L. Joy Tait (1934-2023)
Survived by husband Stan Tait, children Andrew (Kelly Bracken), Heather, Shawn (Carrie
Jevarjian), and grandchildren Conor and Morgan, Duncan and Felix, and Brayden.
Born Lillian Joy Barrett in Oxford, England, Joy became a teacher in 1956 and taught in
Liverpool. She emigrated to Canada in 1959 with a year-long post in Tilt Cove, Newfoundland,
after which she moved to Montreal, where she continued to teach elementary school. Joy was
active at St James United Church of Canada, where she met Stan. It took two and half years for
them to see that there was “something” there. (Dad thinks it was his Scottish charm. This has
not been confirmed.) They were married in Ormskirk, England in 1964.
In 1966 Joy and Stan moved from Montreal to the suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, where they
established roots and created a family. Joy moved from full-time to substitute teaching to raise
the children. She taught for the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal from 1961-1979.
The family moved to Monroe, CT in 1980, with Stan’s job. While raising three children and a
variety of dogs, cats, gerbils, and rabbits – along with a rather annoying bird, whose untimely
demise was due to Shawn’s greyhound rescue being pecked one too many times – Joy
ventured into a variety of entrepreneurial and volunteer positions before finding her true calling,
that of steward of the earth.
Joy trained as a Wildlife Rehabilitator: she enjoyed all aspects of rescuing and rehabilitating
small mammals and song birds. She mentored many who were interested in following her path,
helping to fill a great need in the Wildlife Rehab community, and received a Lifetime
Achievement award from the CT Wildlife Rehabilitator Association for her commitment to
Connecticut’s wildlife. She was a well-respected expert and received calls from all over the
country, frequently at dinner time. At the time of this writing, the phone still rings with, “I got
Joy’s number… I have an injured bird/squirrel/bunny.”
Joy was an active member of the United Methodist Church of Monroe, and later UMC of
Huntington, singing in the choir; her love of singing diminished only when she lost her ability to
hear after ear surgery. Joy faced a variety of health challenges over the past 20 years, and her
loving husband Stan was her cheerleader and caregiver throughout.
Joy was a doting grandmother and loved teaching the care of baby animals to her five
grandchildren, all of whom developed an awareness of and appreciation for nature through her
example. The grandchildren experienced a softer side of our mum. They were enthusiastic
consumers of Grandma’s baking, and she often snuck treats to them behind her own children’s
Joy died on Saturday, February 25th at Bishop Wicke in Shelton, CT after a brief illness. Stan,
her 3 children and their spouses, 5 grandchildren, and even her dearest cat Sasha were able to
visit her bedside to remind her how loved she was and to say goodbye.
Fred Rogers once said, "There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just
don't seem to help."; We will all miss our mum, wife, grandmother, and friend. She made this
planet better just by being on it. The lasting impression she made will continue to carry on in all
who knew her.
A Celebration of Joy’s Life will be held at the United Methodist Church of Monroe, CT on
Saturday, May 20th, at 11am. All are welcome. Be prepared for her to be looking on a bit
steamily, as she did not want a “fuss”.
If you would like to make a donation in Joy’s honor to your favorite Animal Charity, please do so,
and if you have an outdoor cat – she’d prefer you didn’t, since cat attacks are the leading cause
of wildlife injury – please add a bell to your pet to give Joy’s beloved creatures an extra chance.
Joy and family would prefer loved ones not to participate in the links below for flowers or trees.
The Celebration will be viewable on Zoom: Mtg ID 965 4066 9674 Passcode 2819
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joy Tait, please visit our floral store.