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Joyce Sirlin-Rand
(April 10, 1942 - January 11, 2014)

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Joyce Sirlin-Rand passed away on January 11th 2014, having battled three types of cancer for more than 7 years. She was cared for by her loving family and devoted friends. She often said that her gratitude to them knew no bounds. The best of what can be said about a person is that she knew how to love, and that, Joyce knew well. Born on April 10, 1942 in Chicago to Irving and Evelyn Gertler, she grew up wanted and cherished. She saw the struggles of her parents and she learned to take nothing for granted. Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1959, where she attended UCLA as an undergraduate. She then received her master’s degree in social work from UC Berkeley. She made life-long friends during this time, women who shared their lives and got together a few times every year, even as they entered their 60s and 70s. As a young woman, Joyce traveled to many places, becoming fluent in Spanish and Hebrew and living for extended periods in South America, Mexico, Israel and Europe. Her work as a psychotherapist gave her immense satisfaction and pleasure. She worked at Gannett Health Center at Cornell University for many years, and then began a private practice in 1996. She loved these jobs, and the people she met and helped throughout her career. Over the more than 40 years that Joyce lived in Ithaca, she built a rich community of beloved friends and neighbors. She was an active member of Temple Beth El, spearheading the social action committee and participating in interfaith community social justice efforts together with organizations such as the Tompkins County Workers Center and the Labor Religion Coalition. She also was a part of a group she called “the Torah ladies” who met weekly to discuss the weekly parsha and other readings. She felt immensely lucky to have met her husband Richard. They shared laughter and love, and she learned so much from him. Raising her children Sarah and David was a source of joy and pride throughout her life. Her grandsons Nate and Jakob have been a continual source of delight. Joyce took great pleasure in the small things in life - a good cup of coffee, a good book, being outdoors. She loved her time at her family's house on Cayuga Lake, gardening, kayaking and watching the ever-changing water. She also loved music, singing with Voices Multicultural Chorus, playing the recorder with her husband, and playing the piano. Earlier in her life, she was an accomplished potter. She was predeceased by her parents and her brother Lanny. She leaves her husband Richard Rand, her children Sarah Sirlin (Brett Yasko) and David Rand (Elizabeth Paci) and grandchildren Nate and Jakob Sirlin. She also leaves her niece Tamar Kane (Matthew Kane), grandnieces Kayla and Haley Kane, nephew Ari Gertler (Wendy Gertler), sister-in-law Judy Gertler, and cousin Cookie Gold (Buddy Gold), as well as many beloved friends. Joyce was a beautiful and funny woman, and was loved by the people around her. She listened so well and cared so deeply about so many people. She knew the secret of life, gratitude and giving, and passed it on to all of us. Funeral services will be held at 12:00pm Tuesday January 14th 2014 at Temple Beth El. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made out to Temple Beth-El, Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, the Tompkins County Public Library, and Hospicare & Palliative Care of Tompkins County.

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