Joyce grew up in Lawrence, Long Island suburb of New York, with her parents, Frank and Florence Haber and her older sister Rolene, all of whom predeceased her. Having married husband Steve in 1958, immediately following his college graduation, they lived and worked in Syracuse and New York City before chasing their dream, moving to Colorado Springs in 1961 with their infant son Bill. Shortly after arriving, second son Tom was born, followed by daughter Ann seven years later.
Joyce was an extraordinary woman, beautiful at many levels, and bordering on being renaissance. Women in her generation were mostly homemakers, dedicated to supporting their husbands. But that, while important, was never enough for Joyce. She built her own life, returning to college and graduating with a degree in social work in her 40’s. She loved playing tennis, even managing the tennis shop at Country Club of Colorado. She loved dogs with a not-so-surprising affinity for rescues – adopting three at one time. Joyce blazed new trails, cofounding Community Transitions and establishing a volunteer program for the District Attorney’s office, helped building the DA’s Shape Up initiative. Democratic Gov Ritter appointed her to the board of the Charter School Institute. Joyce served on the board of the League of Charter Schools and cofounded and chaired the Board of Colorado Military Academy, Colorado’s first military charter school.
Joyce’s commitment to children, particularly those who are disadvantaged, led her and Steve to create Parents Challenge over 21 years ago. The nationwide nonprofit empowers low-income parents with informational and financial resources to choose the schools they think are best for their children.
Never comfortable as a public or political person, Joyce went beyond her comfort zone to campaign with Steve for the Republican nomination for governor of Colorado in 1986. She was so good that many expressed a preference that she had been the candidate. Unbeknownst to Steve, Joyce kept a diary of the experience which she then converted into the much-heralded book she authored, “Political Wives, Veiled Lives.” While much of what Joyce did often generated publicity and exposure, her highest priority always revolved around her three children, eight grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren in addition to her lifelong, 63-year partnership with Steve.
Our family thanks the wonderful dedicated, caring team of professionals at Pikes Peak Hospice for their tremendous concern and support during Joyce’s illnesses. Joyce and the family were particularly grateful to daughter, Ann, who dedicated much of the last year to providing her mother extraordinary full-time, 24-hour-a-day support, love, and compassion.
Joyce lived a full, exciting, and meaningful life. Her impact on so many others will be felt for decades and generations. She will be missed by many, but none more than her family, including: son Bill, and his wife Dede; granddaughters Hillary, Whitney and Gabrielle; son Tom; granddaughters Emily, Molly; and great grandchildren Madyson, Emyrson, Grayson, Hudson, and Liam; and triplet grandchildren, Conner, Colton, and Bryce.
The Schuck family requests that all who knew how special Joyce was to please not mourn her passing, but rather celebrate her life of grace, humility, intelligence, concern for others, and dignity. At Joyce’s request, there will be no formal service and anyone feeling a desire to do something is encouraged to donate, in commemoration of her life of giving, to Parents Challenge, Youth Transformation Center, Colorado Military Academy, the Humane Society, or to any charity of your choice.
The Schuck Family