Remembering Joyce Muskelly
Sadly, we lost another pillar of the Leschi Community in the past month: Joyce Muskelly.
I remember Joyce as holding down the kitchen when we had our potluck holiday parties! She accepted the potluck contributions and controlled the flow of salads, casseroles and desserts as they made their way form the Senior Center kitchen to the groaning board in the dining hall.
I also remember her as a tireless volunteer when we used to have rummage sales. Joyce arrived early and set about organizing the piles of clothes we received on tables and on hangers from the chain link fence up at Leschi School. Whenever a customer would stop to “rummage,” she would wait and then swoop in to restore order to what seemed hopeless to the rest of us.
Thurston Muskelly adding dirt to the newly planted rose bush in memory of his wife, Joyce.
Joyce Muskelly always made me feel welcome. She had the warmest smile that would light up any room. I remember coming upon her in the kitchen right before one of the annual Leschi Community Council holiday parties. Everybody was scurrying around. One of Joyce’s rubber-gloved hands carried a plate of turkey and the other a stack of napkins as she cheerily commandeered those of us around her. She was active in the community council until recently, including bringing one of her special desserts to meetings. She and her husband, Thurston, made a loving couple—a role model for many of us. I will miss her very much.
Joyce made everyone feel welcome at Flo Ware or Powell Barnett Park events; so warm and calm.
Back in 2000 to 2001, Thurston Muskelly wanted a thorough turnaround from the gang-infested condition of Flo Ware Park to a family-friendly place. He assigned me, and what I remember is how, although most people in the neighborhood thought that nothing would happen and why spend their time, Joyce thought otherwise. She supported the effort throughout by always being there for planning meetings, events, and community outreach. She was a calm, supportive presence—no question in her mind that the process was on the right courses—that meant an awful lot to me and I appreciated that.
The Leschi Community Council Board purchased a special rose as a tribute to Joyce and her years of volunteering in the community; Her husband Thurston wanted it planted in the circular bed by the door of the Senior Center. A ceremony with the Muskelly family in attendance was held and John Barber dug a hole for the plant and for family members to add their own shovel of dirt.