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Sister Joyce (Petrine) Cox, BVM

Sister Joyce M. (Petrine) Cox, BVM, 91, Mount Carmel Bluffs, 1160 Carmel Dr., Dubuque, Iowa, died Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.

Visitation, Sharing of Memories, and Mass of Christian Burial were on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. Burial was in the Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Sister Joyce was born on July 6, 1931, in Butte, Mont., to Fred and Clara (Logan) Cox. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1949, from St. Patrick, Butte, Mont. She professed first vows on March 19, 1952, and final vows on July 16, 1957.

Sister Joyce was an elementary teacher at St. Patrick, Dubuque, Iowa; All Hollows, Sacramento, Calif.; St. Francis Xavier, Council Bluffs, Iowa; St. Bridget, Chicago; Most Holy Redeemer and St. Thomas Moore, San Francisco, where she also was principal. She served as principal and vice president of academics and student relations at Bellarmine Preparatory, Tacoma, Wash. She was dean of students at Mundelein College and pastoral associate at St. Symphorosa, both in Chicago. For the Archdiocese of Seattle, she ministered as vice-chancellor, vicar for religious, interfaith director, archbishop delegate for catholic schools, director of spirituality, director of ecumenism, director for religious, assistant to the archbishop.

“Joyce was deeply passionate about ecumenical issues and involved in numerous coalitions. She always emphasized ‘what we share in common’ . . . [She] genuinely loved the connections she made with local religious communities, parishes, chancery staff and the four Seattle archbishops for whom she worked. To every endeavor, she contributed her talents, skills, dedication, sensitivity, and her boundless, selfless energy. Within every experience, Joyce witnessed ‘the presence of God with us and Gospel good news.’” (Eulogy).

She was preceded in death by her parents, and brothers Fred and Gordon Cox. She is survived by nieces, nephews, and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 73 years.

Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or online at

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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Sister Joyce is a “legend” in so many ways in the Archdiocese of Seattle. She served in so many different ministries and was gracious in all of them. We were sorry to see her leave the archdiocese when she returned to Dubuque. May the angels lead her to Paradise.

  2. Sr. Joyce was an amazing leader in the Archdiocese of Seattle. She was supportive to those who struggled and challenged those who became overly concerned with their own preservation, she guided and led us with wisdom and good humor. I can see her smile and hear her laugh as I write this memory of her! We are grateful for her many years of ministry with us!
    Fr. Gary Zender
    Pastor at St. Louise in Bellevue, WA
    Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Seattle

  3. Joyce was a spirit lead woman who cared deeply about others! Her accomplishments are many! She loved good fun, Ocean Shores, and trips to the casinos every now and then! I will remember her fondly and our many meaningful conversations. I will miss her.

  4. Sister Joyce was a wonderful, valued member of my entire family for many, many years. It was great to have her at our family events and she provided a great perspective on the life and the world supported by the strong faith she lived. As a lifelong Seattle area resident, I know her impact on Catholic Education will be felt in a lasting way. Goodbye to one great Lady who served our community.

  5. I am forever grateful for having Sr. Joyce in my life and for learning from her. May eternal joy be hers. ♥️

  6. Sister Joyce supported me in discovering my vocation. She witnessed the Love of God to me at a critical time of my life. She listened to me with an open heart and, after hearing my desire for a deeper prayer life, with generosity she paid my first year’s subscription to the daily devotional Give Us This Day. My life has been forever changed by God’s Word coming through this channel. Thank you, Sister Joyce.

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