Joyce Theresa Portella

Joyce Theresa Portella

AGE: 78 • Paterson

Joyce Theresa Portella passed away on Friday, June 20, 2014, surrounded by her husband and family. She was 78 and had succumbed quickly to complications from long-standing health issues. Born Joyce Theresa Leone on October 20, 1935, in Paterson, New Jersey, Joyce graduated from Paterson Central High School. In Paterson she met Albert Portella, who survives her, a dashing young man preparing to leave for Korea. Pledging they would continue their courtship when he returned from the war, Joyce and Al married on April 30, 1955. Joyce continued her education after she married, receiving her undergraduate degree, and later a Master's degree in mathematics. She began a career as a school teacher, an avocation that lasted more than 30 years, spending the majority of her teaching career at Paterson School #24.

Settling in Paterson, Joyce's attention turned to what became the focus of her life: raising her three daughters who also survive her, Daria O'Brien (55) of Pompton Plains, New Jersey; Leslie Portella (49) of Columbia, Maryland; and Joy Portella (42) of Seattle, Washington. Joyce took great pleasure in seeing all her daughters succeed in life, both personally and professionally. Joyce was also blessed with the great pleasure of becoming an active, loving and loved grandmother to Daria's three boys, Billy (25), Kenny (22) and Kyle (18), and Leslie's daughter Mia (10).

Joyce was a lifelong Catholic and member of St. Joseph's Parish where she served as a Eucharistic Minister and a member of The Rosary Alter Society. Joyce dedicated countless hours demonstrating the tenants of Catholicism in deed through good works and charity. Beyond practicing her faith, Joyce's many passions included travel, ballroom dancing, choral singing, voraciously reading, knitting and cooking.

Joyce was as quiet in her passing as she was effervescent in life, requesting a simple Mass, with no flowers or other remembrances. Mass will be held Thursday, June 26th at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph's Parish, 685 Hooper Ave., Toms River, New Jersey. Arrangements under "The Family Owned" Carmona Bolen Home for Funerals, 412 Main Street, Toms River. Condolences can be sent to

Funeral Home

Carmona-Bolen Home For Funerals
412 Main Street Toms River, NJ 08753
(732) 349-1922

Published in Asbury Park Press on June 24, 2014