Josephine “Joie” Deall was born Oct. 4, 1935, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and spent her childhood in various neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Long Island. After living with dementia for the last seven years of her life, she died on July 1, 2020.
She was lucky to spend her life with her favorite baby sister, Carole “Gumby” Shepard; her husband, William “Beany” Shepard, who predeceased her; their wonderful adult children, Nancy, Billy, Tim, and Tracy; and all the great-nieces and -nephews and one great-great who will soon join the family.
Joie came out when she was 28 years old and experienced the raids that were a common occurrence at gay bars prior to Stonewall. She was subjected to police harassment and thrown into paddy wagons on several occasions. Joie is a part of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City and contributed photographs and an oral herstory as part of the archives’ pre-1970s lesbian collection.
Joie was an avid photographer and documentarian. She spent many happy hours taking photos with the camera she purchased in Japan many years ago and continued to use throughout her life. She was also a collector of coins, stamps, and all forms of pigs, having been born in the Chinese year of the pig.
Joie is survived by her life partner of 42 years, Carol Karlmann. They moved to Provincetown in 1979 and had the great joy of owning and operating Womencrafts for 25 seasons. The shop brought them many wonderful friends and, on any given day, you could find them laughing and dancing to “women’s music.” They were lucky to share this experience with so many.
The friends, old and new, who have been part of their lives and given so much to both Joie and Carol are too many to mention, but you know who you are. Without you, their journey would have been impossible, and Carol thanks you with all her heart. She is grateful for the care provided by the Hospice of VNA, especially by Fiona and Deb.
Her loved ones’ hearts are broken by her leaving, but they are heartened by the vision of Joie driving off in her beloved yellow VW bug to find her friend Ruby, so they can be the silly kids they always were together.
Those wishing to honor Joie with a contribution may do so by donating to their favorite animal rights organization. There will be a celebration of Joie’s life sometime in the future at Womencrafts.