Joyce Annette Napikoski Lisenby Badger, age 70, passed away at her home in Lubbock, Texas on December 19, 2022. She was born on November 6, 1952 in Montague, Massachusetts, the third of five children born to Joseph and Ovilina Crochier Napikoski. She grew up in Millers Falls, Massachusetts, attended local schools and graduated from Turners Falls High School in 1970, where she was a member of the National Honor Society. She then attended Cornell University and the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, MA, graduating with a degree in Social Work. In 1977 she moved from Massachusetts to Lubbock, Texas to pursue her social work career.
After leaving Massachusetts, she continued to follow the local news and sports teams from her home state, often sharing tidbits from the Greenfield Recorder with family and friends around the country. She first thought West Texas looked brown, dry, and flat, but came to appreciate the beauty of the place and the many things her new home had to offer.
Joyce participated in outdoor walking, birding, and kayaking activities and took classes in local history and archeology. She was a lifelong learner and frequently watched and shared things she learned from documentaries, PBS, or The History Channel.
She was an avid baseball watcher and continued throughout her life to follow and root for both the Boston Red Sox AND New York Yankees, confounding many fans familiar with that intense rivalry. She also loved to watch NASCAR, and regularly attended Texas Tech Lady Raiders basketball games.
She participated in book groups and was a voracious reader. She read widely, including fiction and nonfiction, and loved mysteries, noting that she liked the way a conflict in a mystery was sure to be wrapped up, a clear difference from the many unresolved conflicts and intense situations she often encountered in her work life.
In 1995 Joyce started working with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the John T. Montford Prison as a Correctional Health Social Worker. She dedicated her life to the patients there until her retirement in February 2022. During her career she was recognized repeatedly for her excellence and compassion, including receiving the CMHC Quality Service Award, the Above and Beyond Award, and, upon her retirement, the TTUHSC Pewter Plate, reserved for truly exceptional employees, team members, and ambassadors. In addition to being recognized by her employer, Joyce also was an active member of the National Association of Social Workers for over 25 years and received her chapter’s award for Social Worker of the year in 2006 and 2013.
In addition to her compassionate and caring work at the prison, Joyce ministered to others through her volunteer service with Catholic Charities for many years, including a term as president of the Board of Directors. She continuously demonstrated her love for others and commitment to faithful service by helping those greatest in need.
She was married twice, first to Ken Lisenby and later to Bob Badger. While Joyce had no children of her own, she continued her relationship with Ken’s daughter Tonya throughout her life. She also loved animals and enjoyed the companionship of many pets throughout the years.
Joyce is survived by her siblings: Chester Napikoski of Phoenix, AZ; Blanche Ezold of York, ME; Barbara Merolli of Auburn, MA; and Anthony Napikoski of North Haven, CT. She is also survived by her step-daughter Tonya Lisenby Hendley of Lexington, SC; her five nieces, five great-nieces and six great-nephews; many dear friends; and her beloved cat Taki. She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph Napikoski and Ovilina Crochier Napikoski.
No services are planned at this time. Cremation arrangements are under the personal care and direction of Combest Family Funeral Homes and Crematory.