The Northern Spy — A Life Well Lived

The Northern Spy

Joyce Sutcliffe

March 5 1947 – August 27, 2021

Joyce Arlene Sutcliffe (nee Madland) was born at home in Surrey, B.C. on March 5, 1947 to Philip and Grace (Halls) Madland and lived her early life near Whalley’s corner. Her parents were in fellowship at Westminster Gospel Chapel, where at a young age she accepted God’s grace and received his gift of eternal life. She in turn has been a faithful and practical witness to Christ and his loving grace ever since. 

After getting her schooling at Grosvenor Road Elementary, Mary Jane Shannon Junior Secondary, and Queen Elizabeth High School, she graduated in 1965, and entered Simon Fraser University as a charter student in Education, subsequently teaching primary school in Surrey and Langley districts for seven years. 

Back in early 1967, Joyce met Rick Sutcliffe in an SFU philosophy class. He invited himself to her church to discover and refute its teachings, but heard the gospel preached and he also trusted Christ as Saviour. They were married on August 15, 1969, and resided for a year in Surrey and two years in Langley City. In 1972 they bought an acre on the edge of Aldergrove and built the dream home they lived in for twenty years. 

While living in Aldergrove, sons Nathan (1978) and Joel (1980) were born. Joyce stopped teaching in an elementary school classroom when she became a full-time Mom, but gave her children (and grandchildren) a valuable gift by helping to teach them to read and encouraging a love of reading. Both Nathan and Joel attended local schools, and also participated in Church life, making their own commitments to Christ in large part because of the steady, faithful, practical witness of their loving mother. 

From early 1973, Joyce and Rick were active members of Aldergrove Baptist Church, now called Aberdeen Baptist Church. From 1983, when Rick joined the Trinity Western University faculty, she also has been part of the TWU extended family and has enjoyed warm friendship and fellowship with many of the staff and faculty. Her warm Christian relationship with both communities, her own faithful witness, active participation in numerous ministries, and generous hospitality ensured that she made numerous enduring friends. 

When their neighbourhood was redeveloped, the family moved  in 1992 to a new home they designed and built on five acres in nearby Bradner, where Joyce has enjoyed the quiet country, her flower gardening, cooking for family and guests, and actively and lovingly participating in the lives of her children and grandchildren ever since.

In September of 2020, Joyce was diagnosed with an already advanced case of ovarian cancer. She courageously, and with unwavering faith, battled it for nearly a year. Just twelve days after Joyce and Rick’s fifty-second anniversary, Joyce passed peacefully into the presence of her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on August 27, 2021 at 6:02 PM with family at her bedside.

Sister, companion, friend, mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher and dear friend to many, she will be sorely missed in this life.

Other matters can wait till next month–DV.

–The Northern Spy

Opinions expressed here are entirely the author’s own, and no endorsement is implied by any community or organization to which he may be attached. Rick Sutcliffe, (a.k.a. The Northern Spy) is professor of Computing Science and Mathematics and Assistant Dean of Science at Canada’s Trinity Western University. He completed his fifty-first year as a high school and university teacher in 2021. He has been involved as a member of or consultant with the boards of several organizations, and participated in developing industry standards at the national and international level. He is a co-author of the Modula-2 programming language R10 dialect. He is a long time technology author and has written two textbooks and ten alternate history SF novels, one named best ePublished SF novel for 2003. His various columns have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers (dead tree and online formats), since the early 1980s, and he’s been a regular speaker at churches, schools, academic meetings, and conferences. He and his wife Joyce celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 2019 and lived in the Aldergrove/Bradner area of B.C. from 1972 to 2021, where he now continues on his own. 

URLs for Rick Sutcliffe’s Arjay Enterprises: 

The Northern Spy Home Page:

opundo :

Sheaves Christian Resources :

WebNameHost :

WebNameSource :

nameman :

General URLs for Rick Sutcliffe’s Books: 

Author Site:

Publisher’s Site:

The Fourth Civilization–Ethics, Society, and Technology (4th 2003 ed. ):

Other URLs of relevant interest: 

BC Government COVID site:


Please follow and like us:

About the Author


The A.P.P.L.E. Website is run by the Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange Users Group and is open to all Apple and Macintosh fans and their friends.