Jaffrey, NH — Joyce (McLeod) Tilton of Jaffrey, N.H., passed away peacefully on September 7, 2013, with her husband of 57 years and three daughters by her side. The ultimate nurturer, Joyce’s first love and passion was being a mother (to daughters Laurie Tilton of Greenfield, Mass.; Shelly Sullivan of Avondale, Ariz.; and Stephanie Tilton of Littleton, Mass.), and grandmother (to Kylee Smith and Adam Gove of Kingston, N.H.).
Born 1937 in Haverhill, Mass., to Paul and Mildred McLeod, Joyce spent most of her childhood in Bradford, Mass. While attending Merrimac High, as a freshman she met her future husband, Leonard Tilton, a sophomore. She became a cheerleader so she could ride the bus with Lennie, a four-year letterman and basketball player. After graduating from Haverhill High, she married Lennie and embarked on a 20-year journey as a military wife.
Their travels took Joyce and Lennie to Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, France, New York, Nebraska, Holland, and Alabama. Upon Lennie’s retirement from the Air Force, they settled in Jaffrey, N.H.
During her 37 years in Jaffrey, Joyce immersed herself in a range of interests, civic activities, and hobbies. As an antique dealer, her love of treasures led her on many hunts via yard sales, auctions, and flea markets. She took special pride in her nearly 1,000-piece antique Santa Claus collection, which she shared with the Triple D Club, and a portion of which the Jaffrey Civic Center displayed for the pubic.
Joyce also enjoyed gardening, walking, Zumba, line dancing, spending time with family and friends, and laughing. The consummate entertainer, she performed a humorous dance in New York City’s Central Park and drew a sizeable crowd, much to the chagrin of her family in attendance.
She served as a teacher’s aide in Jaffrey Elementary School, and tried her hand as a realtor in Peterborough, N.H. She also dedicated many hours to the Triple D Club, Jaffrey Women’s Club, Jaffrey Food Pantry, and the annual flea market and Christmas fair at The United Church of Jaffrey. In later years, she delighted in spending time with friends in Barefoot Bay, Fla.