Joyce Holcomb Halse

This has been two weeks filled with emotion, gratefulness, pride, compassion, and comfort for Laurie and her family. Joyce completed her journey on June 14, 2009.


Joyce spreading joy during a family holiday celebration.


Joyce, with her furry grandchild, The Creature with Fangs, the only person that Joyce requested in her final days.

After a lengthy illness, Joyce Holcomb Halse passed away peacefully in the company of her family on June 14, 2009. She was 78. Joyce was born January 8, 1931, in Plattsburgh, NY, to Harry Walton Holcomb and Peg Mason Holcomb. She was named Plattsburgh’s most beautiful baby in a contest in 1932. She graduated from Franklin Academy High School in Malone, NY, in 1948.

She married Rev. Frank Adams Halse on June 7, 1952. They lived in Boston for a few years, in addition to numerous places in Central and Northern New York. They celebrated their 57th anniversary last week. In an article written about their 50th anniversary in 2002, they both noted that though Frank’s ministry required them to move frequently, their lives were "never boring" and neither would have changed a thing.

In 2005, they moved to Mexico, NY, to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren. Joyce worked as an executive secretary, personnel manager and store manager for Wells & Coverly from 1968 to 1982. When her husband retired from the ministry, they moved to Brandon, FL, and Joyce took a job working for the Hillsborough County School System. In the years before her retirement, she worked for the school district’s Tech Prep Consortium and their Kids & Canines program, in which at-risk students worked to train service dogs.

A descendent of Mayflower passengers, Joyce embodied those Yankee virtues of integrity and unflagging strength in the face of adversity until the last day of her life. She is remembered by many friends and former students from Syracuse University, where Frank was the Methodist chaplain,as a loving and hospitable second mom. Joyce and Frank stayed in close contact with many friends and family from their years together and, until her illness prevented it, made annual trips up and down the East Coast to visit with them. Joyce was especially fond of Maine, due to her love of lighthouses and fondness for loons.

Joyce is survived by her husband, Frank Halse; her daughters, Laurie (Scot) Larrabee and Lisa Halse Stevens; grandchildren, Ryan, April and Tiffany Stevens, Stephanie and Meredith Anderson, and Jessica and Christian Larrabee; and great-grandchild, Kegan Merkeley. She is also survived by Scot and Laurie’s German shepherd, Kezzie, of whom she was especially fond and who gave her great comfort in her last days. She was predeceased by her sister, Joelle Holcomb Skinner, and son-in-law, Calvin Stevens II.

A private service will be held for immediate family, and at Joyce’s request, her ashes will be spread on family property in the Adirondacks. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program, PO Box 195, Ray Brook, NY 12977. Condolences may be sent to PO Box 906, Mexico, NY 13114.

Daughter Number One (bookavore) has found a new calling in capturing the life of loved ones. Laurie will be retreating to her garden and her soul for a period of time. Your love and thoughts are all appreciated and graciously received.

Office Mouse and Queen Louise will be here to assist you in Laurie’s absence.

55 Replies to “Joyce Holcomb Halse”

  1. Oh man, my heart goes out to Laurie. I wish I could say something a little more comforting than I’m so sorry. The family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. What a small world. My science fiction club, the Stone Hill SF Assoc, puts on Necronomicon every Oct, a 3 day sf, fantasy & horror convention. Our most recent charity is Kids & Canines. They are a delight to have visit during the convention every year! We are all connected, and connections through caring are the very best ones. 🙂

  3. So sorry. :’-( But I bet the angels are dancing. 🙂 “Twas grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”

  4. So sorry for your family’s loss. It sounds like she was a beautiful woman with a beautiful life. My heart goes out to you at this time, hopefully your garden can give you some peace and help wipe away your tears.
    The obit was beautiful and made me cry, I came on here as soon as I saw it in the paper.

  5. Hope you find some solace in your garden

    Joyce sounds like an awesome person. She also looks like a good time. I’m thinking of you.

  6. My thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family. She must have been a remarkable woman to have raised such talented, kind and caring daughters.

  7. Dear Laurie (and family),

    I hope our message isn’t too late. We just got word about your precious mother leaving us and wanted to tell you how deeply saddened we were by the news.

    Please know that you and your family are in our daily and evening prayers. It’s at times like these that the Lord comes close to comfort those in mourning. I pray that you will feel that warm blanket of love, comforting you when you when you need it the most.

    I know that you miss your mother terribly, but one thing that helped me get through losing my father (we were extremely close!) was remembering that believers go straight into the presence of the Lord, and that one day you will be reunited with your mother in heaven. Hold on to that, Laurie, and God bless you.

    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…”
    —John 11:25

    JOHN 14:1-3 NKJ

    1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

    2 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

    3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

    Love and prayers,
    Dion and Cynde Hammond

  8. You and your family are blessed to have had her in your life for so long and we are blessed to know her through your blog. We are all grateful to her for raising such an amazing daughter. Your family is in my thoughts. May PEACE be with you and your family in this time of sadness.

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