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My Secret Garden

Welcome to my

Secret Garden

This is a very special page. It is dedicated

to my Mother,

Margaret Elizabeth Joyal Stevens


& my Father,

Warren Willard Stevens,

who are both with the angels now.

Don't strew me with roses after I'm dead.
When Death claims the light of my brow
No flowers of life will cheer me: instead
You may give me my roses now!
- - Thomas F. Healey

My hopes are with the dead; anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.
- - Robert Southey "Occasional Pieces"

My mother was a very special person. I think all who knew her would agree. She is the sole reason I became interested in genealogy about eight years ago. She was the driving force, the miracle worker who accomplished so much, and the one who collected much of the information we now have on the Joyal family.

Genealogy, and love of her family, was her passion, and the height of that passion was her Joyal research. Several years ago, we visited Quebec, and St. Francois du Lac. She was so thrilled with this trip. She wanted to go back. I regret that the Angels took her home before we had the chance to return to the home of her ancestors. I know she would be SO proud that there is now a Joyal discussion list. She would be thrilled about this Joyal Web site.

And that is why I continue the work, because she worked so tirelessly on this effort. Without her I would know nothing. Her enthusiasm was contagious. As long as we continue the work her memory will live on. This page is for you Mom. Thank you.

Margaret Elizabeth Joyal Stevens (Parent)

Graduation Photo - 1945



She was born Margaret Elizabeth Joyal, on April 4, 1927, in Colchester, Vermont, to Joseph Theophilus Joyal and Eva May Clough Joyal. She was the first born of four children. Her sisters, (twins) Katherine Louise and Elizabeth Lucille, were born on April 17th, 1930, and her brother, Lyman Nelson Joyal, was born on September 21st, 1931.

Her mother, Eva, was a teacher before she married Joseph. Back then, women did not teach after they married. So, Eva took care of Joseph, and their home and children. Soon they were in the middle of the great depression. They were so poor, Eva wrote in one letter, that she only had two dresses. And one fell to pieces on her back. One of the neighbors operated a rooming house, and she brought Eva the leftover coffee each morning. They had little but love. On September 21, 1941, Eva died of leukemia. Margaret was fourteen years old. It was her brother Lyman's tenth birthday. Somehow they survived.



In 1946 Margaret married my father, Warren W. Stevens.

Warren - Margaret 1946

On August 25, 1947, he was working in a hay field. He was struck and killed instantly by lightning. My mother was left alone with me. I was six months old. In one of her photo albums is a page with a newspaper clipping of their wedding announcement, photos of my father, and the following poem.

I Shall Not Cry Return

I shall not cry Return! Return!

Nor weep my years away;

But just as long as sunsets burn,

And dawns make no delay,

I shall be lonesome - I shall miss

Your hand, your voice, your smile, your kiss.


Not often shall I speak your name,

For what would strangers care

That once a sudden tempest came

And swept my gardens bare,

And then you passed, and in your place

Stood Silence with her lifted face.


Not always shall this parting be,

For though I travel slow,

I, too, may claim eternity

And find the way you go;

And so I do my task and wait

The opening of the outer gate.

- Ellen M. H. Gates


Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
- - Anonymous

They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
- - Ernest Dowson

She survived.

How does one describe a mother? She gave me a love of reading. She gave me my ancestry. She reminds me of the song, "Coat of Many Colors". For most of her life she had little, yet she thought she was rich. She had a love beyond love of her family. Family was what life was about for her.

She died on September 16, 1998. She is greatly missed.


Index Page

Main Joyal Page

Cabot School Page

Duffield Page

Jacques Page

Nelson Page

Pauline Page

Joseph T. Joyal Page

Stevens Family Page


Background Set from

You are listening to "Beyond" by Chris Tilton



Copyright 2000 Bonnie Stevens Dannenberg All Rights Reserved