Vail obituary: Joyce A. McLean McCarthy, Jan 20, 1936, to May 1, 2017
Joyce McCarthy’s college yearbook summed her up the best: Tall girl with a short bob. Lover of the great outdoors. Favorite saying, “Let’s get the show on the road.”
Born Jan. 20, 1936 in Medford, Massachusetts, Joyce McLean grew up across the street from the McCarthy clan with their nine children, including William, “Bill,” who would years later become her husband after a serendipitous reunion.
Joyce was a graduate of Boston State Teacher’s College. In 1957, she was recruited by San Diego’s Unified School District, where she taught third grade from 1957 to 1961. It was here that she would reconnect with Bill McCarthy, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. They were married on May 23, 1959, in La Jolla.
The couple eventually moved back to New England, where Joyce continued teaching in Franklin, Massachusetts, from 1962 to 1998.
Joyce and Bill retired to Vail in 1998, but that didn’t last long, as Joyce was eventually lured back into teaching full time in 2000. Recognized as an Outstanding Educator in 2003 and Employee of the Year in 2011, Joyce retired, again, but remained an active substitute teacher for Eagle County Schools through 2014.
Her no-nonsense, firm approach in the classroom allowed her to deliver a quality education to thousands of children in her tenure. Joyce relished in growing her students’ reading and writing skills well beyond the grade requirements.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, William “Bill” Madden McCarthy; her brother Thomas McLean (Joyce), of Desert Hot Springs, California; son Donald McCarthy (Marcelle), of Columbus, Ohio; and daughter Michele McCarthy Nichols (Gerald) of Edwards. She also had six grandchildren who filled her life with cherished chaos, cribbage and cheer: Erin, Gillian, Brett, Christian, Jack and Kevin.
A Catholic Mass will be held Saturday, May 20 at St. Michael’s Church in Worthington, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to First Community Village Foundation, 1800 Riverside Drive, Columbus, OH 43212.