RIP Representative Joyce Splillotis

29 Nov

Please note: If you would like to offer a remembrance of Joyce or your condolences in the comments section below, I’m positive Dick and her family would appreciate it. You may also post anonymously, if you like. It asks for an email field, but your email is not required.)

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The “Peoples’ Joyce

It is with deep sorrow that I announce the passing of Joyce Spilliotis-Jarvis, who served the people of Peabody so well over the years in her roles as State Representative, City Councilor, and Library Trustee.

Joyce died, at age 65,  early this morning  with her family by her side, including her husband, Dick Jarvis.

The “Peoples’ Joyce” will be greatly missed not only as an outstanding public servant, but also as a terrific wife, mother, and friend.  Information on her services can be found here.

For now, my deepest sympathies to Dick and Joyce’s entire family.

This is a very sad day for Peabody.  We have lost a legendary public servant. And, good friend.

Here are some early articles in the Peabody Patch and Salem News announcing Joyce’s passing.

Here is an article from, with reaction from some of Joyce’s State House colleagues and friends.

Here is an article from the Patch with reaction from Mayor Ted Bettencourt.

32 Responses to “RIP Representative Joyce Splillotis”

  1. Daniel B.Kulak November 29, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Shocked by the news of Joyce’s passing. Have known her for some 35 plus years and new her father Chuck Burns before that. She was a “People’s” elected official and dedicated her life to her constituents. My heart felt sympathy to Dick and family

    Dan Kulak

  2. Sue Brotchie November 29, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Joyce was a force to be reckoned with when she was helping a constituent solve a problem. She was one of those kinds of legislators who you never hear of anymore – truly was “Joyce – the People’s Choice and Voice”. No one could ever beat her…as hard as some tried. LOL. She reminded me of times when doctors used to make house calls – I often thought of visits we had at her house and always a constituent calling on the phone or ringing the door bell. Sometimes it would take us hours to just swap one piece of info to each other with all the interruptions but she never minded – even after putting in a full day of work at the court house or later on at the State House. We went to NYC every year on the 1st weekend in December for our annual “Shopping trip”. Have so many happy and funny memories I will cherish forever of my good friend. I will share one – we went to NYC one year and our flight was cancelled due to a blizzard – determined to get there – we took the Fung Wah bus. We laughed all the way there (when we weren’t scared to death of driving off the road). Rest in Peace, my funny friend, Joyce. Christmas in NYC will never be the same again for me with out you there.

  3. Bob Croce November 29, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    One of my favorite stories is one Dick told me years ago during what seemed like a never-ending bridge reconstruction near Wilson Square.

    It was near midnight, and the workers were still going, and using some sort of loud machinery, which caused neighbors to lose sleep on a weeknight. It clearly violated the terms of the special permit, or zoning ordinance, or whatever legal document allowed them to do this work.

    As I recall the story, Dick says that, after Joyce got call from a neighbor complaining about the noise, she sprung out of the house still in her nightgown, bathrobe and slippers, and drove down to Wilson Square to tell them to either shut it down, or she was calling the police department. Just one of probably thousands of examples of how she was truly the “Peoples’ Joyce.”

  4. Anonymous November 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    I disagreed with Joyce on a lot of things, but I have to say that she fought for what she believed in and people who voted for her loved her. She was a good person and gave a lot to Peabody. I’ll will definitely say a prayer

  5. Saber November 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Joyce was one of those rare politicians who stood up for the people, and actually was a supporter of the Second Amendment which takes courage in today’s populist society. This was such a shock, and our prayers are with her and her family.

  6. Missing her already November 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    The great thing was that she even went against her own party on certain issues when those issues were not in line with how her constituents felt about things. That is hard to do!

  7. Brian LaPierre November 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    My heart goes out to Dick and the rest of the Spiliotis family during this most difficult time. A voice of and for the people has been silenced. Joyce was a true champion for labor and working families across the Commonwealth. She will be missed dearly by her family, friends, constituents, especially her elderly friends and supporters. A huge loss of a treasure for the citizenry of Peabody and the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Rest in Peace Representative.

  8. Anonymous November 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Rest in peace. She was one of the greats when it comes to public service!

  9. Judy M November 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Don’t forget too that she was the first woman from Peabody to EVER be elected state rep! I had great admiration for her. My prayers to her and her entire family.

  10. AOH regular November 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    RIP and Godspeed. Joyce will be missed.

  11. Kristie DeLoreto November 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I am deeply sadded to hear the news of Joyce’s passing. She was such an important part of the city-wide PTO groups as we realigned into PTC. Even with such a busy schedule, Joyce made every effort to attend our meetings and offer her support. The first time I met her, I thought that she was one of the most caring and supportive people that I will probably ever meet in my life. She passed much too soon and left such a great husband and family. Rest in peace, Joyce. Thanks for all the work you have done for the city of Peabody and for our children. You will be sorely missed. – Kristie DeLorto/PTC Coordinator

  12. Joe Citizen November 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I didn’t know Rep Spillotis personally, but I voted for her dating way back to when she was a city councilor. I loved her spunk. She really did always have the best interests of the voters at heart. I have been a followers of politics for a while and Joyce seemed to just have it when it came to knowing what it was all about and what got people to vote for you. I remember meeting her once with my mom at the senior center, and she was like a rock star down there. The older people loved her.

  13. Ritamarie Cavicchio November 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Terrible news. May God bless her family during this difficult time. And may God welcome you, Joyce, into a place of Eternal Peace. Thank you for all your years of service for our city.

  14. Jerry Muldoon November 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Voted for her many times but did not ever meet her. I just liked how she handled herself from what I could see from the newspapers. Such a shame for the community. Our family is praying for her and her husband. Thank you Joyce for what you did for Peabody

  15. Barry Sinewitz November 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Joyce was truely a special person and she dedicated her life to serving the residents of Peabody. If you had a problem no matter how big or small, Joyce was always there to help. As a city councillor I have always remembered what Joyce told me. Being an elected
    official is about serving your community and helping people. My heartfelt sympathy and prayers goes out to Dick and his family. The city has lost a great state representative and I have lost a true friend. I will never forget you.

  16. M. Pena November 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Met her once at an event for Peabody firefighters and she was a hot ticket. A real regular person who looked you right in the eye and listened when you were talking with her. She didn’t take no crap from anyone and cared about the voters. RIP and Godbless.

  17. Dorina Aldo November 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I did not know her very well, but several years ago when my Mom was in a “not so good” nursing home, I called her office for some help, I was shocked to find that she answsered the phone, at first she did not identify herself as being our Representative, but after a short phone call, the woman on the other end of the phone said she would make a call .. Rep Spillotis made a call for me, sight unseen, only from my word. My mother was moved to Ledgewood on Pine Street the following Friday … She was a very special person. I am so sorry to hear of her passing, we have lost an irreplaceable Representative, they just don’t make them like her anymore. God Bless her family. Thank you for all you have done you will be missed.

  18. JP November 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    I have a very similar story to the one Dorina just posted, only it had to do with my dad.Joyce was a special state rep and a special lady. God bless her and her family.

  19. frank November 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    I must say I am very sad to hear of the passing of my good friend Joyce. She was a very special person. She helped so many of the elderly residents who live at the complexes that I work at. When ever we would have a function for Joyce it was standing room only. On a pesonal note one thing I will never forget is when my mother passed away Joyce and Dick were by her side. Joyce I will always miss you, rest in peace.

  20. Sammy November 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    I remember watching Joyce work the room at the Council on Aging. People used to just light up when she went from lunch table to lunch table. She was someone who really cared about seniors and everyone.

  21. Anonymous November 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    The last of the truly great ones when it came to Peabody politics. Rest in Peace, Joycie.

  22. Maureen Croce November 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear of Joyce’s passing. She was a great listener who took her constituent’s comments to heart. She was just a lovely sincere person who cared about other people. Her unquenchable spirit made her a great politician and a good friend. My heart goes out to Dick and the rest of her family.

  23. Michael J. Scarlata November 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Joyce was a true champion of the people. She worked tirelessly day after day. She will be sadly missed. May she rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with Joyce and her family

  24. Eva Vlachos November 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    A tremendous loss for the City of Peabody. I was deeply saddened to read about Joyce’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting her through the PTC and was incredibly impressed with not only her passion for the city and the people of Peabody, but her warm and caring demeanor and her great sense of humor. A public servant, in the truest sense of the word, she didn’t just “show up” at meetings. She was completely engaged and always looking for ways to be helpful. She always got my vote. Today she and her family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  25. Eric Yanco November 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    I didn’t know Joyce personally but my brother Glen did. Her good name was always out there and she was a great public servant.

    My condolences to the family.


  1. Services announced for Representative Spilliotis « Eye on Peabody - November 29, 2012

    […] for State Rep. Joyce Spilliotis, who passed away early this morning, will be held on Sunday and […]

  2. Message sent by Mayor Bettencourt on the passing of Representative Spilliotis « Eye on Peabody - November 29, 2012

    […] Eye on Peabody has obtained the following message Mayor Ted Bettencourt sent out to Peabody’s elected officials soon as he heard the news this morning of the passing of State Rep. Joyce Spilliotis. […]

  3. Official arrangement details announced for Joyce Spilliotis « Eye on Peabody - November 30, 2012

    […] Click here for the full, official wake/funeral  details, and obituary for our friend, State Representative Joyce Spilliotis, who passed away early yesterday morning. […]

  4. Free shuttle van for seniors to wake for Joyce Spilliotis « Eye on Peabody - November 30, 2012

    […] for free shuttle van transportation for those senior citizens wishing to attend the wake of the late Rep. Joyce Spiliotis, this Sunday, Dec. 2nd. Visiting hours are 2-to-6 p.m., at the O’Donnell Funeral Home located at […]

  5. Farewell to the People’s Joyce « Eye on Peabody - December 3, 2012

    […] The former Peabody City Councilor, and only woman from Peabody to ever serve as a State Rep, passed away late last week following an illness she had kept private. […]

  6. Dunne, Gould, and Gravel positioning for potential run for open State Rep seat « Eye on Peabody - December 5, 2012

    […] Berry, is unlikely to run for the state rep seat, which was held by Spilliotis for 10 years until her death a week ago. The district includes Peabody Wards 1-4 and part of Ward […]

  7. Governor says no to interim State Rep for Peabody « Eye on Peabody - February 5, 2013

    […] Bettencourt’s request to temporarily fill the 12th Essex State Rep seat left vacant following the death of Joyce Spilliotis,. citing that there is no current law that allows for […]

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