Joyce Ann (Baker) Cassinari, a resident of Littleton, Massachusetts since 1955, passed away on Friday, April 13, 2018 at Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley. For 70 years, she was the beloved and devoted wife of the late Peter M. Cassinari.
Born in Leominster on July 13, 1928 she was the daughter of Harlan and Kathleen (Homewood) Baker and sister to Jean who predeceased her in 2015. Joyce had fond memories of living "Eloise style" at the Columbia Hotel in Leominster where her grandfather was the manager. Later as a young girl, Joyce lived in Boston and attended the Prince Elementary School. Walking home each day, she would make a beeline to the Boston Public Library and never missed the opportunity to visit the police horses at Station 16. She benefited from an excellent education provided by the Order of the Grey nuns at St. Anne's Episcopal Boarding School in Arlington Heights for her junior high years. Joyce moved to Fitchburg where she graduated from Fitchburg High School and soon after met her future husband Peter. In 1952 Joyce was the first married woman to graduate as a registered nurse at the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital School of Nursing where she worked in patient care and research. While raising her family, she tried her hand at other employment. She was a "rush girl" at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Boston, and for several years was the Littleton correspondent for the Lowell Sun under the editorial supervision of Ralph Jacobs. Open to new challenges she and her husband, Peter, established and operated Admiral Sub and Pizza in Fitchburg. She returned to the nursing profession in the 1970s working at Nashoba Community Hospital in Ayer where she provided excellent care to patients. When she retired, Joyce enjoyed working as a docent at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard.
An exercise enthusiast, she was often seen riding her bicycle to Donelan's to do her grocery shopping, an unusual sight in the 1960s! Joyce loved the arts. She shared her singing talent in several productions of the Little Theater in Acton. She loved to paint scenes of historic homes in Littleton and painted several commissioned portraits including one of Judge James Bakker, one of Fire Chief Hugh McGovern, and another of Vinnie Couper. During her recent stay, Joyce's paintings brightened the walls at Lifecare. She always had a generous heart and was a firm believer and practitioner of anonymous acts of kindness stating later in life what motivated her was "the Saint Anne's in me!"
Joyce is survived by her three children, Richard Cassinari of Lebanon, OH, Lynne Cassinari of Reading, MA, and Leslie Cassinari of Lebanon, CT, grandchildren Rebekah, Michael, Jacob, Hannah, Daniel, Julia, Jeffrey and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her stepson Donald Caldwell of Scottsdale, AZ.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Joyce on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm in the Badger Funeral Home, 347 King St., Littleton. Her funeral service will follow at 12:00 noon. Burial in Westlawn Cemetery, Littleton.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joyce's name to:
Littleton Scholarship Trust
P.O. Box 693
Littleton, MA 01460.