The Colorful Facets of a Gal Named Joyce

The Colorful Facets of a Gal Named Joyce

Our Legacies magazine is a special anniversary publication, celebrating our history, the people we have supported, and those who have made our mission possible all these years. Here is one of our stories, by Nan Wrich, who began working at our sister organization, Northeast Residence, in 1989. Today she works as a Direct Support Professional at our 36th Street home in Oakdale. 

I began my NER career when we were in the old St. Mary’s convent, in White Bear Lake. When the convent was sold, we moved to what we called House 1 and I stayed for a while before I left to work with others who had disabilities, including traumatic brain injuries. I then came back to NER, and I have been here for 34 years now. I’m currently at the 36th Street home. We have four ladies we support here. Joyce has been here the entire time I have. She has many interests and is known for her vivid personality. She used to love saving pop tops that she would then bring to McDonald’s in exchange for vouchers to get books at Goodwill. She and I would pick out books and I would read to her. Joyce and another one of the ladies and I would go to Saints North to go roller skating. I remember Joyce laughing so hard when she fell, which didn’t happen very often because she skated around hugging the wall. Joyce loves baseball (Minnesota Twins!), the Minnesota Gophers, and the Minnesota Vikings. Joyce used to play t-ball, but as she has grown older, she has lost interest in playing.

Joyce celebrating 45 years at MSS

I have enjoyed spending many hours with Joyce doing puzzles, gardening in the backyard, going on walks, and hearing about the fun she had at the Twins game. She has a very dry wit. Her favorite thing to say is, “What do you want me to do, stand on my head like a monkey?” Joyce has always enjoyed going to NER’s annual Luau. She dances, and dances, and sings. When it comes to the holidays, since Joyce doesn’t have any family alive anymore, I bring her to my house. Joyce is just like a family member to me.

Joyce recently celebrated 45 years of employment with MSS. What an incredible milestone. Joyce has also done a lot of traveling and loves studying and reading about other countries. As I write this, Joyce is just getting home from a trip to Las Vegas with Hammer Travel. I can’t wait to talk with her about her adventure. I really enjoy seeing the people we support so happy.


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