Cover photo for Dorothy Joyce Williams's Obituary
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1930 Joyce 2024

Dorothy Joyce Williams

May 14, 1930 — May 20, 2024


Dorothy Joyce Williams, 94 of Middletown, RI died peacefully on May 20, 2024, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on May 14, 1930 in Bridport, Dorset, England to the late George and Edith (Reid) Scantlebury. She was the wife of the late Robert R. Williams USN (Ret.).

Joyce's early years were spent in Bridport and Weymouth England with her parents and siblings. One of eight children, she had many stories of growing up and spending time with her family. Stories of going out dancing, selling bundles of daffodils for a penny or two and going to the picture shows with friends. She also shared many stories of living in England during WWII, of looking up at the sky and seeing the British and German War Fighters engaging in aerial dogfights during the Battle of Britain, living through the Aerial Bombing Blitz of London and having to hide in the subway tunnels during the bombing raids. These experiences left a lasting impression on her life and provided her an unexpected perspective that helped her to support her son when he returned home from Vietnam. Support that many other veterans did not find at that time.

As a young woman, she worked in a Five & Dime store. It was there that she met a young US Navy man in town preparing for the D-Day Invasion. They exchanged information, and after he survived D-Day they reconnected. It was this chance encounter that started the rest of her life.

Joyce married the love of her life, Robert R. Williams on August 2, 1948 in Weymouth, England. As a young newlywed of only 18, she had to travel alone on a military plane to the United States to meet her husband who was stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. From there her husband's Navy career took them to Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Lakehurst, NJ, and eventually to Newport, RI where they settled after his retirement from the Newport Navy Base in 1963. As a navy wife she had the opportunity to see the world, raise a family and further her own education. For many years Joyce spent her time home, raising her four boys whom she was immensely proud of, before returning to work in retail. She worked at the Happy Hanger and the Newport Navy Exchange before retiring.

Joyce was a member of the Middletown Public Library, Middletown and Portsmouth Senior Centers, and Calvary United Methodist church. She was a chorus and choir member and enjoyed entertaining nursing home residents and putting on her Christmas performances, often telling her family to make sure to catch her on public TV. Her appreciation of the opportunities provided to her fueled her desire to give back. She remained independent throughout her life, especially after being widowed, and felt compelled to donate her time and talent through the senior centers and church.

Joyce was an avid reader, fondly crediting her eldest sister Violet for instilling that love within her. She in turn enjoyed sharing her love of books and reading with her grandchildren. In her free time she enjoyed listening to music, going bowling, meeting friends from the Navy Exchange for lunch as part of the "Dinosaurs", hosting her knitting club, attending plays at PPAC and Theater By the Sea with her friends and granddaughters and especially going out dancing. She was happiest spending time with and being surrounded by her family.

Joyce is survived by her brother Leslie Scantlebury and his wife Rosemary of Winchester, England, her four sons, Robert (Bo) Williams and his wife Maryann of Raleigh, NC, Gary Williams and his wife Jean of Middletown, Glenn Williams and his wife Tonya of Portsmouth, and James Williams and his wife Michelle of Middletown, her grandchildren, Christopher, John, Melissa Ann, Brian and Melanie, Brittany and Matthew Williams, Glenn and Sarah Williams, Skyler Hamilton-Williams, Brandi, Thomas, Brad and Nathan Humes, and Victor Peabody and several great grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband Robert R. Williams USN (Ret), her second husband Kenneth Newburg, her parents George and Edith (Reid) Scantlebury, and her siblings, Violet, Elsie, Ivy, Roy, George and Betty.

Visiting hours are omitted. There will be a funeral service for Joyce on Tuesday May 28, 2024 at 11am at Calvary United Methodist Church, 200 Turner Rd, Middletown, RI.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in her memory to the Middletown Senior Center, 670 Green End Ave, Middletown.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Joyce Williams, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm

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