In Celebration of

Joyce Gwendoline Tucker

27 November 1923 -  15 June 2016

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Joyce Gwendoline Tucker who passed away peacefully on 15 June 2016


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Jackie Takle (Niece)

Written on 17 June 2016 from Cullompton

Where to begin an Auntie who through all my life was such an inspiration to me,from taking me for walk's as a young child and introducing me to the wonderful world of nature which she loved so to buying my first hockey stick and wanting to know how many goal's i scored she was always interested.Not always the most politically correct lady but i loved her for that as much as anything.Thank you for all you did for me I shall miss you greatly

Life Stories 

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Sheena Gilpin (Granddaughter)

Written on 20 June 2016

Here's a few words about my grandma for you...

Joyce was such a spirited woman, she was the youngest of 5 children, born at Coombehead, Withleigh in 1923. She worked at Heathcoat's factory for over forty years, from the age of 14, cycling up and down Long Drag for many of those 40 years.

Hers was an eventful life, falling pregnant at 17 and bringing up my dad, Des, as a single mother with the support of her family - extremely unusual in those days! She was married twice, first to an American at the age of 23 who she divorced for desertion after he quickly returned to America and his wife(!).

Her second marriage was much happier - to Cecil in 1951 until his death in 1985. It was with them that I grew up in their council house in Wilcombe from the age of 5, following my parents' divorce. So not only had she raised her son but she then took on the care of me when she was in her fifties. That was so typical of her - selfless, generous, and warmhearted. During this time she worked part-time as a florist at Hillier's greengrocers and later at the Tiverton Hotel as a silver spoon waitress. I have nothing but happy memories of my childhood, with Grandma passing on her love of sewing, crochet and needlework to me. She was so supportive and encouraging during my teenage years too - not an easy task as I was just as headstrong as her!

Unfortunately, her only son, my dad, Des, took his own life in 1990 and she felt this loss deeply every day of her life. Some consolation was taken in the arrival of my daughter, Rebecca, the following year. This was when she moved to a factory bungalow in Haydon Road, where she spent a happy retirement, cooking cakes, sausage rolls and quiches for visitors and also for me to take to work for my colleagues to enjoy. She kept up her floristry skills, making beautiful silk arrangements, including my stunning wedding bouquet and those of my bridesmaids' too. She also excelled at gardening, spending hours making her garden bloom with flowers.

She loved babysitting Rebecca for me, enjoying taking her to places like Quince Honey Farm, all by bus as she never learned to drive. When Rebecca was at the High School, she often visited Grandma during her lunch break, with lots of friends joining them for crumpets or cakes. She was such a character, every one of Rebecca's friends fell in love with her and they all called her "Grandma".

During her mobile years, she was unstoppable. She was always helping me - calling at my home to walk my dog (often after working the breakfast shift at the Hotel), doing my ironing and helping with the garden. She would do anything for anyone, going out of her way to help others and always generous with her time.

She was an incredible flirt, loving the company of men right up until the last - she even had a 'dalliance' with a gentleman at Ashdowne! Perhaps more than men, was her love of animals, dogs in particular. When I became her carer eight years ago, I would walk my two Malamutes over to her every day.....I'm sure she enjoyed seeing them more than me! Despite my protests, she would spoil them with Rich Tea biscuits dunked in her cup of tea!

It was only in 2013 that she needed to go into residential care, following a flood at her bungalow - first she was cared for at Barnhaven in Bampton and then at Ashdowne when Barnhaven was closed. She soon stole the hearts of the carers there too, with her cheekiness and sense of humour.

She was truly a remarkable woman and leaves us with such happy memories.


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