A well known Whitby barmaid has lost her five-year battle with cancer at the age of 56.
Joyce Haines, of Stonehouse Gardens, died at home on Wednesday January 8, accompanied by her best friend Diane Dixon.
Her husband, Michael told the Gazette she had “fought the illness for a long time but never got any better”.
Joyce was born and bred in Whitby and grew up on the east side of town with parents John and Marina Dixon, brothers Johnny and Kevin and sister Jackie. As kids they lived on St Mary’s Crescent and Church Street.
Joyce met husband to be, Michael at Whitby Golf Club and 26 years ago they were married at St Mary’s Church.
Although the couple have also lived in York and Spain they always had a house in Whitby and came back to live here in 2010.
Over the last 20 years Joyce had been a barmaid at the Duke of York pub on Church Street and eventually became bar manager.
She was employed by the pub she loved until the disease made her too ill to work.
Michael said: “She fought it for a long time, life carries on. The only thing she couldn’t do was work because it made her tired and that was sad for her.
“She loved working there and it was the constant in our lives. She was very bubbly and friendly and enjoyed meeting people.”
Michael worked as a university lecturer and the couple owned the Grapevine Cafe on Grape Lane for five years.
They have two sons, Nicholas (27), Ben (25) and a grandson, Jamie, who is five.
The funeral is on Monday at 1pm at St Mary’s Church, where the couple got married.
It will be followed by burial at Whitby Cemetery at 2pm.
At 3pm there will be a reception at the Duke of York pub which is opening specifically for the funeral party with food and drink.
Joyce’s family are requesting that donations in lieu of flowers are made to York Cancer Centre where Joyce was being treated.