Joyce L. Burnham

Oct 01, 2019
Joyce Burnham

South Thomaston — Joyce Lynn Burnham passed away Sept. 26, 2019. She was awaiting a lung transplant at a hospital in Boston following a courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Joyce died peacefully with her partner, Bob, her daughter Chelsea and her family by her side.

Joyce had the brightest, kindest, warmest spirit, and it sparkled in her eyes. She had a gentle way of being and an immense capacity for generosity and love.

Joyce was born June 23, 1962, in Massena, N.Y. She attended high school in Bettendorf, Iowa, where she swam and competed in synchro. She went on to study computer science at the University of Iowa, where she graduated in 1984. After graduation, Joyce moved to Maine to be near her grandparents, Madeline and Arthur Milliken, and to live close to the sea.

Her daughters were her world, and she loved watching them grow, learn and compete in sports. Joyce cherished the time she spent crafting with her friends — knitting, card making, and scrapbooking. She was the treasurer of her women’s investment club, a longtime member of Rotary, and she volunteered with AIO, the local food pantry.

Joyce spent her career working at FMC in Rockland, where she was a software specialist. Her work required frequent travel to Philadelphia; Cork, Ireland; Copenhagen; Brussels and Paris. After retiring from FMC, Joyce spent a number of years working at Loyal Biscuit, where she enjoyed the company of the people she worked with and the many dogs who came through.

Joyce loved her partner, Bob, and it filled her heart to spend time with her granddaughter, Harper (whom she called Peanut). She cared deeply for her family and friends and spent lots of time with her daughter Chelsea, who visited often from California. Together they loved to go out to eat at Primo, take walks on the boardwalk, see films at the Strand, and talk about life.

Joyce mourned the passing of her beloved daughter Aleisha, who passed away in 2011.

Joyce is survived by her father, John Burnham, and his wife, Carole; her partner, Bob Polk; her daughter Chelsea Sonksen (Peter Randall); her stepsons Steve (Sarah) and Trevor Polk; her three younger siblings and their spouses, Jim Burnham (Marta), Jay Burnham (Nancy), and Kristin Dumblosky (Steve); her nieces and nephews Andy, Matt, Maddy, Eric, Allison, Stephanie, Seth and Sam; and her step-granddaughters Harper, Hayley and Avianna. She was preceded in death by her mother, Jacqueline Davis, her stepfather, Gentry Davis, her daughter Aleisha Sonksen, and her sister Debbie Burnham.

There will be a service to celebrate Joyce’s life at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland, Sunday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m. Flowers can be sent to the funeral home.

To share a memory or condolence with Joyce’s family, visit their Book of Memories at

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