By: Ann Anderson
People move to Plymouth Harbor for many reasons. But Joyce Fitzpatrick had some especially interesting ones. She had researched other retirement communities, but the things that really appealed to her here were that she would have lots of opportunities to ride her bike long distances and also to pilot her kayak from her backyard through the beautiful, peaceful waters.
She is an energetic, positive woman, who is easy to talk to and makes friends easily. Having grown up in York, Pennsylvania, she graduated from Penn State University with a degree in child development and family relations. However, way before she graduated from college she met her husband-to-be, Tom, in high school. She was a cheerleader and he ventured over to ask her for a date. They dated for seven years before marrying – and stayed together for the next 53. The beginning of their long venture together was in Key West, Florida, where Tom, a Naval Officer, was assigned to the destroyer base. Their first child was born there during the 1961 Hurricane, Carla, a precursor, perhaps, of what was to come with Irma!
Tom joined the Foreign Service in 1970, the start of a “dream life” for Joyce, in which she was an enthusiastic and helpful partner. They served first in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, followed by postings in Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Brazil, and back to Mexico, over a span of 20 years. She loved the life of travel, meeting new people and exposing their three children to a larger world and new languages.
When they retired, she and her husband located to the Eastern Shore of Maryland on Chesapeake Bay. At this point, she became active as a hospice volunteer working with patients and also volunteered with the State of Maryland as a mediator for 12 years. The culmination of her life there was the three years she organized for the Obama Campaign and was elected a Maryland delegate to the 2008 Denver Convention.
Joyce is widowed now but continues her beloved outdoor activities and plays competitive duplicate bridge. She plans to become a Sarasota hospice volunteer and hopes also to continue her work as a mediator in the Florida courts.
She is a new and wonderful friend for all of us at Plymouth Harbor.