Joyce Ann Cusic – Southern Maryland News Network


Joyce Ann Cusic of Chaptico, Maryland passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home on July 23, 2022. She was surrounded by her loving family.

Born October 8, 1943 in Chaptico “Crossroads” MD to the late John Woodley and Martha Lee (Ellis) Knott. Joyce grew up enjoying the beautiful countryside that surrounds her. She loved nature and everything that lived there. She was an animal lover. She talked about her pet squirrel that she tamed and cared for when she was little. She also went fishing at Chaptico Wharf with her Aunt Josie and her parents, and remembers taking a rowboat to the wharf. She watched her father on his tractor cultivating the land. She spoke lovingly of him and his skills as a master carpenter and the craftsmanship of his work. She was very proud of her father, she adored him and was truly the apple of his eye.

Joyce Ann attended Sacred Heart School in Bushwood, Maryland, then graduated in 1961 from St. Mary’s Academy. She would fondly remember her time there with friends and teachers who shaped her educational experiences. After graduating, Joyce joined the workforce at the Patuxent River Air Station. Here she worked as a stenographer for the Naval Air Flight Test division, Carrier Suitability. After some time and experience gained, she was transferred to Washington, DC to work for the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover. Here she applied her skills to help her country. She was very proud of her time that she worked for the FBI. Joyce loved her country.

On June 16, 1962, she married the love of her life, William “Billy” Cusic, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bushwood, MD. During their 54 years of marriage, they had 3 children. William Wendell Jr “Billy Boy” Cusic: 05/01/64, Timothy Allen “Timmy” Cusic 06/04/65 and John Woodley Knott Cusic “Johnny”. 07/29/71.

Sadly, after the birth of her first 2 children, it was discovered that the boys were born with cerebral palsy which disabled them all their lives. Neither child was able to walk or talk without help. Unable to work outside the home and provide for her children, Joyce became a full-time caregiver for her family. A role she cherished so much she loved her boys so much. As the boys’ needs grew and medical care in the county was limited to their conditions, Joyce Ann and the boys moved to Baltimore to be closer to Johns Hopkins Hospital specializing in the needs of disabled children. It is known today as the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Johns Hopkins doctors published reviews on boys and their research helped find the causes of some common birth defects linked to drugs given to women in the 1950s and 1960s. Joyce Ann said that if the information obtained helped even an unborn child without birth defects, she was ready to help.

After a while, Joyce Ann returned to St Mary’s with the boys to live. They would make periodic visits to specialists as needed, as the boys had reached their potential by then. The family moved from Mechanicsville to Leonardtown, MD to a trailer home behind Hopkins Plaza at the start of Budds Creek Road. On July 29, 1971, they welcomed their third child, Johnny. And in 1972, Joyce Ann and her husband Billy opened what is now Cusic Mechanic Service. It all started when Billy was working in the back of a 1968 Chevy pickup truck. He traveled everywhere to help fix anything mechanical, especially farm equipment. And Joyce Ann took care of the children and all the secretarial duties from home.

As the business began to prosper, in 1976 the family returned to “Crossroads” and built a new home with a one-bay garage for Billy to start his expanding business. Over the next 50 years the two would work together and grow in towing and heavy diesel repairs. Cusic’s gained a respective reputation in the area as Billy came to help any time of the day or night. Later, you’d see Joyce Ann in her reflective vest driving a rollback and cleaning up the roads after a crash., Alongside all the guys! She was very proud to be the oldest towing service in St. Mary’s County and talked about it until the end of her life.

Sadly, in 1977 the eldest son “Billy Boy” passed away, and the following year Joyce Ann’s beloved father passed away. In 1979 his second son Timmy died. With all of these painful losses so close together, Joyce Ann relied on her strong Catholic faith. She continued to help others near and far and was generous with her time and money to those less fortunate. How she knew what wrestling was like.

Joyce Ann had many interests outside of her job and her family. She loved history and took classes at the local community college in genealogy and painting. She loved to learn and was an avid reader. She was also very good at decorating cakes for weddings and birthdays. She loved Christmas and the holidays. She decorated every inch of their home and office to make it festive and welcoming. Additionally, she helped her husband and youngest son Johnny restore vintage cars. They traveled to auto shows across the United States. The restoration of his father’s 1938 Allis Chalmers tractor was his most adored. When completed, she and Billy lent it to the St Mary’s County Fairgrounds Farm Museum, where it is on display today.

Her job of which she was most proud was that of a grandmother, or “MOM MOM” for her 3 grandchildren. Joyce Ann loved to spoil and spend time with them. She made sure they had everything they needed. The boys always said “see you soon lata’ alligator” and she replied “after all crocodile”. In her weakened state the day before she died, she said a shared goodbye to her boys.

Over the years, Joyce Ann has volunteered with many organizations: The Mechanicsville VFD Women’s Auxiliary, Carenet of St Mary’s, St. Mary’s Historical Society, Member of Our Lady of the Wayside(Choir), Chamber of Commerce and St Mary’s Ryken Athletic Boosters, while Johnny attended. She was also the author of editorials published in the journal Enterprise. She also led the restoration of Old St Joseph Cemetery on Busy Corner Road in Morgana. Joyce Ann and her husband were strong supporters of the local fire, EMS and law enforcement communities. His youngest son Johnny also became Deputy Sheriff of St Marys.

Shortly after the death of her husband Billy. Joyce Ann suffered a devastating stroke which left her paralyzed and confined to bed/wheelchair. Even though her body was no longer his, her mind was still sharp as nails. She said “I’m going to get out of this bed, because I need to help Johnny at the office”. In her mind, working as she had daily for over 50 years, she never let go. While at Assisted Living, she had a special guardian who cared for her. Her name is Annalisa “ANNA”. Pickering. Anna took a particular interest in Joyce Ann’s care. Anna affectionately called her mum. After some time, the family decided to move Joyce Ann into their home, and Anna quit her job to care for Joyce Ann full time. She moved into Joyce Ann’s house and cared for her lovingly for the past 3 years day and night. Words cannot express the love and gratitude our family has for Anna and their service and sacrifice for Joyce Ann. Words cannot express our thanks. We know that Joyce Ann loved her like she was her own daughter.

Joyce Ann was predeceased by her brother John Randall, her son William Wendell “Billy Boy” Cusic, her father John Woodley Knott, her son Timothy Allen “Timmy” Cusic, her mother Martha Lee Knott, her husband William Wendell” Billy » Cusic Sr.

She is survived by her sister Cheryl Lynn Knott, her son John Woodley Knott Cusic “Johnny” – (wife Amy), her grandsons, Christian Richard Cusic-Wilson, Connor William Cusic and Carson Blake Cusic (twin).

Family will receive friends Monday, August 8, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with prayers recited at 7:00 p.m. at the Mattingly-Gardiner Funeral Home Leonardtown, MD. A Christian Burial Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Brushwood, MD with Father Chip Luckett officiating and Father Stephen Wyble concelebrating. Interment will follow at Queen of Peace Helen, MD Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Hospice of St. Mary’s County PO Box 625 Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Condolences can be sent to the family at Arrangements provided by Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral and Cremation Services, PA Leonardtown, MD.

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