Joyce Howard McFarland

McFarland, Joyce Howard October 18, 1933 May 13, 2022 Joyce (never Marjorie), 88, has 'let go, let God' due to complications from a stroke. She will be deeply missed by innumerable family and friends. Joyce is preceded in death by beloved grandchildren Kayla and Alex, parents Marjorie and Clarence Howard, and brother Edward. She leaves behind her husband and partner of 66 years, Dick, children Stacey (Peter), Cathy (Matt), Jim (Janet) and David (Jackie) and 8 fabulous grandchildren: Whitney, Stephanie, Chapin, Madalyn, Matt (Sarah), Andrew, Josh and Shyla. And of course, countless friends and colleagues from around the world. Joyce was born in Minneapolis but considered herself a child of Excelsior, Minnesota, moving there with her family in her youth. She graduated from Northrop Collegiate School (now, The Blake School) then attended Mount Holyoke, Massachusetts; she was a proud alumna of the class of 1955 and received the Alumnae Medal of Honor in 1985. In addition, and to hers and her family's great pride she received her Master's in Theology with a concentration in Spirituality from St. Catherine's in 1990. Her vocations were many and wide. At her center, she was a certified Spiritual Director (training at the Cenacle, Wayzata and Mercy Center, California). She adored her work with clients and communities, helping people connect to their inner world and a greater power. She was a tireless volunteer and community leader, involved in the Junior League of Minneapolis, the Episcopal Diocese of MN, Project for Pride in Living, Abbott Northwestern Foundation just to name a few. She served on the Board of the Ecumenical Institute for many years including as Board Chair. She was especially proud of her role helping launch the Episcopal House of Prayer and the Grant Community Nursery School, both in Minnesota. Joyce was a gem with countless facets. Wife, mother, sister, grandmother, cousin, super aunt. Spiritual director, fundraiser, community leader, master gardener and activist. World traveler, good friend, teacher, scholar, entrepreneur, calligrapher. She had a bone-deep faith and a love for all things spiritual, peaceful, and natural. Married to an extrovert, she was proud of being an "I". A particular passion in which she was actively involved up to her death was the work of Parker Palmer and Circles of Trust, helping link people to each other and empowering diverse communities. We know she was greeted in heaven with great joy by the angels and archangels, ancestors, family and friends and her beloved golden retriever, Tessa, who will be thrilled they can start up their morning conversations again. A celebration of Joyce's life will be held Saturday, June 18, 2pm at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis. Memorial donations preferred to Center for Courage and Renewal (, the University of MN Landscape Arboretum ( or Youth Frontiers ( Huber Funeral & Cremation Services Excelsior Chapel 952-474-9595