Paul Richard Joy, 73, of Gouldsboro passed away Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth surrounded by family after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Paul was born Feb. 17, 1945, to Robert and Louisa (Mitchell) Joy in Bath, the youngest of four children. He spent much of his life in Gouldsboro, where the Joy family hails from, living on the Joy Road aptly named for his forebears.
He attended Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan, graduating in the Class of 1962. Immediately following high school, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as a young brash teenager. He would often tell family and friends that it did not take him long to grow up and mature in boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., as the drill sergeants literally knocked the “arrogance” right out of him. In 1963, while stationed in Lakehurst, N.J., for parachute rigging school, which would be his profession for the duration of his enlistment, he met and married Linda Ann Kiel, who would become his life partner and love for the next 55 years.
During his enlistment, he was ordered to Vietnam in support of the war effort, as part of VMF (AW) 235 Death Angels Squadron. Though proud of his service to country, he seldom spoke of his overseas tour. In 1966, Cpl. Joy returned home after his four-year enlistment expired to start the next chapter of his life with his young family that had grown from a wife to the addition of two children, John William and June Darlene.
Following in the footsteps of his beloved father, Robert Joy, he started down a career path in construction. He worked for Bridge Construction for many years as a heavy equipment operator, and though he had a natural talent for operating equipment and enjoyed his job, it required travel and weeks away from his family, which had grown to include a third child, Janean Marie. It was during this time that Paul shifted his career goals and took a chance on opening his own business, Joy Construction, which flourished for 35 years. When asked what he did for a living he would reply “I’m a construction excavator contractor,” but he was so much more than an equipment operator; he was the essence of Joy Construction. His expertise and skill as an equipment operator were unparalleled. This expertise and his commitment to providing quality work earned him a phenomenal reputation and consistent repeat customers. As years passed, he did not have to advertise his company to solicit for work; all hires were done by word of mouth referrals from satisfied patrons.
Paul took great pride in his work and genuinely cared about his customers and jobs. What started as customer/contractor relationships would conclude with new lifelong friendships. Paul was one of those people who were instantly likeable. His quick wit, jovial personality and welcoming nature were an instant draw for anyone who came into contact with him.
While operating Joy Construction, he and Linda embarked on a second journey to own and operate a convenience store, PJ’s Grocery. The store was an amalgamation of services including the offer of gas, groceries, a lunch counter and recreational area that offered pool and arcade games. Many Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Paul could be found there playing pool with local residents. Patrons may stop by for gas or groceries, but would stay and chat with Paul, who always had time to converse with a friend
In later years, Paul and Linda became snowbirds, spending winters in Florida, which Paul thoroughly enjoyed, as it afforded him new opportunities to make friends and engage in friendly, but competitive shuffleboard and cribbage matches.
Paul was an amazing, caring, committed family man who spent his entire life working hard to provide for them. As a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he embodied all that is good and kind in this world.
Over the years, Paul could often be found in his garage in Gouldsboro, tinkering with equipment. He spent countless hours mowing his vast property and took great pride in maintaining several acres of land. Besides working outside, Paul was an avid reader and enjoyed spending time at his son’s garage playing cribbage. He would often visit his daughter in southern Maine, enjoying her company, and telling many a tale about his times working for Bridge Construction in southern Maine and how the landscape had changed.
Though Paul spent the last six years of his life battling cancer, he never let it get him down. He refused to be defined by an illness, but instead stayed stoic and courageous the entire time. He would often say to his family that there were others out there much worse off than him and he refused to complain or feel sorry for himself. His positive attitude and humble nature is a true inspiration to all. Paul may not have won the battle with cancer, but he faced that challenge as only he would, with grace and dignity.
Paul is survived by his wife, Linda (Kiel) Joy, of 55 years, son John W. Joy and significant other Resa Beal of Gouldsboro, daughter June (Joy) Ledwith and significant other Kenneth Stuart of Cornish, several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews and extended family.
Paul was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Louisa Joy; two brothers, George Joy and Jack Joy; one sister, Beverly Pinkham; and his youngest, cherished daughter, Janean Joy.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at 1 p.m. at the Knights of Pythias Hall, Route 1, Gouldsboro. Cremation arrangements are under the direction and care of Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Foundation. Under the online site, use the drop-down menu designation for EMMC Cancer Care.
A special thank you goes out to all the nurses, doctors, and staff at EMMC Cancer Care Oncology Department for the support and care these past six years. Your kindness and compassion will never be forgotten. Thank you to Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital for the aid and attention provided to Paul and his family during this difficult time. And lastly, thank you to all who were friends of Paul’s; he loved his family, his town, his community and his friends. He will be missed and loved always.