Obituary: Joyce Hilborn – March 13, 1922 – April 18, 2023

Joyce Hilborn, 101, died at the Greater Niagara General Hospital on April 18, 2023. With the passing of our dear mother, Hilborns have lost a cherished connection to the family’s past.

Her grandparents, Henry and Amelia Oxby, were dedicated members of the Salvation Army. The Army’s founder, William Booth, sent them to serve two years in Melbourne, Australia, 1884-1886.

Her parents, Lilian Gertrude Oxby and Thomas Jobber, met when Lilian was a schoolteacher near Oxford. Joyce was born March 13, 1922 at Wednesfield, near Wolverhampton.

In World War II, in the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRNS), Joyce operated a telephone switchboard in an underground bunker at Naval Headquarters in Plymouth, England. There she met William Roy Hilborn (died 2000) in a clandestine nighttime call and they married in 1945. Roy’s mother was Winifred Cole (1898-1982) of London and his father was Roy Henry Hilborn (1895-1967) of Bloomingdale, Ontario.

Her three sons Robin (Southampton ON), Michael (Sarasota FL) and Den (died 2021) were born in England. After the family emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario in 1953, twin daughters Karen (Ridgeway ON) and Kathy (Sundre AB) were born.

Joyce leaves a sister in Australia, Mavis Dodd, 97, who contributed much to Robin’s 2021 book, Joyce Hilborn and the Oxby, Jobber and Cole families (see Robin filmed Joyce’s 100th birthday (

For 13 years Joyce Hilborn received loving care from the staff at Willoughby Manor, Niagara Falls. Cremation was arranged by Patterson Funeral Home, Niagara Falls. Condolences are at The family will gather for a memorial later.