Joyce Burley Renaker

August 13, 1940 - April 24, 2022
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Joyce was born August 13, 1940, in Chicago, the first of two daughters of Edwin J. and Louise Hibbard Burley. In 1946, the family moved to San Mateo, where Joyce graduated from San Mateo High School in 1958. She attended Pomona College, spending her junior year in Paris and forming lifelong friendships and an enduring love of all things French. Joyce received her B.A. from Pomona in 1962 and began her graduate studies at UCLA. In 1963, she married David Renaker and they moved to Massachusetts, where Joyce received her MA in French from Boston University. After completing graduate school, she and Dave returned to California with their daughter, Teresa. They settled in San Francisco, where their son, Stephen, was born.

During the 1970s Joyce began a career in vocational rehabilitation, first with Protection & Advocacy, and then with the state Department of Rehabilitation. In 1985, she earned a master’s in counseling from USF. She and Dave divorced in 1993 and Joyce moved to Berkeley, where she met Abel Franssens, who became her companion until his death in 2014. After her retirement from DOR in 1994, Joyce volunteered in the Berkeley Public Library’s adult literacy program and as a reading buddy at the nearby middle school. She and Abel enjoyed dancing, trips to Abel’s native Holland, feeding the birds in their backyard, and spending time with Joyce’s three granddaughters. In her later retirement years, Joyce settled into a quiet life of visiting her favorite restaurants with friends and attending her granddaughters’ performances and school events.

Joyce was a gentle soul and a devoted mother and grandmother. We will miss her deeply.

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Timeline for Joyce Burley Renaker

Born: August 13, 1940
Died: April 24, 2022

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