Martha Joyce Bickley, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, passed away September 7, 2019.
Martha was born in Providence, Rhode Island on November 26, 1930, to the late Henry Stephen Joyce and Mary O’Donnell Joyce. She was raised in Providence, Rhode Island, the third of four children. Following her graduation from East Providence High School in 1948 she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Pembroke College in 1952. She then relocated to Washington DC to work for the National Security Agency. During her time there she met her future husband and life companion, James Ernest Bickley. They married in 1956 and over the next eight years their family grew to include five children. Martha and Jim spent most of their lives together in the Maryland suburbs near Washington DC, moving from Berwyn Heights to New Carrollton to Severna Park. Following Jim’s retirement in 1985 they found a second home in Florida to stay warm in the colder months, and moved their primary home to Littleton, North Carolina on the banks of Lake Gaston. Martha spent the next 25 years enjoying visits from friends and family, taking cruises, and watching her family add 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild to enrich her life. In 2010 Martha moved to Atlantic Shores in Virginia Beach with Jim, and then to King’s Grant House in 2018. Throughout these final years she continued to enjoy the many blessings and joys of her life.
Martha was predeceased by her husband and each of her siblings; her brothers Steve and Alan Joyce, as well as her sister Ann Joyce. She is survived by her five children: her eldest son Ernest Bickley of Saint Petersburg, Florida; daughter Mary Ann Peterson and husband Amos of Virginia Beach, Virginia; son Matthew Bickley and wife Kimberley Becker of Seaford, Virginia; daughter Jennifer Chen and husband Kurt of Wirtz, Virginia; son Joseph Bickley and wife Karen of Severn, Maryland; her grandchildren; a great-grandson; Elizabeth Bellamy Bickley of Annapolis, Maryland, and a dog named Spud. The family would especially like to thank her caregivers, who supported Martha as her health declined.
Martha’s funeral service will be held at 1 PM on Friday, October 4 at Star of the Sea Catholic Church located at 1404 Pacific Highway Virginia Beach, Virginia with internment to follow in the church columbarium.
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