The White River Valley Herald

Joyce Giles



Randolph—The heavens welcomed another angel on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.

Joyce Giles was born on August 20, 1931, the daughter of Lyman and Margaret (McCreedy) Sprague. She was raised on the family farm in Chelsea with her five sisters. She graduated valedictorian of her class from Chelsea High School in 1949.

In August of the same year, she married Donald Giles of Tunbridge. A little more than a year later, they welcomed their first of seven children. They moved their growing family to Randolph Center in 1965.

Joyce approached life with an incredibly positive, glass-half-full attitude. She was best known for her love of cooking, especially her passion for baking. She worked at the Randolph Center Elementary School preparing hot lunches for several years. She later worked in the kitchen at the Tranquility Nursing Home in Randolph and finished her career at Gifford Medical Center as their baker.

She poured every fiber of her being into raising her children. She observed their natural interests and talents and found ways for them to develop those interests. They each followed their own path. She was deeply proud of them all.

She was also a mentor to friends and coworkers in helping anyone interested in learning to bake a pie or her trademark cinnamon buns. She was a person of endless giving, putting others first, with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

Her family members had these words to offer when asked what they remember most: “honest, kind, generous, hardworking, thoughtful, supportive, caring, selfless, genuine, and determined.”

Her greatest love was family. Growing up, she and her sisters maintained a tight bond throughout their lives, providing loving care to their parents as they aged. She instilled that same closeness to family in her children and extended that to her nieces and nephews, always treating them as if they were her own.

She was instrumental in saving a plot of land on the family farm in Chelsea. They built a family cabin where the extended Sprague families gather to this day. Her other most treasured times were family gatherings with her children, and as time went on, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and eventually great-great-grandchildren. She poured endless time and energy into these family gatherings.

Getting out her pots and pans to cook or bake something was her way of showing support to family members or friends in their time of need. She also made and decorated numerous wedding cakes for family and friends.

She had an intense interest in state, national, and international news. The only time she insisted she have her own way was when the WCAX News came on at 6 p.m., followed by the CBS Nightly News at 7 p.m.—the TV was hers!

She is survived by her children, Carol Bushey of Randolph Center, Douglas Giles (Peggy Sherlock) of Tunbridge, Judith Giles of Reston, Va., Nancy Hutchinson (Mark) of Randolph Center, Laurie Giles of Hartland, Cheryl Hill (Sonny) of Morrisville, and Jan Giles (John Malloy) of Randolph; her grandchildren: Todd Rogers (Michelle), Scott (Melanie) and Thad Giles, Aaron, Abby, and Annie Hutchinson, Devan and Corey Hill, Katie Giles, and Savannah Hull; her great-grandchildren: Trevor (Marielle), Justin (Jenna) and Halle Giles; her great-great-grandchildren: Giannina Giles, Daniel Thomas, and Mathew Giles; her sisters, Elsie Farnham of Randolph Center and Jane Gidney of Montpelier; brothers in-law, Alan McCullough of Chelsea and Ennis Gidney of Montpelier; as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Donald; her sisters, Elizabeth (Stanley) Peck, Jean McCullough, and Fay (Ted) Johnson; her brother-in-law, Elwin “Dutch” Farnham; sister in-law, Bertha (David) Delano; and sons-in-law, Wendall Bushey and Jeremiah Burns.

Calling hours will be at the Boardway & Cilley Funeral Home in Chelsea on Thursday, Nov. 17 from 6-8 p.m. There will be a celebration of her life on Friday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at the Randolph Center Congregational Church, followed by a fellowship that will feature baked goods from some of her favorite recipes. A private burial will be held at the Chelsea West Hill Cemetery prior to the service on Friday.

Her children would like to thank the staff at Menig Nursing Home in Randolph Center for their loving care over the last year and a half of her life. Prior to that, she spent almost two years at The Joslyn House in Randolph, where the staff provided a family oriented and friendly home for her.

Memorial contributions can be made to the West Hill Cemetery, c/o David Bradshaw, 169 Bradshaw Crossroad, Chelsea, Vt. 05038; or the Randolph Senior Center, 6 Hale Street, Randolph, Vt. 05060.