Thomas F. Joyce

PORTLAND – Thomas F. Joyce, a merchant marine, Korean war veteran, and teacher, died on Feb. 25, 2020. He was 93 years old.He is survived by niece Ann Keniston and six nephews Martin, Richard, Thomas, Joseph, Peter, and Patrick Keniston. He was predeceased by his older sister Elizabeth Keniston, and younger brother Martin Joyce, Jr.Tom was born Dec. 2, 1926 to parents Martin and Bridget Joyce. He grew up in the melting pot of Irish, Italian, and Jewish immigrants on Munjoy Hill. He graduated from Cheverus High School in 1944 and Maine Maritime Academy in 1946. For the next six years he worked as a merchant marine for Lykes Steamship Company of New Orleans and Waterman Steamship Company of Alabama. In 1952 he was called to serve in the US Navy during the Korean War. He served as a Gunnery Officer on the battleship USS Miller, which was instrumental in the bombardment of the Korean coast. After the war Tom returned to school and graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957. For the next two years he worked at the US Justice Department in Washington DC and then returned to Maine to begin his career as a teacher in 1959. Over the next 20 years he taught social studies and English at schools around Maine, including Richmond, Mexico, Falmouth, and Freeport – where one year the students dedicated the yearbook to him. He concluded his professional life working for the State of Maine Department of Labor until he was 82 – then the oldest employee at the Department of Labor.Tom was bright, friendly and outgoing. He was loved by all who met him and was a fixture on Melbourne Street where he had lived, on-and-off, since he was 12 years old. He had an active and curious mind – never missing a Sunday Boston Globe or New York Times and carefully tracking current events as well as the trials of the Boston sports teams. He was a regular congregant at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and could often be found walking Pine Point Beach with his best friend of over 50 years, Carline Zdanowicz.Visiting hours celebrating Tom’s life will be held on Wednesday, March 4 from 4-6 p.m. at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Prayers will be recited at the funeral home on Thursday March, 5 at 9 a.m. followed by a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress Street, Portland. Interment with Military Honors will follow at Calvary Cemetery, 1461 Broadway, South Portland. To view Tom’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit