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July 26, 2019

Neighbor Spotlight - Meet Bill from Gig Harbor

When REALTOR® Joyce Shipley moved to Gig Harbor in 2005, little did she know that she was moving in right next door to friends who would soon become more like family. Joyce’s story of her experience with the Brewster Family truly embodies the spirit that’s at the heart of our Meet the Neighbors video series, and we sat down and asked Joyce more about why she nominated Bill for the series. 

“I thought of [Bill] immediately,” shares Joyce. “When I first moved here, I moved in next door to them, and we had been here only a couple of days, so we didn’t even have furniture in the house. I walked out in the backyard, and here comes this group of four—mom, dad, and two little kids—walking through the bushes to introduce themselves to me.”

Friends Like Family

The Brewster family quickly become some of Joyce’s favorite people and best friends. “Bill and Julie’s kids—Jonathan was six and Jessica was eight—became like pseudo grandkids. The next thing you know, Jessica and I were planning an overnight birthday party for her. She had 11 friends over and we had them all overnight in my house and there were little girls in sleeping bags all over the place! [We enjoyed] manicures, pedicures, and hot fudge sundaes.” 

Over the years, Joyce and Jessica did all kinds of things together, whether Joyce was helping Jessica shop for a formal dress to wear to a school dance, or Jessica was helping Joyce plant flowers in her front yard. Recently, Jessica graduated from college (time flies!), and Joyce went to WWU for the graduation. “Jessica just got a job working for a commercial real estate company in Seattle, and Julie said she thought she did it because of me. [Jessica] helped me do my marketing when she was a freshman—she came in and helped me with my marketing plan and she has organized me I can’t tell you how many times!” 

Hearts of Gold

As we see in Bill’s Meet the Neighbors video, his wife Julie is a physical therapist and she runs her own practice out of their home. “Of course, Julie is my physical therapist,” says Joyce, “and Bill is my biggest buddy. He will go out of his way to do anything for me and I just love him to death.” 

They’ve all had some truly memorable times together, whether it was time spent bonding on a girls-only getaway, making pies together, laughing as they figured out how to assemble furniture, or all going to Ocean Shores for Bill’s mother’s memorial. Joyce and the Brewsters have been there for each other through thick and thin, and Joyce shared how they even helped her care for her elderly mother who lived with her at the time.

“My neighbors literally helped me take care of [my mother], because I was working. We’d leave the door unlocked and the kids would go in for cookies and ice cream and play games with grandma, and if something ever happened I could always go call on a neighbor to go check on her if I was out of the way.”

Back when Joyce first became a real estate agent, Bill was even instrumental in helping her get started. “Bill got me my first listing in the Narrows [neighborhood]. Some people he knew were ready to sell their house and he said ‘I know this really great agent, she lives next door to me’ and got me an appointment. I ended up selling their condo. He’s one of my referral sources!” 

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Joyce has since moved, but they’ve all stayed close all these years. “They’re pretty special people,” says Joyce. “I am so impressed with the way they live their lives and take care of their children. I have just really enjoyed being a part of it.” 

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