Joyce Heath, 98, of New Haven


NEW HAVEN — Joyce Heath, 98, of New Haven, Vt., passed away peacefully on March 9, 2024, with her family by her side.

She was born to Basil and Mae (Thorpe) Walsh on July 31, 1925, in Proctor, Vt. Joyce attended Proctor Elementary Schools and graduated from Proctor High School in 1943. She graduated from Middlebury College, class of 1947, and continued her post-graduate studies at the College of St. Joseph and the University of Vermont.

Joyce was married to Benjamin W. (Bill) Heath of Derby Line, Vt., on Aug. 28, 1949. They lived in many Vermont towns, including Winooski, Burlington, Rochester, Derby, Canaan, Newport, Goshen, Brandon, Middlebury and most recently in New Haven. They also lived in Montréal, Québec, for six years, accommodating Bill’s career as a U.S. Customs Officer.

Joyce was employed by the State of Vermont, Department of Social Welfare, as a social worker in the St. Johnsbury and Burlington District Offices from 1947-1951. She was a teacher at Rochester High School, 1953-1954. Joyce was the director and treasurer of Camp Thorpe in Goshen from 1966-1991 and continued as treasurer and trustee of Camp Thorpe until 2006.

Joyce was very involved in the communities where she lived, holding many elected offices and appointed positions. She was a member of the school board at North Country Union High School, Newport, Vt., and a member of the school board at Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon, Vt.

In Brandon, she was a Justice of the Peace, officiating at a multitude of wedding ceremonies. She was particularly proud to have officiated at many same-sex civil unions and marriages. She also was the chairman of Brandon’s Board of Civil Authority and Abatement; Lister; Treasurer of the Otter Valley Union District High School from 1982-2010; Treasurer of Brandon Senior Citizens and Brandon Thrift Shop and a member of the Brandon Garden Club and Brandon Monday Club. Joyce served on the State Board of Directors of the Vermont Girl Scout Council and Vermont YWCA Council.

Joyce is survived by her eight children: Barry Heath, M.D., of Burlington; David Heath, Newport Center; Jean Maxwell, Coventry; Janet Heath, New Haven; Alan Heath, Randolph; Mary Heath, Sudbury; Jeffrey Heath, New Haven and Nancy Heath, Coronado, Calif.; and a cousin, Barry Lamont of Mission Viejo, Calif. She is also survived by 20 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Bill, in 1996 and her sister, Jean T. Walsh, in 2015, and a granddaughter; Andrea Heath in 1994.

Joyce enjoyed traveling and had the opportunity to visit the Caribbean, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, England, Panama, Scotland, Germany and Turkey.

Her hobbies included knitting, basket weaving and folk-art painting and crafts. A prolific knitter, she made hundreds of baby sweaters and hats that she donated to various local charities helping families.

Respecting her wishes, her body will be donated to the University of Vermont College of Medicine. A private graveside committal service and burial will take place at a later date in Pine Hill Cemetery in Brandon.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon.◊


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