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In loving memory of
Joyce Lilie
  • July 04, 1941
  • -
  • July 08, 2021

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Joyce Ann Lilie

1941 – 2021

Joyce Lilie died peacefully in her sleep July 8, 2021 at her home in Winter Park, Florida.  Joyce was born Joyce Ann Rohr on July 4, 1941 in the Dailey, West Virginia Homestead house first occupied by her grandparents in 1934. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Stuart A. Lilie.  She is also survived by her brother-in-law Lyle Lilie and his wife Elizabeth McCosh-Lilie of Ashford, Connecticut; sister-in-law Janice Rohr of Cumberland, Maryland; cousin Sharon Herbach Cox who now lives in the Dailey Homestead house; nephews Brad and Rudy Rohr of Ceredo, West Virginia; cousins Mike McConnell, Sally Dupin and Betty Dyer from Northern Kentucky; and cousins Alan Rowold, Paul Rowold and Gail Metzler from St. Louis.  She will be missed by her many friends here and in Miami who have become part of her virtual family.

Joyce attended the Homestead school and Elkins High in the 1950s.  She received her BA degree from Marshall University and her doctorate in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University in 1970.  In graduate school she met Stuart and they were married in 1965.

Her first teaching position was at the University of Missouri St. Louis before moving to Florida in 1972.  She taught 13 years at Florida International University and moved to the University of Central Florida as Political Science chair in 1985.  She also served for several years as acting chair of the UCF Art Department. While a respected and effective administrator her first love was teaching. She taught a variety of courses in American politics, along with classes in both media and politics and women in politics. Under her mentorship many of her students went on to professional careers, including law, politics and academia.  She retired from UCF in 2004.

In early 2020 Joyce and Stuart moved to a villa in the Westminster Winter Park retirement community where she met new friends and neighbors in spite of the Covid restrictions.

Memorials may be directed to Pet Rescue by Judy in Sanford, Florida and The Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.

There will be an informal celebration of Joyce’s life on Saturday August 7th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at the St. Richard’s Parish Hall, 5151 Lake Howell Road, Winter Park, Florida.

You are invited to sign the guest register (tribute wall).


St. Richard’s Parish Hall
5151 Lake Howell Road, Winter Park, Florida
Get Driving Directions

Date & Time:
August 7, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Monarch Crematory

Tribute Wall

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  1. Alan & Kim Nordstrom says:
    06 Aug 2021
    Joyce was such a lovely and loving person.
    Our lives were blessed by her kind
    and gentle spirit. We remember her
    excitement over the nesting owls!
    Joyce and Stuart are in our hearts forever
    as the best of friends and neighbors.
    Thank you, dear Joyce. We miss you.

    05 Aug 2021
    Dear Rohr and Lilie Families,
    The Tygart Valley Homestead Association of Dailey, West Virginia, extends our deepest sympathy to all of you. We are the organization who acquired the building that was formerly Homestead School, where Joyce attended school as a young girl. She was in the same class as my brother, Mark Rennix, and their class picture still hangs in the main hall. The county closed Homestead School in 2017, and we are now using the building as a community center. Joyce has sent us letters of encouragement and donations over the years. As secretary of our organization, I have sent her thank you cards, emails, and newsletters to try and keep her updated on our work and what is happening at the Homestead Community Center. We're very grateful for her support over the years, and we are saddened to hear of her death. We will miss hearing from her.
    Roseann Rennix Rosier, Secretary
    Tygart Valley Homestead Association

  3. Bob Bledsoe says:
    22 Jul 2021
    What one hopes to have said of them is that the world is the better for they having passed through it. All the memories and tributes to Joyce confirm this achievement of a shy feminist Appalachian who became a role model for generations of her students and her peers - both male and female. It was my good fortune to benefit from Joyce's advice and friendship since she first arrived at then Florida Technological University in 1972. She was an accomplished teacher and administrator - very caring and concerned but also principled and no-nonsense. One always knew where Joyce stood. Thanks for having passed through, Joyce.

  4. Alison Harrity says:
    19 Jul 2021
    Knowing Joyce was a blessing! Your St. Richard's Family loves you Stuart!

  5. Lou Arasi says:
    18 Jul 2021

    So sorry for your loss.

    Lou Arasi

  6. Dana Irwin says:
    16 Jul 2021
    We are some of the newer friends of Joyce and Stuart. They moved into our community just 18 months ago. After reading all of these lovely tributes, I am so sorry we didn't get to know her better. We will help and encourage Stuart through this difficult time. Rest well, Joyce.

  7. Maggie LeClair says:
    15 Jul 2021
    Joyce will forever be woven into the fabric of UCF. She was not only a well-respected teacher and mentor, she was a terrific administrator. It's not always an easy transition. Joyce stepped up as Interim Chair in Art and I know so long as Joyce's name comes up in the company of Robert Rivers and other Art faculty, it will be brought up with love, respect, and enduring admiration.

    I will surely miss seeing you at the Enzian.

    Rest easy sweet lady.

  8. Drew Lanier says:
    15 Jul 2021
    Joyce was always a generous and caring friend and colleague - from the first days I met her during the interview process, to her and Stuart attending my wedding, to her counsel during challenging times at UCF. She will be deeply missed as her spirit reflects a bygone and kinder time. Thank you Joyce for the wonderful inspiration that you provided.

  9. Waltraud Q. Morales says:
    15 Jul 2021
    Joyce was my chair at UCF and always lent a thoughtful ear and sage advice. Department get togethers at her and Stuart's home will long be remembered for the warm hospitality and enjoyment. I truly regret not having kept in touch since her retirement and am saddened by her passing. Condolences to Stuart and all who loved her and shared her friendship.

  10. Peter Jacques says:
    15 Jul 2021
    Joyce made a tremendous contribution to UCF, and I glad I was able to have her acquaintance. Always a friendly face during our departmental get-togethers and an encouraging person. Her independent sharp wit was obvious the minute you met her and she made the world better around her from it.

  11. Beth McGee says:
    15 Jul 2021
    Joyce was the reason I chose Political Science as my major at UCF. She became a mentor, a friend and part of my extended family. She leaves a large hole in my heart and my family. So many memories of Christmases spent together, travels, camping and conversations.
    Her generosity and many kindnesses will not be forgotten. My life will not be the same without her in it. Her many friends became my friends too and that was a gift.
    Like many, I hung on her words of wisdom and they ring in my head often.
    I also want to acknowledge how much my late husband Steve loved Joyce. They often had heated conversations but he so admired her intellect. It was fun to watch them spar over ideology!
    I hope their essences find each other in the universe. I love you Joyce. Words seem inadequate.

  12. Betty Morrow says:
    14 Jul 2021
    Joyce is the reason I have been included in a group of friends who have changed my life in profound ways. One night we happened to be waiting for the same elevator at FIU and she invited me to join them for their Wednesday night gathering. What a decisive moment! I met friends who would become my comfort, support, guidance and pleasure through the rest of my life. Joyce and I had a special Appalachian connection (with Beth) that might be hard for others to understand. In addition to friend, she was my role model. She guided me through my department chairship, my commute to FSU ( she had 13 years of experience), and most importantly our journey through Bert’s illnesses. I will never understand the generosity that led her to volunteer to come take care of him so I could take a break and visit visit Kirby in San Francisco. Who does that? And as others have said, Joyce ‘s comment was always the definitive answer to all debates. I will miss my dear friend profoundly.

  13. Lynn C. Evans says:
    14 Jul 2021
    Joyce Lilie was one of my adult idols because she was so respected and wise. Early on, I thought her to be shy until one day, I realized that this life-long educator was also an amazing listener. She was incredibly thoughtful, reflective and when she spoke, the buzz of voices in the room would often stop to listen to her perspective. I just loved to listen to her speak of current (and past) events. Joyce lead with a gentle and quiet confidence. She cherished her friends and she was well loved in return. My only regret is that we live so far away from both Joyce and Stuart, so I didn’t get to know her better. Watching her manage the hardships in her life with such courage has been an inspiration. I’m so grateful to have had her (and Stuart) as a part of my family of friends. Pete and I share so many special memories of our time together. Godspeed Joyce. May you live forever in the hearts and minds of those who loved you. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest hours if you remember to turn on the light.” Sending strength to Stuart and all who loved and miss Joyce.

  14. Chris Warren says:
    14 Jul 2021
    A dear friend and colleague for more than 40 years, Joyce will always be a significant presence in my life. She played a catalytic role in my being hired at FIU for what turned out to be a career-long position. As a colleague she could always be counted on to provide thoughtful and steady guidance and support (usually only when sought, but also at those times when she concluded it was needed). In the context of a new university, with a department full of very young, inexperienced faculty, she also usually served as the proverbial adult in the room, and was essential to the creation of a lasting departmental culture which for many years embodied so many of her own best qualities by being inclusive, nurturing, fair, self-critical, democratic, but also just fun to be part of.

    It was only after she left FIU for UCF, and when I was coming up for tenure, that I also learned that throughout my early years working with her, unknown to me she would write memos to be placed in my personnel file commending me on some aspect of my work, or resulting from my participation in a forum, panel, or public talk. Doing things like that, without looking for any acknowledgment or thank-yous, was just business as usual for Joyce, but personally and professionally very meaningful to me.

    Beyond work, Joyce also introduced me to a community of people who blurred most of the boundaries we might usually imagine distinguishing family from friends. So, even if separated by distance, and seeing far less of her after 1985, it has been that recurrent coming together through that community which continued to reinforce her presence, and which will always prompt me to think of her with so much affection and gratitude.

  15. Nancy Migli says:
    14 Jul 2021
    My good fortune was meeting Joyce as we were both working at FIU. My life was thoroughly enriched thanks to Joyce. She opened up her heart to so many. Our time together will be treasured as you remain lovingly in my thoughts.

  16. Nancy Migli lit a candle:
    14 Jul 2021
    Lit since July 14, 2021 at 7:58:31 PM

  17. Angie McGehee says:
    14 Jul 2021
    It is difficult to find the words to express how wonderfully Joyce touched the lives of us who were so fortunate to have known her. We remember her as kind, wise, thoughtful and considerate, a dear friend whose company was genuinely enjoyed. All the times that Joyce and Stuart opened their home to us are truly appreciated and remain as treasured memories. We know she is missed by all, always, and lives forever in our hearts. We love you, Joyce.

  18. Robin Norton says:
    14 Jul 2021
    Joyce, you and Stuart introduced me to a fascinating group of people when I moved to Orlando 20 years ago. You did much to help me establish roots and make me feel I could live here.

    Early on I saw how your quiet wisdom comforted, and when you used your professorial tone how people listened and took heed. You were my personal friend but it was obvious UCF knew what they had in you as a faculty member when they made you department chair… twice.

    During the last time I spent with you you were Joyce - alert, calm, accepting and admirable. I will treasure that memory, always.

    Quite simply, you mattered. Your friends and family must carry on. We promise you we will care for Stuart, as you wished.

    Godspeed, my friend.

  19. Peter Migli says:
    14 Jul 2021
    It was my great pleasure to know Joyce for more than forty-five years. Among the smartest people that I have known, her voice was always the voice of compassion and reason. When I was struggling with personal demons, she was understanding and supportive. Whenever I sought her counsel, about either personal or professional matters, she consistently provided thoughtful options without ever specifying the course of action she thought I should take. Regardless of one's age or station in life, Joyce treated everyone with the respect and dignity she firmly believed they deserved.

    While I will dearly miss Joyce in the present, she will always be with me in my thoughts. I can only hope to approach the standards of human decency that she lived by every day. Godspeed, my dear friend.

  20. Teresa Dorman says:
    14 Jul 2021
    Thank you for being a part of my life, Joyce. I wish I’d met you sooner, and I wish I had the chance to know you longer.

    You are one of the strongest and brightest women I have known, a woman of great compassion and a champion of female independence. I know this about you because I was a recipient of your grace (sorry Joyce, I see you roll your eyes at this, but for this example this is the correct word) in the early 2000’s. It took me much longer to understand the full extent of the small thing you asked of me at that time, but I believe it was your way of providing me a task that allowed me to show my own independent value and worth at a time I was struggling to find it. I thank you for that.

    I’m fortunate to have been in the presence of your knowledge (the political insights! the Tuna stories!), your laughter (there it is), and your witty admonishments (fortunately, I'm not aware of ever being on the receiving end of these)…. You clever woman. You inspire me.

    You are a part of my forever family and you are and forever will by my friend. Kiss-kiss…

    I now envisioning you sitting by a campfire with other friends who have departed this physical plane, sharing tales, groaning at bad puns, and otherwise laughing it up!

  21. Sherry Mendoza says:
    14 Jul 2021
    Joyce was not the loudest nor the most verbal among her group of chosen family. An assortment of people gathered from many direction now growing old together.

    Through the years she quietly listened and absorbed the overlapping conversations around her. When the moment required, Joyce spoke one sentence that offered the logical solution or explained the folly of the forming plan. No doubt I am among those still living today because we listened to her.

    Memories of her are precious comfort. My world is greatly enriched by my dear friend and greatly diminished because she is gone. Gentle journey, Joyce. I love you.

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