Joyce Osborne Grattan

Joyce Osborne Grattan

Nancy Joyce Osborne Grattan, age 79 of Mattituck, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017.

The daughter of James V. and Annette McMahon Osborne, she was born Oct. 27, 1937, and spent her entire youth in her beloved Southampton. A 1955 graduate of Southampton High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Wells College, where she competed in basketball and tennis, and a master’s degree from Hofstra University.

In 1960, she married George F. Grattan of Southold and launched her five-decade career in education. Shortly after settling in Mattituck in 1970, Joyce joined her husband in the English Department at Mattituck High School. For 26 years, she taught, counseled, cajoled, and inspired many hundreds of students. Joyce earned her reputation as a local legend. But regardless of her many public accomplishments and accolades, what mattered most was her impact scores of her students have testified to the love she showed them and how it changed their lives. Sometimes that meant pushing them hard to reach the potential she saw in them. Sometimes if meant offering affirmation. She retired to her own college counseling business in 1999, where she continued to be a mentor and ever so painstakingly customize college counseling for hundreds of students and their families. Throughout her career, she never delivered anything less than excellence. Her legacy is best summed up by Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” She made her students feel loved.

In declining health during the last two years, she gratefully received back the spirit, care, and assistance she gave to so many during her life. Visits, calls, and letters–from former students, colleagues, neighbors, friends, and friends who are like family—sustained and comforted her in difficult days. A noteworthy contributor to this small town for decades, Joyce never stopped savoring the natural beauty of her home or caring deeply about the people and life of her community.

She is survived by her beloved children and their families, Leslie, and her husband, Jack, and their children, Kara, Daniel and Meghan Donahue of Fairfield, Conn.; Lisa and her children Bobby, Maggie, Patrick, and Bridget Moriarty of Summit, N.J.; George and his wife Mary Benard of Waltham, Mass. — as well as her sister, Gail Tiska-Flurry of New Suffolk. She was predeceased by her husband, George F. Grattan, and her brother, John B. Osborne and his son James J. Osborne. Always devoted to her family and close friends, she also leaves behind many nieces and nephews on both the Osborne and Grattan sides as well as scores of special people, young and old, who enriched her life in so many ways.

Visiting hours will be held Monday, Aug. 7, from 4 to 8 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Mattituck, with burial to follow at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Southold.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you consider a memorial donation to the Mattituck-Cutchogue Teacher’s Association scholarship fund, the Peconic Bay Medical Center Palliative Care Program, or an organization of your choice that reflects one of the many passions and causes dear to Joyce’s heart. Donations to the scholarship fund can be made payable to MCTA and sent care of Dennis Deerkoski to Mattituck High School, 15125 Main Rd., Mattituck, NY 11952. You can donate to the Palliative Care Program by visiting

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This is a paid notice.