Cover photo for Mary Joyce Renzulli Wuenschel's Obituary
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Mary joyce

Mary Joyce Renzulli Wuenschel

d. January 13, 2020

Mary Joyce “Joy” Renzulli Wuenschel, 79, passed away after an illness on January 13, 2020.   She was born August 25, 1940 in Philadelphia, the sole child of Rosemary Joyce Renzulli, MD and Francis John Renzulli, MD and lived most of her life in West Germantown.   A 1958 graduate of the Mount St. Joseph’s Academy, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Chestnut Hill College in 1962.  A loyal alumna of both and a regular organizer of many reunions, she was among 80 women recognized by Chestnut Hill College in 2005 at the National Constitution Center as a charter member of the Libris Society for her compassion and dedication to God, family and community.   Joy worked as a medical social worker at Jefferson Hospital briefly after college and later worked as a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in the 1980s.    She married James Donald Wuenschel August 17, 1963 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Germantown.  Soon after, they filled their Germantown home with six children and Joy juggled the many jobs of parenting with community efforts.   Helping to form a local Germantown food co-op and nursery co-op at St. Peter’s Church in the 1960s and early 1970s, she also volunteered at the Germantown Historical Society.  She served as Judge of Elections at her polling place in Germantown for several years and took on many roles with West Chelten Germantown neighborhood associations including president.   St. Vincent’s became one of the most enduring spaces for Joy’s outlets of compassion, activism and leadership. She was involved in several ministries including Eucharistic Ministry, Gay and Lesbian Support Group, African American Leadership Ministry, and casserole cook for the Soup Kitchen.   Joy was an activist with POWER of Philadelphia, the New Sanctuary Movement helping immigrants and an advocate for victims and mothers of victims of clergy sex abuse.  Beginning in 2001 she was on the Steering Committee of Voice of the Faithful-Philadelphia (VOTF) where she served for many years.   Later in life she took up watercolor painting and sculpture, at Fleischer Art Memorial and Germantown Senior Center among other places making many friends along the way.  Her paintings and sculpture were featured in several exhibits including Woodmere Art Museum’s juried exhibit.  Her watercolor and pen painting titled “The Quiet Ones” was published in 175 Years of Reflections of Laurel Hill Cemetery.       She loved listening to opera, reading the “funnies” and doing the word puzzles in the newspaper every day with Jim.   Joy and Jim moved to Wyndmoor four years ago and loved being close to their grandchildren, attending numerous school plays, baseball games, football games, piano recitals, circus performances, tennis matches, chorus concerts, and just about anything they could do to support and praise their grandchildren.   She is predeceased by her mother Rosemary, her father Fran, and her step-mother Mae Ziegler Henry Renzulli.   Joy is survived by her loving husband of 56 years, James, brother Michael E. Henry, sisters Patricia L. Shea, Maureen Alekna and Debrah A. Cunningham, children Rosemary (Ernest “Bucky” Closser), James Thomas, Catherine, Cristina (Walt Maguire), Daniel and Mark (Elizabeth Brooks), grandchildren James, Colman, Willa, Margaretta and Anna, granddogs Kaya, Calymae and Hazel, and many other loving family members and dear friends.   Relatives and friends will be received from Saturday January 18, 9 a.m. followed by Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 109 East Price Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144.  Burial will be private at a later date.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Inn Dwelling or Face to Face all located at 109 East Price Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 18, 2020

9:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Vincent de Paul Church

109 E Price St, Philadelphia, PA 19144

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Funeral Mass

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Vincent de Paul Church

109 E Price St, Philadelphia, PA 19144

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