Iona Joye Richards, 82, of Manchester, NH, following a brief illness, passed away in the arms of her loving daughter Annmaire on Friday, June 16th, 2023.
Iona was born on January 8th, 1941, in Clarendon, Jamaica. She was the first-born child to Manardi Richards and Termuta Howe Bailey. Iona Joye was the eldest of 10 children and is survived by her six sisters and three brothers.
Iona Joye left Clarendon to Kingston, Jamaica, at 16 to pursue a better future for herself. In Kingston, she worked as a nanny for the Dunn family. In September 1992, she migrated to the United States after her son Lyndel Tomlinson filed for her visa. There she continued her work as a caregiver for the Henley family. She built a career out of caring for others, especially children. Before retiring, she earned countless awards working as an Environmental Service Technician at the Elliot Hospital. Joye was known as the hardest-working and most diligent tech. The nursing staff still sing her praises to this day.
She paved the way for so many of her children and grandchildren who have obtained college degrees, have flourishing careers, families, and travel the world. Her work and inspiration has allowed them to follow their dreams fearlessly, knowing anything is possible through her example.
Mama was the epitome of a Matriarch. She is survived by her six children, 11 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Our Mama was truly special. She was a light in every sense of the world. Her heart extended not just to all her family members but many more whom she adopted as her own. She had that unique quality of making everyone she encountered feel as if they were special to her because they truly were. Iona lived through generosity and gave anything she had.
Iona was very family oriented; the highlights of her day included speaking with her sisters, Verona and Catherine, and all her children and loved ones. In May of 2023, she returned to her childhood home in Jamaica to reunite with her siblings and attend her granddaughter's wedding.
Iona Joye had a love and devotion to God, which was her guiding light all of her life up until the very end. She loved her Lord, reading her Bible, praying, and giving thanks. Through her love of Jesus, she showed grace and glory. Iona not only lived up to her name, she outshined it. She was Joy in abundance, and we will carry on her legacy.
Walk good, Joyo.
Donations in Iona's name can be made to the Shelter Rock Church.