PEABODY — Mrs. Joyce (Burns) Spiliotis Jarvis, 65, of Peabody, beloved wife of Richard A. “Dick” Jarvis, died Thursday morning at Salem Hospital following a brief illness, surrounded by her family.
Born in Peabody, she was the daughter of the late Charles “Chuck” and Virginia (Cox) Burns. She was raised and educated in Peabody and was a graduate of Peabody High School. She continued her education at Suffolk University.
Joyce Burns Spiliotis was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives by the people of Peabody in November of 2002. She represented five of Peabody’s six wards and was currently completing her fifth two-year term in the House of Representatives. Politically, prior to becoming a state representative, she served ten years on the Peabody City Council and two years as a Peabody Institute Library Trustee. She was a strong advocate for the City of Peabody and was renowned for her commitment to constituent service.
She was a lifelong advocate for democratic values and served as a Democratic State Committeewoman for over 25 years. She has been member of the Massachusetts State Democratic Committee since 1984.
Joyce has been a champion of causes that helped those who are less fortunate. Representative Spilitois has co-sponsored numerous laws that improve the quality of life and raise the standard of living for our elders, people with disabilities, families, veterans and members of the armed forces and their families. A dominant figure in the City of Peabody political circles for over two decades, Joyce’s courage of conviction and steadfast political acumen served her constituents and the City of Peabody astoundingly. Her unwavering commitment to creating a better Peabody will never be elapsed. She was respected professionally for her candor, loyalty, commitment to her constituents and professionalism; personally she was loved for her humor, quick wit and kind heart. She will be deeply missed by her family, colleagues, friends and the people and City of Peabody for whom she dedicated her time, talents and heart.
Active in the community, Joyce was a member of the OPEIU Local 6 where she served as a union steward. She was a member of the North Shore Labor Council, the Ancient Order of Hibernian Auxiliary in Peabody and was currently a member of the Board of Directors at AVIV Center of Senior Care in Peabody as well as many other organizations and community groups.
In addition to her loving husband of 25 years, Joyce is survived by her daughters, Bethann Velez and her husband David of Danvers and Baine Malekakis of Peabody, her step-son Brian Jarvis and his wife Ann of Brookline, her grandchildren, Casey Velez, Nicholas and Gabrielle Trodella, Nicholas Malekakis & Abigail and Emma Jarvis, her great-granddaughter, Chanel Goncalves, her brother, Edward Burns and his wife Joan of Tennessee and several nieces and nephews. She was also the sister of the late Brian Burns and wife of the late William “Butch” Spiliotis.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to her funeral service which will be held in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 1 Margin St., Peabody, on the Salem line, Monday, December 3rd, at 10 A.M. Burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Salem. Visiting hours in The O’Donnell Funeral Home 46 Washington Square (At Salem Common), Salem, Sunday, December 2nd, from 2 to 6 P.M. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy of may be made in Joyce’s memory to the Hard Times Partnership fund, NSCAP, 98 Main St., Peabody, MA 01960 or to Haven from Hunger, 75 Wallis St., Peabody, MA 01960. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.