On February 26, 2020, Agnes Joyce (Cash) Desfosse, 84, was called home to the Lord after a long, hard fought battle with Alzheimer’s. She was surrounded by her children, grandchildren and the residents and caregivers of Meridian Nursing and Rehab who, for the past eight years, have become her family. She was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ. In 1976 she moved her family to the burbs - Brick, NJ. Her heart, though, remained in her beloved Jersey City where family came first, everybody knew their neighbors and socializing on the stoop late into the night while the kids played out front was a requirement. She cherished her hometown and, especially, the lifelong friendships it nurtured. If you are from the “City” chances are you were an adult before you realized that some of your Aunts, Uncles and cousins weren’t actually related to you.
Joyce’s working career was entirely in Jersey City. Even after moving to Brick, she took the NJ Transit train to the City every single day. She had a very strong work ethic and began working when she was a teenager. She had several jobs, some concurrently. As a young woman, she began working at Colgate’s (as did most who originate from Jersey City – there and Dixon’s pencil factory). She finally moved on to be employed by First Jersey National Bank, which, after several takeovers, eventually became Dean Witter. One of her primary responsibilities was to find the owners of money before it was to be escheated to the state. She was very good at it and we enjoyed hearing the stories about the reactions of people for whom she found money and urged her to find some money for us. She retired in the 90’s but had maintained strong friendships with many of her coworkers and her commuter friends.
Joyce was the first born of her generation on the Rooney side of the family. She followed in her mother’s footsteps, who was also the first born, in doing her best to keep in touch with all of her blood relations. This was no small task given that there are approximately 3,573 first cousins, take or give a few. Everybody raved about the annual New Year’s Day party she held. It didn’t matter that there was never enough room for everybody, it just made it more fun. She always made regular phone calls to her aunts and uncles, never missing their birthdays, particularly after her mother passed away.
Joyce loved time with her grandchildren. Good Friday Easter Egg coloring was a must. Believe it or not, it takes a lot less time to decorate 8 dozen hard boiled eggs than it does to eat them. The kids always looked forward to sleeping over so they could wake up to Grandma’s world famous pancakes, cooked to order in different shapes. The kids would then talk Grandma into a trip to the Point Pleasant Boardwalk, although that didn’t take much effort. She loved her walks on the boardwalk in the fresh air with the sound of waves crashing along the shore, while the kids fed all of her quarters and dollars into the arcade machines.
Joyce cherished her Irish heritage and Catholic faith. There was no struggle or stumbling block that could not be overcome with prayer and a sense of humor. Her Rosary beads were her weapon, not to mention that Irish Catholic guilt she often used to get her way. Joyce was strong willed and always stuck to her guns when she thought she was right, which, admittedly, was frequent.
Joyce would give you the shirt off her back, figuratively and literally. You could always count on her to help you if needed it, or even if you didn’t. She would always give to those less fortunate, which was frequent because she always felt fortunate and blessed herself. She believed if you have something, then you have something to give.
Joyce is pre-deceased by her parents, Raymond and Mary Agnes (Rooney) Cash, her sister, Elizabeth Ann (Cash) Kelly, her son, Charles Donald Desfosse, Jr., her grandson, Charles Patrick Desfosse, and her former husband, Charles Donald Desfosse, Sr.. She is survived by her children, Donald (Janet) Desfosse of Belford, NJ, Richard Desfosse of Brick, NJ, Joyce (Daniel) McGregor of Flemington, NJ and Dawn Ann (Richard) Applegate of Forked River, NJ; her grand and great grandchildren, Raymond (Rebecca), Joshua and Nathan; Stacy (Jeremy), Heather, Johnee, Scottee, Logan, Taylor, Riley and Jackson; DJ (Meghan) and Annabelle; Kimberly (Auston) and Jace; Taylor (Samantha) and Colton; her brother, Raymond (Sharon) Cash of Tannersville, NY as well as innumerable family members and friends.
A viewing and gathering of family and friends will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Layton’s Home for Funerals (250 Lacey Road, Forked River, NJ 08731). It will be followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 11:00 a.m. at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church (300 Lacey Road, Forked River, NJ 08731). All are welcome to celebrate Joyce’s life at a repast, immediately following the funeral, at Kristy’s Casual Dining (562 U.S. 9, Waretown, NJ 08758). Interment will be private and held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Joyce’s memory will be gratefully accepted by:
Meridian Health Foundation
Meridian Nursing and Rehab at Brick
1345 Campus Parkway, Suite A2
Neptune, NJ 07753
The New Jersey chapter of the Alzheimer’s organization at:
phone - 973.586.4300
email - email@example.com
Attn: Development Dept.
Alzheimer’s New Jersey
425 Eagle Rock Avenue, #203
Roseland, NJ 07068
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