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Lillian Joyce Eagle

June 25, 1917 - October 15, 2020

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Lillian Joyce Eagle, who lived cheerfully, imaginatively and adventurously for most of her life, died peacefully at the age of 103 in the Woods Park Care Centre in Barrie, Ontario, on October 15, 2020. Drama teacher, story-teller, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Joyce was frequently and aptly called Joy by friends and family members. Her enthusiasm and genuine interest in people buoyed the spirits of young and old alike. She influenced the lives of countless children and teens as a teacher, drama director and confidante. Active in the United Church all her life, she taught Senior Sunday school, led youth groups, wrote and directed pageants, helped run farm camps for inner city youth and started a touring summer theatre troupe, Prodigal Players. As a teacher at Burnhamthorpe Collegiate in Etobicoke, Joyce was one of the pioneers of the Toronto Board of Education’s Theatre Arts Program, inspiring students with her love of theatre and building their confidence as the director of high school musicals and dramas. Upon her retirement, Joyce became chairperson of the United Church’s Toronto Presbytery and served on many committees at the presbytery and conference level. Born on June 25, 1917, in Roseneath, Ontario, Joyce was the daughter of Rev. Clarence and Olive Washington and the older sister of Anna, currently residing at Woods Park. The Washingtons summered in Muskoka, where they had inherited cottage property, some of which was donated for the building of the non-denominational Church of the Kettles. Joyce married Rev. Glen Eagle in Toronto in December, 1942. They went to a United Church mission outpost in northern Alberta where Joyce taught school as Glen ministered to a far-flung flock. Their next move was to Creemore, Ontario, where they put down roots by buying a farm that’s still in the family. Further pastorates were in Clinton (Ontario Street United), Sarnia (Grace United) and Toronto (St James-Islington and WoodGreen United). In later years Joyce was a member of Kilworth United Church (London) and more recently, Grace United in Barrie. Joyce loved the farm and the cottage, but not nearly as much as her family. She was the mother of Lynn, Susan and Glen and cherished by their spouses Brian Bell, Joe Matyas and Wendy Eagle. Beloved grandmother of Lauren, Michael, Travis, Isaac, Tanya, Marcus, Thomas, Meghann, Dan, Tami, Jodie, Richard, and Tyler. Also a beloved great-grandmother to 17 great grandchildren. The family wish to thank community care providers and the staff at Woods Park for the compassionate care and support extended to Joyce and her family during her last years. In particular, those who went above and beyond the duties of the job.
Donations in Joyce’s memory can be made to Grace United Church, Barrie or the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church of Canada.
A private family cemetery service will be held next week. A live stream Memorial Service is being planned from Grace United Church for a date to be set.