Arnold "Arnie" Joyce, 82, of Lexington died Dec. 23

Arnold Wheeler “Arnie” Joyce, 82, of Lexington passed away on Dec. 23, 2020, at Kendal at Lexington after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Arnie was born Nov. 18, 1938, in Melrose, Mass., to Gordon Carlisle Joyce and Florence Ethel Maybey Joyce.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Elsa Joyce Straton.

Arnie is survived by his wife of 60 years, Diane Joyce; his dear older sister, Carol Joyce Gotwals of Oceanville, Maine; son, Gary Joyce and wife Jonna of Okinawa, Japan; daughter, Kristie Funkhouser and husband Willy of Natural Bridge; and son, Chad Joyce and wife Leslie of Lexington; his cherished grandchildren, Jason Funkhouser and wife Carly, Patrick Funkhouser and wife Melissa, Erin Funkhouser, Mitch Joyce, Bryan Joyce, and Elsa Joyce; and his great-grandchildren, Brayden, Tyler, Logan and Landon Funkhouser.

Arnie earned his BS and MS degrees from Springfield College in Massachusetts and his Ed.D from Virginia Tech. He was a professor and swimming coach at Virginia Military Institute between 1966 and 2001. His love of the water came from summers spent at his family's home in Maine. He dedicated time to mentoring others to become comfortable in the water. Arnie was a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and volunteer for many years. He was also instrumental in establishing a competitive swimming culture for Lexington area youth. Students and others who came into contact with Arnie appreciated his gentle nature and wicked good sense of humor.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to the Rockbridge Area Red Cross or the Alzheimer's Association (

Due to COVID-19 safety measures, no services are planned at this time.

Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.


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