, Kendall, was born. Motherhood was her passion. She never missed an opportunity to watch her kids' sporting events, regardless of freezing temperatures or having to endure uncomfortable bleacher stands.

Joyce won the game of life. She was a beautiful woman, full of non-stop energy and eagerness for adventure. She was an avid tennis player and recently became a pickleball enthusiast. She loved the outdoors, especially hiking and skiing with her family and friends. No one ever doubted where she stood on issues, as she always would express her opinion and was never bashful. Everyone knew when Joyce was nearby when they heard her unmistakable, infectious laugh and soon would see her beautiful smile.

Although at the time embarrassing to her children and husband, Joyce was fond of wearing an old dungaree jacket with a pin on it saying "Why Be Normal." That just about sums up her view of life.

Joyce is survived by her husband, Ken, son, Zach, daughter, Kendall, and was blessed to receive a new daughter recently, Krista Kedrowski. She is also survived by her two brothers, Frazier O'Leary, of Washington, D.C., and Mark O'Leary, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and sister, Sharon O'Leary, of Los Angeles. Joyce will be greatly missed by her family and many friends. She would never want anyone to stop living life to the fullest, with lots of laughter and love along the way.

A celebration of Joyce's incredible life will be held on Saturday at the Vail Interfaith Chapel starting at 2 p.m. After the service please continue the celebration with the family at the Sonnenalp from 3 to 6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in Joyce's honor to Vail Valley Salvation Army or to Swift Eagle Charitable Foundation, both local charities assisting families in need in Eagle County.