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Joyce Thelma Needler

Picture of Joyce Thelma Needler.

Joyce Thelma Needler

A Eulogy

At first glance you may be forgiven in thinking that Joyce led a rather unremarkable life, for she spent most of her life as a house wife to her beloved husband Fred, but was this really the case.

Born on 1st November 1926 she spent a lot of her teenage years with Britain either recovering from the first world war or living through the horror of Britain being bombed during the second world war, Aston, her home town, and other areas of Birmingham being industrial bombing targets. Not only did she refuse to be sent away from her family to work in the relative safety of the countryside but she, with the rest of her family stayed in the house in preference to the shelters, helping to keep the family unit together, come what may. This was to be a prelude to the stoic personality that gave her the ability, as the only woman in the household, to keep a tight ship, protecting her two sons and husband for over 51 years.

Joyce was one of a rapidly dying breed of women who had the guts to stick with it, to stay with the family unit through thick and thin. In support of the family she gave up work when the first of her two sons arrived and dedicated herself to being a housewife. In those days times were hard and cash flow was poor for everyone, but not only did she look after the cooking, the washing, the children and the chores, making do with what she had, but she also helped to look after her parents and secure their relocation, against the odds, to a home close to her own, when the family home in Albert Road, Aston, was to be subject to a compulsory purchase order during the construction of Spaghetti Junction.

Joyce was also an accomplished and competitive sailing crew member, helping to secure victory for 13 years running in the GP14 class trophy, continuing to sail every weekend at Lenchford Sailing Club with her husband until she was 65. Even after so-called retirement from active sailing she would help her husband in his small business of dinghy repairs, making way for rudders and centre boards wet with varnish hanging up in the veranda whilst also coping with hanging up the washing. All this being done as well as looking after the needs of the family.

Joyce was content with her lot in life, a trait that many young people today could take a firm lesson from. In her outward persona of contentment she had no gripe or groan and became everyone's friend as a result. She managed to stay perfectly happy in the role she made for her self as the dedicated housewife, making do with what she had and maximising its potential. In doing this she became a true master of minimalism, of just “being” and not needing the short lived boost that new belongings bring, belongings that would get discarded and clutter the house and her vision of a perfect life.

So what about her was unremarkable? Nothing was unremarkable. The mere fact that she was so good at her role, that everything she did was made in a seamless way, unseen due to no desire for physical belongings or attachments, unheard due to no complaint, no ripples due to no resistance, being content with her position and role in life, makes this so. Even when her illness took hold of her there was no complaint, just acceptance. There was even a sense of inner relief and victory that there was no more poking and prodding.

So lets look at Joyce’s’ life with a closer level of inspection. In doing so we see that Joyce lived and worked within the universal laws of living and experiencing life as she was exposed to it, of being of service to those around her, wanting nothing in return except the love of her husband, son’s and friends. It is because of these simple attributes that everything she did was in fact truly remarkable. They don’t make them like Joyce these days.

Guy Needler
1st February 2010

Added by: Guy Needler on 24 March 2010.

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Picture of Joyce Thelma Needler.
Picture of Joyce Thelma Needler.

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