WINTHROP — Joyce Hanna, born Sept. 2, 1943, passed through the veil to the Other Side on Sept. 8, 75 years and six days since her birth.

Joyce leaves behind her best friend, companion and husband of 51-plus years, Bill Nave; her daughter, Dr. Kendra Martin, and son-in-law, Dr. John Martin; granddaughters Sadie (8) and Angelyn (5); and daughter by adoption, Jenifer Nave.

Earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Columbia Presbyterian School of Nursing in 1966, Joyce began her nursing career with the VNANYC, visiting day-old babies at home in the South Bronx. She earned an Associate of Arts in architectural studies from the University of Maine at Augusta in 1993, and her diploma in the rigorous two-year cabinet and furniture making program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston in 1996.

Joyce had the soul of an artist, never happier than when she was creating something, eventually finding her deepest passion in making period furniture. Upon her graduation from the furniture-making program, she became a charter member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers. The creation she was most proud of, and on which she devoted her most focused creative spirit, beginning in 1972, was her old Maine farmhouse (ca. 1825), transforming it into The Haven, a home in which her spirit and her design sense permeate every room.

The diagnosis of multiple myeloma in 2002 slowed her creating but not her spirit or her passion. During the next 16 years, she overcame surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy and other cancer, all the while focusing what energy she had on continuing to create furniture and continuing to transform the old farmhouse.

Among Joyce’s fervent last wishes was this: “Please, please, no flowers. Instead, please make a donation to the furniture making program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston.” Go to, click donate, then other: “Apply gift to furniture making program in memory of Joyce Hanna.”

A celebration of Joyce’s life, a life well-lived, will be held at the Winthrop United Methodist Church on Main Street in Winthrop at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. A reception will follow at The Haven. Joyce’s advanced directive was explicit: “The reception will be at my house because I want people to enjoy what I’ve created.”

Arrangements are in the care of Roberts Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 62 Bowdoin St., Winthrop. Condolences, memories, photos and videos can be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at

Joyce Hanna

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