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Saying Goodbye

The event was beautiful from start to finish.  It began with music performed by three very talented musicians associated with St. Paul’s church.  Then the minister gave a eulogy that both recognized the extraordinary qualities of this woman and the enormity of our loss but was also somehow very comforting.  (BTW, upon first visiting her home he made the mistake of asking Joy what was that big new oceanfront building being constructed across the lawn from her.)

Joy’s husband Carmine and her son Matthew each then spoke to us.  I have to say I enjoyed both talks immensely despite the terrible grief I was feeling for them.

Carmine told us the amazing story of how they met and some amazing stories from their work together as private detectives.  Joy and Carmine were not ordinary people.  You could have made a TV show about them.  And after listening to their son Matt we knew that Joy was no ordinary mother either.  She was more like a lioness…strong, bold and also cunning.  And if you stand in the way of what a lioness wants for her cubs….lets just say it usually doesn’t work too well.

The event closed with Katrina Clapsis singing a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace with instrumental accompaniment from her husband Eugene.  I want to take this opportunity to thank Katrina and Eugene for everything they did to help Joy and her family get through this.  Unbeknownst to me, or almost anybody else, they did so much for Joy over the time that she was sick and everybody who loved Joy owes Katrina and Eugene their gratitude.

And a lot of people did love Joy.  I didn’t want to take any pictures inside the church but when we filed outside I managed to grab this snapshot of the crowd.

(For their protection I did have to blur their faces.)


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    You are too funny. She is so loving it as I write this thank you to our friend.

    Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink
  2. Katrina wrote:

    Dave you always make me laugh!
    On the serious side I’d like to thank you for your kind words. I like so many in Belmar became close to Joy when she drew me in to paying attention to our town politics. Her drive and call to action were what first attracted me to her. I am forever grateful to her for encouraging me to get off the couch and get involved.
    On the personal side we recognized kindred spirits in each other. She really became my soul sister in all its connotations. I am truly honored and humbled that she allowed me to share her journey so closely with her and her family. Joy was a very private and somewhat shy person. Her first concern when she was diagnosed was her children. I came to understand why she did not share her diagnosis with many people. She really wanted to live life to the fullest while she was still here. She did not want cancer to be what people saw when they looked at her. She realized some would find this hard to understand but I believe she was trying to protect those around her out of love. She WAS a lioness! Steadfast and true. Beautiful inside and out. To all of “the element” I say thank you. Thank you for giving Joy a focus outside of her own physical being. Thank you for your friendship and caring.
    To Belmar I say, Joy was fighting for justice and transparency in our government. She worked tiredlessly to bring to light and truth to all of us. She believed if you weren’t part of the solution you were part of the problem. And she put herself on the line even in the face of slander and ridicule. She was ferocious!
    I will miss her every moment.

    Monday, January 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

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