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Joyce Irene Garrick

Former owner of Harvard General Store, photographer, world traveler

Joyce Garrick. (Courtesy photo)

Joyce Irene Garrick, 97, co-owner of the former Harvard Pharmacy, Harvard Camera and Imaging, and Harvard General Store from 1963 to 2006, and resident of Harvard for 58 years, died peacefully on April 25, 2021.

Born on August 16, 1923, in Lowell, Joyce lived for 39 years in Tewksbury. The daughter of George and Hazel (Dorman) Scammell, Joyce graduated from Burnett School of Business, where she majored in bookkeeping, and married her childhood sweetheart, Wilmer Speke Garrick, in 1943. While Will served as a captain in the Army Ordnance Department during World War II, she traveled by train to Walla Walla, Washington with her sister, Virginia, to work on the war effort.

While raising her family, Joyce was active in the Order of the Eastern Star and the Tewksbury Congregational Church. During that time, she acquired her amateur radio license, graduated from power squadron classes, earned a Coast Guard piloting certificate, raised African violets in her kitchen, and sewed and knit clothes for her family.

Her move to Harvard in 1963 changed the direction of her life. She became involved in bookkeeping for Harvard Pharmacy and later, Harvard Camera and Imaging and the General Store, trained to help with prosthetics, and excelled as she studied photography.

Joyce was great at macro photography, capturing the metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly, mating of praying mantis, flowers, and nature in general. She was also known for her portrait and landscape photography. She was a member of several local camera clubs, often competing with Will for the month’s “best shot.” In her later years, Joyce sold photographic greeting cards at the General Store, Westward Orchards, and at local craft fairs.

Joyce celebrated life. She used every opportunity to travel and make lifelong friends on her trips, and to learn and share what she learned through the lens of her camera, capturing and immortalizing awesome moments with friends, views, birds, land, and water.

A devoted wife and mother, Joyce was the epicenter of her family and a shining star, hosting many extended family reunions and celebrating holidays and birthdays. She loved physical fitness and healthy living, bicycling around the neighborhood, and later studying yoga at home with her yoga teacher.

Joyce always had the latest iPhone and computer and delighted in teaching herself technology. At 96, she learned Snapchat to follow the adventures of her children, and she kept up with friends and family on Facebook.

Joyce taught us all how to live and how to die with grace and acceptance. When her death became inevitable, she accepted it with peace and trust. Joyce was predeceased by her loving husband, Wilmer Speke Garrick, and her three siblings, Virginia Fulling, Barbara McKenzie, and George Scammell. She is survived by her four children and their spouses, Joyce G. Sager (David) of Wilbraham, Robert W. Garrick (Ann) of Harvard, Elizabeth G. Knaplund (Paul) of Shrewsbury, and Nancy A. Garrick (Larry Kenyon) of Houston, Texas; 10 grandchildren and their partners; 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson; her sister-in-law, Marcia Jacobs of Culver City, California; and several nieces and their families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and California.

A celebration of her life will be held in August. A private burial will take place after the celebration. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice, to the Harvard Ambulance Squad, P.O. Box 635, Harvard, MA 01451, the Audubon Society at, or to Rose Monahan Hospice Home, 10 Judith Road, Worcester, MA 01602.



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