Joyce (Ludwig) Spruiell

February 18, 1928 ~ October 2, 2021 (age 93)


Longmeadow, MA - Joyce Spruiell, 93, passed away October 2nd peacefully in the presence of her family. A lifelong resident of New Orleans, she moved a few years ago to Longmeadow, Massachusetts to be closer to her family. Posh, her familial moniker, was a beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Family was the focus of her life. She survived two husbands. She persevered as a young widow and single parent following the tragic death of her first husband, John M. Ellis. She later married Dr. Vann Spruiell to whom she was married for over 35 years until his death days before Hurricane Katrina. Her artistic spirit found myriad forms of expression. She majored in dance and drama at Newcomb College and went on to study and perform at the Jacobs Pillow dance center before teaching dance at Metairie Park Country Day until she was sidelined by a back injury. Her weavings adorn the homes of friends and family, and her intricate needlework creations won awards. She served on the board of the Louisiana Crafts Council for years. Her culinary offerings were renowned. Assuming the mantel of skipper following John’s death, she went on to win two fleet championships as a largely self-taught sailor. Her warm, generous nature and infectious humor fostered friendships from all walks of life. Her home, known as the ‘Ellis Motel’ by her kids’ friends, was always open for food, conversation or a swim - a tradition carried forth by her grandchildren and their friends. She is survived by her three children: Sidney Ellis Reavey of Longmeadow, Massachusetts; Catherine Moore Ellis of Seattle, Washington; and John Matson Ellis. M.D. of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts; seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. A private celebration of Joyce’s life will be held at a later date. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452. To leave an online expression of sympathy for the family, please visit

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