Joyce Griswold was born in Toledo, Ohio, on Aug. 27, 1930.
She was the third child of Helen and Russell Grindle. Surviving is her sister Phyllis Sanders, while brother Ted Grindle preceded Joyce in death.
Joyce raised her two daughters, Carol Lee Griswold-Bacigalupi and Megan Eaton Griswold, in Corona del Mar, Calif.
She created the Joyce Griswold Children’s Library at the Merv Griffin Childhelp Village in Beaumont, Calif. (https://www.childhelp.org/history-of-childhelp/).
Following a late-in-life divorce at 64, her heart beckoned her to Whidbey Island. Stumbling onto a magical property near Langley, she made Whidbey Island her home for 18 years. She and her beloved corgi Tuppeney, named from a character in “Wind and the Willows,” brought joy, books — especially children’s literature and love of art and nature to this amazing place. As Alzheimer’s slowly took her from us, she was blessed to have the loving care of Grethe Cammermeyer and her staff at Saratoga View for the last seven years of her journey.
On April 23, 2016, with the sight of rhododendrons in full bloom and the drizzling of rain, she took her last breath with her two girls beside her, holding her hand and listening to Sarah McLachlan’s, “I Love you.” With birds calling, the sun shining and a vintage red airplane flying overhead, a family memorial took place on Monday, May 10, 2016. She is now at rest atop her favorite field, overlooking the Cascades, a spot where she can watch as her beloved nature continues to grow, animals cross her path and seasons change.
In lieu of flowers, anyone so desiring can make a donation in her name to Childhelp USA. https://www.childhelp.org/donate/. Giving in the “honor” or “memory” of Joyce Griswold will ensure your gift goes directly to her library. Doing so supports her library as it continues to flourish and serve children who have been abused, neglected or are at-risk. She brought literature into these children’s lives. Her belief was that books could give these kids a sense of safety, home and continuity when life’s circumstances had not yet done so. She helped change one child at a time.
For all of you, her island family, she loved you so. Thank you for loving her, experiencing her gracious gifts and for being her friend.