Remembering Joyce Holden

Joyce Ann Holden (nee Pickering) passed away on May 29, 2024, at the age of 85 in Kingston, Ontario. She was born in New Castle, Indiana.  She was an active resident at Kingsbridge Retirement Center for the past 5 years.

Joyce was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She was a lifelong learner who had a passion for reading and traveling. She and her husband, David, traveled through Mexico, Europe, the United States and Canada. They did a sabbatical year in Dublin in 1989. In 2014, she went on a safari in Kenya. She was always curious about people and new places.

While Joyce was born in Indiana and graduated from high school in Winchester, IN, she lived in Southern California twice as a child and teen.  She fondly remembered watching the Rose Parade live. She graduated with honors from Friends University in Wichita, KS, where she met her previous husband, Keith Mardock.  In 1983, she married David Holden and moved to Kingston, Ontario.  They celebrated their 40th anniversary last summer.

In her career, Joyce served as a missionary in Kenya.  She developed Sunday School curriculum and served as adjunct faculty to Earlham School of Religion and Queens Theological School for Christian Education.  For 17 years, she was the Associate Minister at Chalmers United Church in Kingston and remained active in lay leadership for many years. 

Joyce is survived by her husband, David Holden, her children Jayne (Rick) Cabigas and Kirk (Karen) Mardock, her stepchildren Ted (Liane) Holden, Alex (Julie) Holden, Lynne (Hugh) Gardiner, and Katherine Holden, as well as 11 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter. She is preceded in death by her parents Kenneth and Ruthanna (Leamon) Pickering and her brother, James Pickering.

For more than 35 years, she loved going to the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York for its enriching arts, lectures and preaching. Last year, she was inducted into the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, one of the oldest “book clubs” in the United States.

A service to celebrate Joyce’s life will be held at Chalmers United Church on Saturday, June 15 at 1:30 pm. James Reid Funeral Home in Kingston, Ontario is assisting with arrangements.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in her honor to the Ecumenical Community of Chautauqua at or mail to Gift Donation, ECOC, P. O. Box 988, Chautauqua, NY 14722, or to Chalmers United Church in Kingston, Ontario.

Joyce’s legacy of love, kindness, and dedication to serving others will be deeply cherished by all who knew her.

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