Obituary of Joyce Howard McFarland | Tribune of the Stars

McFarland, Joyce Howard October 18, 1933 May 13, 2022 Joyce (never Marjorie), 88, “let go, let God” due to complications from a stroke. She will be deeply missed by countless family members and friends. Joyce is predeceased by her beloved grandchildren Kayla and Alex, her parents Marjorie and Clarence Howard, and her brother Edward. She is survived by her husband and partner of 66 years, Dick, children Stacey (Peter), Cathy (Matt), Jim (Janet) and David (Jackie) and 8 fabulous grandchildren: Whitney, Stephanie, Chapin, Madalyn , Matt (Sarah), Andrew, Josh and Shyla. And of course, countless friends and colleagues from all over the world. Joyce was born in Minneapolis but considered herself a child of Excelsior, Minnesota, having moved there with her family in her youth. She graduated from Northrop Collegiate School (now, The Blake School) and then attended Mount Holyoke, Massachusetts; she was a proud alumnus of the class of 1955 and was awarded the Alumnae Medal of Honor in 1985. Additionally, and to the great pride of herself and her family, she earned her Masters of Divinity with a concentration in spirituality from Sainte-Catherine University in 1990. His vocations were many and extensive. At her center, she was a certified spiritual director (training at Cenacle, Wayzata and Mercy Center, CA). She loved her work with clients and communities, helping people connect to their inner world and greater power. She was a tireless volunteer and community leader, involved with the Junior League of Minneapolis, Episcopal Diocese of MN, Project for Pride in Living, Abbott Northwestern Foundation, to name a few. She served on the Board of the Ecumenical Institute for many years, including as Chair of the Board. She was especially proud of her role in starting the Episcopal House of Prayer and Grant Community Nursery School, both in Minnesota. Joyce was a multi-faceted pearl. Wife, mother, sister, grandmother, cousin, super aunt. Spiritual director, fundraiser, community leader, master gardener and activist. World traveler, good friend, teacher, scholar, entrepreneur, calligrapher. She had a deep faith and love for all things spiritual, peaceful and natural. Married to an extrovert, she was proud to be an “I”. A particular passion in which she was actively involved until her death was the work of Parker Palmer and Circles of Trust, helping to connect people to each other and empower diverse communities. We know she was welcomed into heaven with great joy by angels and archangels, ancestors, family and friends and her beloved golden retriever, Tessa, who will be delighted to be able to resume their morning conversations. A celebration of Joyce’s life will be held Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis. Memorial donations are preferred to the Center for Courage and Renewal (, the University of MN Landscape Arboretum (, or Youth Frontiers ( Huber Funeral and Cremation Services Excelsior Chapel 952-474-9595

Posted May 20, 2022

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