Joy Vronsky

Date of Birth

July 7th, 1929

Date of Death

August 24th, 2019

Memorial Meeting

Berkeley Monthly Meeting

Minute

Joy Vronsky was born Joy Elaine Edgar on July 7, 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, the first of three children, to Irving Itzkowitz Edgar and Claire Stein.      

Joy was born Jewish, and embraced Quakerism and Buddhism at various times in her life, and at her nursing home attended pretty much any religious or spiritual event they offered.  After attending Berkeley Meeting for several years, she became a Quaker by convincement on June 11, 1989.

Joy studied voice, modern dance and musical theater at the University of Michigan and performance art remained a thread in her life, particularly in the form of community theater. In her fifties, she received a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Hayward State University, Hayward, California. In the late sixties and seventies she helped plant the seed for a movement that promoted self awareness through improvisational acting. She was a teacher foremost, but spent time as a massage therapist as well, and was always coming up with new entrepreneurial endeavors. She was deeply committed to spiritual awareness and personal psychological development. 

Joy moved many times from Michigan to California and back. While in California, where her daughter Kaela was born in 1972, she lived in Berkeley and Albany. Kaela grew up as a young Friend in the Meeting and is remembered by several of us. Between 1988 and 1990  Kaela attended John Woolman School, supported by Berkeley Friends Meeting. During that time Joy was on the John Woolman School board. She was very attuned to justice and integrity and her daughter remembers going to demonstrations as an ongoing part of her childhood. Berkeley was always where her soul thrived and she felt most seen and accepted.

Joy absolutely loved the outdoors, staying active, enjoyed crocheting and sewing, but above all she was a lover of music and performance.

In the 1990’s, she moved to the East Coast to be nearer to her daughter. During her final 17 years of life she had increasing dementia and lived in several nursing homes. She had always hoped to find an intentional community, which she ironically found in the nursing homes she lived in. The last nursing home was in Turner Falls, Massachusetts where she passed away at age 90 on August 24, 2019.  Her daughter, Kaela, Kaela’s husband James and their two daughters Juniper and Teal were with her.

Joy Vronsky is survived by her two brothers, Richard and David Edgar, her daughter Kaela Vronsky Mento, her husband James Mento and their children Juniper and Teal.