Joyce Beak

Joyce A. Beak (Byrem)

Thursday, November 6th, 1924 - Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
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Joyce (Byrem) Beak passed away at her Marcellus home with her family by her side, just two days before her 96th birthday, on Wednesday, November 4th. Joyce was born on November 6, 1924, in Syracuse, New York, to Hobson and Golda Gardinier Byrem. She spent her childhood in the Valley neighborhood, attending Meachem School and Onondaga Valley Academy. It was at Valley high school where she met Ronald Beak, the young man who would become her husband, and the center of her life. After graduating from high school, with Ronnie off to World War II in Europe, Joyce went to work at Liberty Mutual Insurance, a job she remembered fondly for many years afterwards. When the war ended, Joyce married Ronnie and they began their life together, first living at the Beak family’s apple farm in the hills of Lafayette, and then back in the Valley neighborhood, in a house they built across the street from Joyce’s parents. Over the next thirteen years, they welcomed five daughters into their family, creating a happy, loving home for each of them. With five children, Joyce was always busy, caring for her little ones and maintaining a household she could be proud of, but there was always time for her to create joyous holidays, birthday parties full of fun, and as time went on, lovely weddings for her girls. In the summer, she transferred the entire household to the family’s cottage on Otisco Lake, where the good times by the water were wonderful. In the fall, Joyce celebrated the family’s apple heritage by creating countless candy apples for the neighborhood kids on Halloween, and by baking hundreds of her famous apple pies to sell at the farm’s country store in the early days of that business. In 1967, Joyce and Ron built a new home in Marcellus, on the hill above the schools. Joyce loved the view, and loved watching the seasons change and the kids come and go in the schoolyard below. In the 70’s, Joyce and Ron began traveling, spending three weeks in Europe every spring. Joyce anticipated each trip for months before, and brought home memories that she enjoyed for years after. In the 80’s, Joyce’s life began a different phase, however, and she began what would be a long hard path as a caregiver, first for her father after he suffered a stroke, then for her mother, who lived to be 102 years old, and finally, for Ronnie, whose illness lasted over fifteen years. Although never trained as a nurse, she provided this care in her home, on her own without help, skillfully and compassionately. She never complained, but just did what had to be done. Some of the difficulties she faced during those long years of caregiving, however, were alleviated by the pleasure she took in her family. Grandchildren, and then great-grandchildren, were a source of joy to her and she loved having them around the house whenever possible. They always knew they were welcomed at Gramma’s. Joyce was predeceased by her husband, Charles Ronald, her parents, Hobson and Golda Byrem, her daughter, Claudia and son-in-law John Feola, her sister, Dortheney Cole, and her son-in-law Phillip Howell. Surviving are her daughters, Candace (Stephen) Morse, Charlene (Michael) Stack, Cathleen (William) Atkinson, and Kelly Howell. She will also be missed by her nine grandchildren, Caitlin, Cassie, Andrew, Daniel, Rebecca, Rene, Matthew, Kiara, and Phillip, her thirteen great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. All Joyce’s family would like to thank the kind women who provided her with such good care in the final years of her life: Chris Neabel, Anne Cox, and Nancy Brown, plus the others who pitched in when needed. Thank you so much for your compassionate care.
Due to Covid-19, there will be a small private service with no calling hours.
Donations in Joyce’s name can be made to Hospice of Central New York of the Finger Lakes, 990 Seventh North Street, Liverpool, New York, 13088.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Monday, November 9th, 2020 |
    Monday, November 9th, 2020
    Onondaga Valley Cemetery
    2500 Valley Dr.
    Syracuse, NY 13207
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: Hospice of CNY and the Finger Lakes.


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Margaret Nye

Posted at 02:43pm
Mrs. Beak...... I have so many memories. I'm a camp kid and spent so much time at the Beak camp. She was so good when we all would take over the porch for a sleepover, or when we started to sleep on the tramp but ended up in the camp. I spent time at the Highland house as well. She was such a wonderful mom to Kelly and the girls. She was also such a gentle caregiver as well. I remember Chan coming home from the groomers with a bow in his hair, Chan would hide from embarrassment until she took the bow out. I love the picture you chose. It shows the sparkle in her eyes and her sweet smile.

Love thoughts and prayers
Margie Schoeneck Nye (Margaret)

Suzanne Hawes

Posted at 09:09pm
Joyce was our neighbor for 18 years. She was kind, loving, welcoming to her family and neighborhood. She always enjoyed watching my kids grow up and Joyce and I spent many days sitting in her front porch talking. She will be missed. I’m sorry for your loss. Joyce was a beautiful person.


Posted at 01:26pm
Sincere condolences Kit and the entire Beak family.

Kelly Johnson

Posted at 11:15am
To the beautiful Beak daughters and their families,

Your mother was a very special special lady. She was like a second mother to me in high school when your parents allowed me to live with them for a short time. Joyce was a sweet and compassionate individual. May she rest in peace and in your father's loving arms. With sympathy and healing thoughts, Kelly Johnson

Joanne Kitts

Posted at 09:20am
Charlene it’s been awhile. So sorry about your mom. Such a beautiful obituary, such a beautiful MOM. MAY she Rest In Peace in the arms of the angels🙏🙏🍎🍏

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