Robert Michael Joyce, age 93, passed away Friday, June 10, 2022, with his family by his side. A native of Portland and the son of Irish immigrants, Bob was born August 15, 1928, at home on Munjoy Hill. A 1946 graduate of Cheverus High School, he received his BA degree in 1950 from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, then served 2 years in the US Army.
Bob was born with a broadcaster’s voice (“the voice of Joyce”) and took great pride in his career as a broadcaster which began in college while working at CJFX radio. In 1953, he joined WLAM radio in Lewiston as on-air talent. He then moved to WPMT-TV, Portland’s first, full service, multi-network television outlet. He was the first person on air in Portland, acting as the emcee for the station’s opening ceremonies. In 1954, Bob began a 28-year career with WMTW-TV Channel 8 (ABC affiliate). He was successively talent, promotion manager, program manager, and station manager. These years included a 5-year stint as host/producer of “The Commodore Bob Show”, a 30-minute, 5 day a week children’s program. A co-worker informed him he “beat the rat in ratings”, a reference to more viewers than his competitor, Mickey Mouse. He loved the unique opportunity to connect with TV audiences in the early days of television in Maine.
Bob was active in the local community and served on the Board of Directors Maine Association of Broadcasters, the Board of Trustees of Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Public Television Corporation, the Board of Governors of St. Joseph’s College, and was a corporator of Maine Savings Bank.
A lifelong Catholic, he was active in the parishes he attended serving as an altar boy, a lecture, a CCD teacher, and as a member of the parish council. He was a man of faith and strong character with a devotion to those he loved. He consistently demonstrated care, compassion, civility, optimism, the value of education, and hard work. He loved reading books and newspapers, watching New England sports, golf, time with family and friends, and a warm day at the lake or beach.
Above all, Bob was a great communicator and dedicated to his family as an ever-present mentor, confidante, supporter, and champion to each of them. He possessed great wit, always eager to make others smile. He led with positivity and grace, demonstrating the enormity of his love through his thoughtful words, handwritten cards, “clipping service”, and endless gestures and gifts. He embodied the family motto, “Love One Another”.
He is predeceased by his infant son, Brian; his parents, Nora F. Kelley Joyce and Michael W Joyce; his brother, Joseph Joyce (Lois); and sisters, Catherine (Frank Scott) and Mary (Louis Albert).
He is survived by his seven children: two sons, Michael Joyce of Ellsworth, and Daniel Joyce (Penny) of Minneapolis; five daughters, Maureen Simard of Auburn, MaryEllen Joyce and Kathy Serunian (Peter) of Falmouth, Peggy Joyce of La Paz, Mexico, and Theresa Lee (Nelson) of Northborough, MA; along with his 10 beloved grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.
Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Monday, August 22, 2022 at Cathedral of Immaculate Conception Chapel, 307 Congress Street Portland. Internment will follow at Calvary Cemetery, 1461 Broadway, South Portland.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Iris Network where he volunteered during his retirement recording news stories for people with visual impairments. The Iris Network www.theiris.org or The Iris Network, c/o Development, 189 Park Avenue, Portland, ME 04102.
The family would like to thank the devoted staff at Freeport Place, Falmouth by the Sea, and Compassus Hospice for their support and care.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Michael Joyce, please visit our floral store.