Joy W. (Whiteley) Ackerman, 68, of Keene, NH and formerly of Sutton, MA, passed away unexpectedly at home on Thursday, September 21, 2023.
She was born a daughter to Marilyn P. (Van Orden) and Roger L. Whiteley on March 24, 1955, in Bethlehem, PA. Joy attended Saucon Valley High School, graduating in 1973. Joy earned a BA in Geology at Mount Holyoke College and a MS in Environmental Geology at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO. Joy continued her education at Antioch University New England in Keene, earning her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies.
On October 20, 1979, Joy exchanged vows with her high school sweetheart, Michael T. Ackerman. He predeceased her in 2011. Joy was fortunate enough to find love again. She married Richard “Rick” S. McVoy on July 19, 2014. They had a beautiful service with family and friends surrounding them at the St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sutton, MA.
Joy was employed by Antioch University New England, Keene, NH, teaching Environmental Studies for 30 years until she retired in 2019. She was awarded a Professor Emeritus in 2020. Previously, Joy worked for Interdisciplinary Environmental Planning (IEP). She also worked in other private and government jobs in Environmental Affairs.
Joy loved spending time with her grandchildren, helping with their care. She spent hours in the garden, cooking, and canning. She and Rick enjoyed hiking, kayaking, biking and walking their dog. She was a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Keene, the Order of Julian of Norwich, the Thoreau Society, the NH Master Gardeners, and Petersham Curling Club.
Dr. Ackerman is survived by her parents, Marilyn and Roger Whiteley of Bethlehem; her husband, Rick McVoy of Keene; her two children, Mary E. Maloney and her husband, Nick of Cranston, RI; Rachel A. Ackerman and her husband, Michael Bailey of N. Smithfield, RI; her two stepsons, Christopher A. McVoy of Shirley, NY; and Jeffrey M. McVoy and his wife, Chelsea, of Ashburnham, MA. She is also survived by her three siblings, Jon L. Whiteley and his wife, Denise Kassebaum of Denver, CO; Joanne “Jody” L. Burtner and her husband, John of Sylva, NC; Jeffrey L. Whiteley and his wife, Denice of Perkasie, PA; her six grandchildren, Spencer McVoy, Aaron McVoy, Sydney McVoy, Henry Bailey, Theodore “Teddy” Bailey, Gryfinn “Finn” Maloney; along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Memorial donations can be made to: St. James Episcopal Church (44 West St., Keene, NH 03431), Order of Julian of Norwich (W704 Alft Rd., White Lake, WI 54491), or Society of St. John the Evangelist (980 Memorial Dr., Cambridge, MA 02138.
As a way of helping heal the grief the family asks that you write down stories of how Joy was part of your life. We are grateful for the years we had together. Please feel free to share your favorite memories or photos for us to include in the celebration. They may be sent via email to: email@example.com .
The family of Joy Ackerman would be honored to have all friends and family join a gathering to celebrate her beautiful life. A service will be held in Keene, NH, on Friday, October 27th at 11am. Reception immediately following at the church. In the spirit of Joy, please dress comfortably and colorfully.
Location; St. James Episcopal Church, 44 West St. Keene, NH 03431. (Parking: behind the church with pay kiosks or in metered street parking). You can read the notice of Joy Ackerman’s passing here: https://cheshirefamilyfuneralhome.com/joy-w-whiteley-ackerman/. For those who cannot attend
the ceremony, we have made arrangements for the service to be live streamed on the St. James Episcopal Church website and Facebook page. That video will be posted for 30 days following.
A memorial service will also be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at the First Presbyterian Church, 2344 Center St., Bethlehem, PA. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com.