Thomas J. Joyce

March 9, 1933 ~ August 18, 2020 (age 87)


Thomas J. Joyce, East Berlin, PA, the cherished husband of Margaret Wise, passed away August 18, from injuries resulting from a fall at his home July 25.   He was 87.

Tom had a thirst for knowledge, a deep faith and an intellect and charisma that made him uniquely adept at teaching and preaching.  His unbounded energy and enthusiasm allowed him to pursue and balance these dual careers throughout his life.  His irreverent, often humorous take on life and its foibles, endeared him to family, friends and anyone he met

He was born and raised in Boston, MA, the son of Irish immigrants, Martin and Mary Joyce. His Irish heritage was important to him and he celebrated it throughout his life. He graduated summa cum laude from Boston College with a degree in History and entered the Jesuits after college. In his years as a Jesuit, he taught at Boston College High School and Boston College and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University.  After leaving the Jesuits, Tom moved to Fairfax, VA with his first wife, Elaine, who died in 1985.  He taught at McLean High School for over 15 years where he was recognized as an innovative, inspired teacher of history. He was proud to introduce a philosophy course into the high school curriculum.

Along with teaching, he continued to obtain the course requirements to become a priest in the Episcopal Church. He and Margaret met at one of those courses and were married in 1989.  As they answered pastoral callings, they crisscrossed the country.  In Winchester, VA, Tom served as associate rector at Christ Church and then moved to Chicago where he was rector at St. John’s.  They moved to East Berlin, PA in 2004 when Margaret accepted the call of pastor of Zwingli UCC. Tom continued his ministry on a part-time basis and served Hope parish in Lancaster County and later St. Luke's in Mechanicsburg. He also taught philosophy courses at Gettysburg Area Community College for over 12 years up until the time of his death.

In addition to his wife, Margaret, survivors include his stepdaughter, Dee and her husband Ed; stepson, David and his wife, Bonnie, his beloved grandson Oliver; his sister, Ann Marie Joyce; his niece, Maura Powers and her son, Martin.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Elaine Elder, sister, Kathleen Powers, brothers, Martin and Frank and his nephew, John Powers.

Services of remembrance in various places will be later due to virus restrictions.   

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to All Saints Episcopal Church, 890 McCosh Street, Hanover PA 17331 or The Episcopal Diocese of Central PA, 101 Pine Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101.   Blessings of gratitude to all!

Feiser Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of the arrangements. Memories may be shared at


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