Joyce Anne Callaghan, 70, died of complications from Leukemia treatment on Aug. 10, 2013. She died the way she wanted to, at her own home surrounded by her family who loved her.
Born in Baltimore, Md. in 1942, Joyce Anne was known for her quirky spirit and inquisitive nature. She loved meeting new people and hearing all their stories. She always wanted to know how things worked, and the history behind them, and she took the time to find out.
Joyce Anne wanted to experience everything and her life was marked by many adventures. After earning her teaching degree from Towson College, she taught elementary school overseas with the DoD in Okinawa and Germany. During that time she learned to dirt bike, hunted down rare antiques in sleepy seaside villages, indulged in a fair bit of mischief, and made lifelong friends. She also met and married Captain Paul Anthony Callaghan Jr., her husband of 26 years and father to her two daughters. They spent their lives exploring together. From the heights of Machu Pichu to the markets of Hong Kong to the ancient ruins of Greece, Joyce Anne and Paul roamed the world. When her children were born, Joyce Anne made sure to impart on them her joy of life. She brought her daughters with her on all her adventures, and taught them the wonder that she found in the world.
She was generous, always trying to take care of others. She especially enjoyed her time working for the Texas Employment Commission helping Vietnam veterans find jobs. After her children were born, she became a professional mother, which she claimed was the best career choice she ever made. She was active in the PTA at her daughters’ schools, striving to enrich the education experience for both parents and students.
Joyce Anne was fiercely loyal and defended those she loved. She could always be counted on in a crisis. When her husband was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer, she fought for and stood by him until the end. After his death she returned to teaching, and proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks by becoming the resident computer guru for Fort Hunt Elementary School near her home in Alexandria, Va. Joyce Anne enjoyed learning about new technology and helping others master it too.
Joyce Anne loved antiques, spending countless Saturday afternoons at flea markets and consignment shops. She cared about her family’s history and watched over all the many generations’ keepsakes. She followed NCIS religiously, and read all the great mystery writers. She wasn’t afraid to ask the next table over in a restaurant what they were eating when she thought it looked good. She liked Glenlivet Scotch, Yellow Tail Shiraz, good conversation with interesting people, and really hard crossword puzzles. She saw both of her daughters married, and was the life of the party at both of their weddings. When she retired, she got a house on the water in Mathews County near where both of her brothers lived, and with the pier and the crab pot she always wanted. When her doctors told her she had Leukemia she fought her diagnosis bravely, and when the fight was lost she accepted her fate with grace, more concerned for others than for herself. She was an exceptional woman, who led a remarkable life full of adventure, friendship, and love.
Joyce Anne is survived by two daughters, Jennifer Callaghan Koru and Lori Callaghan Lewis, who are grateful to have had her in their lives. Also two brothers, Douglas and David Copper, both of whom loved her deeply and were with her through the end.