Joyce Newman


Joyce Newman

When you get a phone call at a time you normally don’t receive phone calls, from someone you don’t really know that well, and she says, please sit down, you know that the news isn’t good. I received that call last night.

A dear friend and colleague, Joyce Newman, had passed away suddenly. She had the flu. She had gone to the doctor on Monday. She was found by a neighbor who had come by to help her feed her cats. She was only 59.

Joyce was one of those people who made the world a little bit better, but you didn’t really know it. Her vocation was helping us at Parking Today, but her avocation was helping lost and abused animals, particularly cats. And she worked tirelessly and quietly on this project.

A few years ago she had an idea to set up a non profit to achieve her goal and she did it. One day she came to me and asked if she could work four days instead of five, so she could devote more time for her animals. Over the years she has saved countless feline lives, finding them good homes. And that includes at least four who have lived with us over the years.

Her love of animals didn’t stop with cats. I remember one incident where she spent a ton of money at the vets to save a sick mouse. We couldn’t believe it. She found it routine. She took a lot of friendly abuse for that one. She didn’t care.

When we moved last fall, Joyce simply loved her new office. She said she could see the world outside. She needed that. If there was a rainstorm, or a lot of thunder and lightning, she had a huge smile on her face. She and her boyfriend liked to travel to Kansas and hunt tornados. To each their own.

I joked that Joyce did everything at PT no one else did. She was in charge of internet updates, which she did daily. She handled all our social functions including all the fun at PIE, the Temecula group, and our travel arrangements. She kept her eye on things like the calendar in the magazine, the dealer and installer list, updated the information from local, regional, and international parking groups, a thankless task. I could go on but I’m sure I would leave many things out. I know that over the next few weeks, we will discover many things Joyce did. “Why is there no water in the cabinet? Was there a deposit today? Who picks up the mail?”

Joyce was frightened when she started her nonprofit. She was afraid she might fail. But she did it anyway. She jumped into the arena. She got a little bloody, but she persevered. And succeeded. My guess is that had she lived, she would have asked her hours be reduced again this year. She liked working at PT, but she loved her animals.

Her passing will leave us each, in our own way, slightly diminished.

Its a little too soon to know how to remember Joyce in a tangible way. She had no close relatives so her friends in the rescue world, her neighbors, and those of us at PT are sorting. I’ll keep you posted.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

15 Responses

  1. I am so sorry to hear of Joyce’s passing. She was my cousin. I’m glad she had a close “family” with you all. I hope she is a peace.


  2. I am simply shocked and so sad about this news. Joyce will be missed and I send my condolences to your entire team.
    This is devastating.

  3. An animal rescuer myself for several decades, Joyce was my lifesaver in saving many animals at North Central Animal shelter that were slated to be euthanized. I would give her the impound number, she would call it in, and I would rush over to pick up cats and dogs that would otherwise have been killed the next 24 hours.
    As an independent rescuer, her connections saved me a a great deal of money to get them released. Over the years, we shared long phone conversations of our overwhelming struggles from finding reputable vets to treat our injured, traumatized rescues to finding the best forever homes we could trust. to commiserating with each other, the ones we could not save.
    One day, she told me she decided she was going to start a non profit of her own to save rescued cats. She admitted, she didn’t have a lot of financial means to start it, but regardless, she forged ahead despite all the odds and ultimately founded Ziggy and Friends.
    I was so proud of her. I’ll never forget her kindness and willingness to assist me in my hour of need.
    Thank you Joyce, for uplifting the lives of so many. I’ll never forget the warmth and reassurance of your voice that made my mission possible to free those animals at the shelter. I know you are in the light and joined with all your beloved rescues that crossed the rainbow bridge.
    Sending much love.

  4. What horrible news, John. I’m shocked and saddened at the loss of Joyce. We shared a love of cats, and PT. She was always ready to help and to make things better, whatever they were. I’m so sorry for the whole PT family, and we will miss Joyce so much.

  5. Shocked to say the least. Very saddened by your loss at PT, John and all. “The purity of a person’s heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals.” ~ Anonymous

  6. I am so sorry to hear this – I can only imagine how hard this is for the PT family. It is pretty devastating for those of us who knew Joyce only from our contacts with you at meetings or for PT business. She was such a lovely person inside and out, and made the world a better place.

  7. This is such sad news and a great loss for so many who interacted with Joyce. She was always a very positive spirit with a twinkle in her eye, while wanting to do her best to serve you and others. She will be sadly missed.

  8. This is absolutely stunning news. I am so sorry. My heart goes out to the entire PT family. She will be sorely missed. Saying a prayer for her soul now.

  9. What shocking and sad news. My condolences to all who were fond of her. I really enjoyed long conversations with her about her rescue efforts. She was a quiet but positive person with a very good soul. She will be missed.

  10. John and the PT family,

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Joyce. She was my go-to person at PT and I am sure the one that kept the pieces together for many things there. Thank you for sharing the beautiful sentiment above. What a gift!

    Thoughts are with you and the team.

  11. I came to know Joyce as our rescue partner at Trixie’s Pet Depot. She was so committed to finding homes for every cat that came to Ziggy & Friends. We are privileged to have known her and to have helped her cats find their forever homes. I am shocked at her passing. I am comforted knowing she’s with her beloved Ziggy on the other side of the rainbow bridge

  12. I was just told today about Joyce Newman’s passing. I have worked closely with Joyce on previous cat rescues. She always put her heart and soul into every rescue she decided to sponsor. Joyce and her “Ziggy’s Friends” rescue was beautiful in every way. I can hardly believe that she died so suddenly of influenza. This is extremely tragic. Blessings to Joyce and all who knew and loved her… I am sure she was greeted by many priceless furry friends while venturing over that Rainbow Bridge. She will never rest in peace… she will be eternally active as a force of love and hope for the helpless, innocent creatures of our world. We all love you Joyce!

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