1928 – September 27, 2001
Joyce Mildred Headlam died peacefully at her home on September 27, 2021, surrounded by her family and listening to the music she loved.
Joyce grew up a child of Kitchener in the 1930s and 40s, the daughter of the spirited Viola Volker (nee McCulloch) and Howard Volker, vice-president of Schneiders, one of the great companies that helped define the city during those years. At age eight, Joyce became the original Little Dutch Girl, appearing in costume at company events, and the image became the corporate symbol for Schneiders to this day. The family lived near Victoria Park, where she played with her sisters, Alice and Helen, and vacationed at Sauble Beach, where she and her family holidayed for over 70 years. She attended Kitchener Collegiate Institute, before studying at her beloved Alma College, St. Thomas, Ontario (for which she remained a devoted alumnus) and at the University of Guelph.
Afterwards, she worked at CFCA-FM radio station, Kitchener, for Carl Pollack and soon became an announcer for classical music records and a children’s program host. While at KCI, she met a young war evacuee from London, England named Arthur Headlam. For their first date, he took her to a YMCA dance and, true to his word, he returned to Canada after his British army service to marry Joyce in 1952. Their long and happy union lasted 53 years until Arthur’s passing in 2005. She was very devoted to family life with children Elizabeth (known to everyone as Tish), David, Philip and Bruce and caring for her extended family.
Arthur worked for the University of Waterloo, where they both found a great sense of mission and community. Through the university they traveled the world, making new friends, learning about new cultures and bringing back artwork for their home; she had a wonderful eye for furniture, antiques and home decor and was a very accomplished knitter. She was a faithful member of the United Church.
Most of all, there was music. Their homes, in Kitchener, Guelph, Elmira and Waterloo were always filled with the sounds of practicing: piano, flutes, trumpet, guitar, violin, cello and drums. Joyce, who studied piano when she was younger and achieved her Grade Ten Conservatory, took up the clarinet at age 49, and played in community bands in Breslau, Waterloo and for 25 years as a member of the Kitchener Musical Society Band.
Evenings were spent at the K-W Community Concerts, K-W Symphony and later with two choirs for which Arthur served as board member, The Elora Singers and the K-W Philharmonic Choir and at the Stratford Festival (regularly from its inception in 1953) and for Broadway-bound musicals at the O’Keefe Centre, Toronto.
She formed lifelong friendships with Zibbie Wegenast, Liz Popham, Fran Daub, Pat Best, Marion Gellatly, Sue Bookhout, Janet and Bev.
After Arthur’s death, Joyce stayed in Waterloo, keeping up with her family including daughters-in-law Sylvie Beaudette and Stephanie Clifford, grandchildren Jerome, Cecilia, Steven and Eliza, nieces Susan Pearce, Leslie Harwood, Martha Wallace, Nora Currie and her many friends.
A celebration of her life will take place on Dec. 10, 2021 from 4-7pm. at Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street S., Waterloo. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP through the funeral home www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.
The family would like to thank Dr. Yew and the Waterloo Home and Community Care palliative team who provided great care and comfort to Joyce and her family.
In Joyce’s memory, donations can be made to the Mennonite Central Committee (Canada) or the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Kitchener and may arranged directly through the charity websites or by contacting the funeral home www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.
As a tribute, the family suggests listening to the choral work ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ by composer Morten Lauridsen or Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. As Joyce always said, “what would we do without music?”