Erik Joyce of Rockville died suddenly of heart failure on Saturday Dec. 9. He was 49 years old.
Joyce managed the Potomac Photo and Digital store in Potomac Village for the last six and a half years, according to Michael Chmiel, who worked alongside Joyce for that time.
"He was more than a manager here, he was a brotherly kind of figure to me," said Chmiel.
"Everybody knew him," said Cissy Finley Grant, who regularly saw him in Potomac Photo and Digital. "He always had a smile — he was just a wonderful fellow."
Joyce was an avid fisherman, golfer and pool player, playing in three different pool leagues, according to his brother Kevin. He returned last week from a national tournament in Las Vegas and was preparing to go back this week for the playoffs.
"He was my best friend and my closest companion," Kevin Joyce said.
Kevin Joyce described his brother as a good-natured guy who didn't miss many opportunities to poke fun at his friends, especially during pool games. He'd tell opponents who missed a shot that his grandmother could have made it. "We always told him he needed a new line," Kevin Joyce said.
Erik Joyce moved to Maryland seven years ago after running his own photo shop in Florida, according to his brother Kevin. Erik Joyce wasn't a photographer, but rather specialized in running photography stores, said Kevin Joyce.
The Joyces were a military family and Erik Joyce grew up all over the country. Born originally in Alabama, he lived in Hawaii, Nebraska and Connecticut, among other places, before spending his high school years in North Carolina. After Florida, he moved to Rockville's Old Farm neighborhood.
Erik Joyce was the son of Marilyn Monte and the late Robert William Joyce, Jr. and is survived by his wife Deborah and his brothers Kevin, David, and Steven Joyce and sisters Kathy Dennis, Krissy Thomason, and Teresa Joyce.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. at Pumphrey's funeral home in Bethesda, Maryland on 7557 Wisconsin Avenue.