Joyce T. Gauthier, 69, died March 11, 2010, at the Knox Center in Rockland after an extended illness.

Born in Berlin, N.H., on May 24, 1940, she was the daughter of Dr. Rudolph B. Sr. and Mabel Morrissette Johnson. At an early age she moved with her family to Sanford. She attended parochial schools and was a 1957 graduate of Sanford High School. In 1960 she graduated from Peter Bent Brigham School of Nursing as a registered nurse.

On Dec. 26, 1960, she married Richard Merle Gauthier in Sanford. They made their first home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where the couple’s first two children were born. While raising her children, Joyce worked as a registered nurse at Sharon Hospital in Sharon, Conn.

The Gauthier family returned to the Sanford/Springvale area in 1964, where the family continued to grow. Only a few days after giving birth to her seventh child in 1971, Joyce moved with her husband and seven children to Jonesport. While living in that area, she not only devoted herself as a homemaker, but also worked at the Machias Hospital and was Mom to her foster son Dean.

In 1974 the family moved to Washburn, and while living there, Joyce worked at A.R. Gould Hospital in Presque Isle. In 1976 they moved to Rockland, where she worked as an OB nurse at Penobscot Bay Medical Center.

Following her divorce in 1981, Joyce gathered her children around, accepted household and family duties she had never before experienced, and moved her family to Florida to start a new life. In Florida, she began nursing full time at Martin Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, and, after moving to Port St. Lucie, in the Emergency Department at Fort Pierce Hospital. During this period, Joyce found challenge and fulfillment in her work as a critical care nurse.

Retiring from nursing in 1997, Joyce moved to Daytona Beach, where she pursued her love of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, riding a custom Electra-Glide. She particularly enjoyed attending Bike Week each year.

Joyce’s home was always open to her children and grandchildren whenever they were in need. While living in Daytona, she also served with Literacy Volunteers.

In 2003, she moved to North Carolina, not only to be near her youngest son, but also to help raise his two sons, Nicholas and Ryan.

Due to declining health, in 2008 she returned to Maine to be near her children.

A voracious reader, she also enjoyed knitting and needlepoint.

Joyce is survived by two sons, Craig Lee Joseph Gauthier and his companion Dawn Leppanen of St. George and Michael Marc Gauthier and his wife, Marlene, of Orlando, Fla.; five daughters, Kathleen Marie Post and her husband, DuWayne, of Spruce Head, Anne-Marie Poulin and her husband, Kenneth, of Edgewater, Fla., LeeAnn Gauthier of Thomaston, Barbara Jean Mazurek and her husband, Ed Jr., of South Thomaston and Denise Ann Doughty and her husband, Philip Jr., of Union; one brother, Dr. Rudolph B. Johnson Jr., D.D.S., and his wife, Theresa, of Acton and Naples, Fla.; one aunt, Columbia Johnson of Englewood, Fla., and Wells; 16 grandchildren, Elaine, Dennis, Justin, Shyann, Zachariah, Alexander, Audrey Marie-Claire, Kiel, Lea, Lindsey, Shea, Nathan, Ian, Jordan, Nicholas and Ryan; and several nieces and nephews. She was looking forward to the birth of her 17th grandchild in May.

A private family service will be held in the summer.

A gathering of friends and relatives will be held Wednesday, March 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Knox Center for Long Term Care, 6 White St. in Rockland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice, 170 Pleasant St., Rockland, ME 04841.

Arrangements are with the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home in Rockland. To leave online condolences, visit obituaries at bchfh.com.