Joyce Ann Dressel, of Littleton Massachusetts, passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by family and loved ones on June 17, 2023. She was 75 years old.
Joyce was born on September 15, 1947 in St. Louis MO, to Walter Williams and Helen Williams. The oldest of five children, she spent her teen years helping care for her siblings, a foreshadowing of the consummate, loving caregiver she would become. She paid her way through college at the University of Missouri where she majored in Math, since her interest in computer science was not yet an academic program.
While in college, Joyce met her soulmate and future husband, Bill. They married on June 20th, 1970, one month after finishing their degrees. Both pursued careers in the new and growing computer industry, Bill as an electrical engineer, and Joyce as a computer programmer. Their jobs took them from St. Louis, to Poughkeepsie, NY, to Tulsa, OK, and finally to Littleton, MA, where they settled in 1974.
It was in Littleton that Joyce found her second career as a full-time mom, not just to her two boys, Scott and Brian, but to a town full of kids, friends, and neighbors. She made a home that was THE destination for both loud celebrations, and quiet, contemplative talks (late into the nights as she was famously not a morning person). Even in recent months, when she was less mobile, no one ever entered her home without being offered food, no matter the time of day. And no one ever left without a feeling of having been cared for.
She extended her gift for caregiving outside the home. She was consistently on the scene as a volunteer at her sons’ schools, a cub scout den mother, a member of the Littleton Scholarship Trust, and a member of the Congregational Church of Littleton, always making sure everyone in attendance was well fed. When her sons reached college age, she rejoined the workforce, first at the Littleton Council on Aging, and later at the Tigers Den afterschool program.
Joyce loved shopping with friends, walking the block with neighbors, traveling with her family, baking with her grandkids, and spending countless hours talking to her siblings and mother on the phone. But no one was closer to her than her loving husband, Bill. When Bill retired in 2005, people joked that they had merged into one being. One was rarely seen without the other, holding hands, sharing food, and jointly making sure guests were thoroughly well cared for.
Joyce was the loving wife of 53 years to Bill Dressel, loving mother of Scott Dressel and his wife Bobbie of Littleton, MA, and Brian Dressel and his wife Jen of Groton, MA. She was like a mother to T.J. Blackburn and his wife Jess of Concord, MA. She was a caring sister to Sandra Scott of Dardenne Prairie, MO, Dennis Williams of Atlanta, GA, Laura Williams-Roberts of Dardenne Prairie, MO, and Timothy Williams of St. Charles, MO. She was a devoted grandmother to Kaylyn, Amber, Amy, Emma, and Katie Dressel, and she also leaves several nieces and nephews.
Always the caregiver, she spent the last few months planning a celebration of her life to bring us all together to share happy memories, funny stories, and of course lots of food. The first phase of this will be held at Badger Funeral Home 347 King St. Littleton, MA on June 22nd, 2023, from 10:00AM – 12:00PM with a service at 12:00PM. Burial will follow at Westlawn Cemetery. Upon completion of the burial services there will be yet another loud celebration at her home. In the spirit of celebration, all are invited to dress in colorful, comfortable cloths, and feel free to share laughs and stories late into the night.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Michael J. Fox foundation. https://give.michaeljfox.org.