Aug. 1, 1927 – Sept. 16, 2017
Joyce C. Willoughby, of Buffalo, an insurance broker and co-owner of Willoughby Insurance Co., died Saturday in Mercy Hospital after a short illness. She was 90.
Born in Honesdale, Pa., near Scranton, the former Joyce Gammell grew up on a dairy farm and was voted the most glamorous girl in her high school class.
A talented pianist, she performed at the age of 16 in Steinway Hall in New York City and won admission to the Juilliard School of Music, but her father declined to pay her tuition.
As a teen, she spent summers with her older sister Lois in Buffalo. After graduating from high school, she moved here. She worked briefly at Wurlitzer Co., then was a clerk in the accounting office at Remington Rand from 1945 to 1956.
After her first marriage to Noel Coshway ended in divorce in 1960, she married Walter Willoughby, who had started Willoughby Insurance Agency in his home on Minnesota Avenue in 1952.
She joined him in the business after completing an insurance certificate course at the University of Buffalo and worked with the agency for 30 years. She retired after he died in 1990.
The agency then was run by her son, Jeffrey, who expanded it to five locations. Since 2002, it has been operated by his son, Craig.
She was a past president of the East Side Kiwanis Club and a member of the Saints and Sinners and the Crystal Beach Community Club. During World War II, she was active in the USO.
For many years, she maintained a summer home in Crystal Beach, Ont. In retirement, she spent winters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She continued to play piano at family gatherings.
In addition to her son, survivors include four daughters, Candy Vogel, Cindy Becker, Wendy Morcio and Linda Edwards; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A wake will be held at 6 p.m. Friday in Buszka Funeral Home, 2005 Clinton St.