Joyce Elaine Lehman, 72, died on July 11 in Windsor, Vermont.
Born in 1947 in Bellefontaine, Ohio to Ruth and Wilford Lehman, Joyce was the eldest of their three children.
She is survived by her two sisters Beth Miller, her husband Russell their children and grandchildren who all live in Ohio and Sharon Kendall, her husband Willard, their children and grandchildren who all live in Colorado.
Joyce is also survived by her adopted family including Helen Hughes of Lebanon, N.H., Sean and Vibeke Littlewood and their children Signe and Isak who live in Denmark, and Jenny Littlewood of Orford, N.H., Joyce’s Friend, Companion and Travel partner. For the past eight years, Jenny has also been Joyce’s care-giver as the ravages of dementia emerged, robbing her of the perfect health and great vitality that she had always enjoyed.
A life-long traveler, Joyce reached significant geographic peaks and low points around the world. Trekking in the Himalayan mountain range included some of the major peaks and while biking in Death Valley, she reached the lowest point 282 feet below sea level in the United States.
After graduating from Goshen College, Joyce taught in the Adriel School in West Liberty, Ohio. In the late 1970s, she moved to Vermont and learned the horticulture trade, working at Merrill Legare’s Farm Market in Calais and Elliott’s Greenhouse in Lyndonville. In 1984, Joyce and Mary Miller established and ran the Pleasant Street Flower Farm in St. Johnsbury.
Loving travel so much, Joyce began a perfect job in 1989 as Director of Quality Systems for Garnet Hill, a retail source of high-quality clothing and home furnishings. In this position, Joyce was able to make full use of her skills and quench her travel thirst. Of all the countries Joyce worked in for Garnet Hill, It was India that stole her heart.
Joyce’s open, honest communication style facilitated her acceptance by the vendor companies. She worked for measurable quality standards, improved working conditions for employees, better pay and minimum working age requirements. Laying this trusting foundation created great company compliance, a superior product and also attracted many long-term friends.
On the home front Joyce was happiest, when not biking, getting her hands into the soil. She, along with Jenny, created a green nurturing oasis for people, birds, butterflies, many small critters and the less frequent bear and bobcat.
The last five years of Joyce’s life were spent in the care of Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community in Windsor Vermont, arguably the finest facility in the Upper Valley.
Joyce’s final gift was the donation of her anatomical remains to the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.
There will be a celebration of Joyce’s life when COVID-19 is under control, possibly in the spring or summer of 2021. Memorial donations may be offered to: Cedar Hill Activities & Therapy Dept.: 49 Cedar Hill Drive, Windsor, VT 05089. Or Bayada Hospice, 316 Main Street, PO Box 1590, Norwich, VT 05055.
She is sadly missed by family and friends.