TRAVERSE CITY — Joyce Merilyn Link, age 85, of Cleveland, formerly of Traverse City, passed away peacefully Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
She was born July 11, 1927, in Williamsburg to James D. and Izetta (Oliver) Gray. On July 13, 1946, Joyce married the late Forrest N. Link in Traverse City.
Joyce was a seamstress at the Grand Traverse Metal Casket Factory, and enjoyed cooking and reading. Forrest was a truck driver and she enjoyed riding along on trips with him, playing the guitar and writing songs with him. She loved her family and friends and gave so much of herself to all. Joyce always loved dogs and cats, and was a member of the ASPCA. One of their greatest accomplishments, Forrest and Joyce, known as "Mom" and "Dad," opened their home to complete strangers to create the first group home (foster care home) in Michigan in 1966 where they helped raise 74 children and teens until 1972. They received numerous accolades from state officials for their unselfish and highly successful approach to correcting juvenile delinquency.
Joyce is survived by two children, Brian Forrest (Tracy) Link of Waldorf, Md., and Roberta Sue (Stephen) Bloomfield of Cleveland; one brother, Basil Gray of Traverse City; and one sister, Anna Lou Gilmore of Cumberland, Md. Joyce loved her grandchildren, Jon (Megan), Tim (Stephanie), Andrew (Jessica), Sean, Jenny, Sara, Kirsten, Frank, Austin and Ben. She also loved her great-grandchildren, Ryan, Aiden, Hailey and Harlow. Joyce was also blessed with many wonderful nieces, nephews, and cousins, as well as her many friends.
Besides her parents, Joyce was preceded in death by her husband Forrest in 1996; a son John Harlow Link; two brothers; and three sisters.
A visitation will be held Friday, Nov. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Covell Funeral Home in Traverse City. A funeral will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior, also at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cherryland Humane Society.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Covell Funeral Home of Traverse City.