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Joyce Marilyn Poalillo

Posted: Friday, Feb 8th, 2013




One of the stars of a truly great American love story has exited, stage left. She passed away on Jan. 2, 2013 from complications stemming from a heart condition that she had contracted as a child and was able to overcome until recently. Joyce Poalillo was born in the town of Antler, North Dakota. Her parents were Leonard and Ettamae Johnson. Joyce lived in North Dakota until she had finished both high school and North Dakota State University. Her father had sold a Ford car to a customer in Los Angeles and needed it delivered, so Joyce and some of her classmates volunteered. Once in L.A. Joyce worked for Bank of America, as well as the well-known department store Eastern Columbia. Ultimately she worked for Seaboard Finance until she met her husband, Charles, with whom the love story began and continued for 56 years. Once Charlie had met this woman, there was no question in his mind that one day she would be his wife. They were married in 1954. Charlie was a general assignment photographer for the Los Angeles Daily News. His approach to courting Joyce was to ask if she would accompany him on news assignments in the evening. Charlie often had Joyce appear in his photos when he needed to show a person at play or at work. Through his lens he saw the most beautiful woman on earth. After retiring from the newspaper business Charlie and Joyce established a commercial photography business. Because of his travel industry clientele, they were able to take many cruises and visit vacation venues together. The beautiful woman in the photographs was always Joyce.

In 1973 Joyce and Charlie began a new chapter in their love story, acquiring the Casteel Ranch in Paso Robles. It was 125 acres of walnuts and wine grapes. Joyce fell in love with the land and the fruits it produced (especially the grapes), and her early experience in the area served to put her in a position to become a pre-eminent Realtor in north San Luis Obispo County, being both well-informed and widely respected regarding real estate in general and land and ranches in particular. Many of today's grape growers and wineries did business with Joyce for that reason. In addition to her skill and knowledge, she was also known for her leadership ability, having served twice as the President of the Board of Realtors and in other capacities as well. Joyce was known as a thorough and tough negotiator but was also known for her professionalism. She practiced real estate brokerage in the Atascadero and Paso Robles markets. When she died, she was a broker with Coldwell Banker Premier in Paso Robles. Joyce was predeceased by her son Richard and leaves behind husband, Charles; daughter Susan Garretson (David); grandchildren Sara and Andrew Garretson; son Andrew (Valerie); granddaughters Vanessa and Ashley Von Burg and sister Lyleen Ewing (Robert).

Joyce touched the lives of a great amount of people who were impressed with her beautiful spirit. She is sorely missed.

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