Joye Churchill Barrett

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Joye Churchill Barrett, 90, of Keene, died August 28, 2014 in the comfort of her home with family near. She was born on June 29, 1924, the daughter of Lawry and Ruth Kendall Churchill, owners of the Churchill Ranch on River Road in Westmoreland. She had twin sisters, Doris and Phyllis, who were three years older.

Joye attended the one-room Corner School on River Road in Westmoreland through 8th grade and graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1941. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1945 with a major in Physical Education. She was a member of Phi Mu sorority at UNH. She completed a Physical Therapy training program with the US Army and served as a Physical Therapist during World War II at the Veterans Hospital in Framingham, MA. She worked as the Physical Therapist at the Elliot Community Hospital when Miss Adelaide Berdeen took her summer vacation.

Joye and Ellis S. Barrett married on June 15, 1947 at the Westmoreland United Church. In 1950 they purchased a dairy farm on East Surry Road with Ellis brother, Toby, and his wife, Janis. They operated Bretwood Farm until a devastating fire in June 1967 prompted the decision to build Bretwood Golf Course. Mrs. Barrett managed the clubhouse snack bar for the first two decades of the business.

Mrs. Barrett was involved in community service her entire life. She was an active member of The United Church of Christ in Keene and served as Co-Chair of the Mission 2000 Capital Campaign, President of Womens Fellowship, Chair of the Visitation Committee, was a Deacon, and participated in many ministries including knitting baby sweaters for Church World Service layette kits, an activity she did up until 4 days before her death. She was also a past co-chair of Church Women United.

Mrs. Barrett was past President of the Ladies Charitable Society for 20 years, and past Regent of the Ashuelot Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mrs. Barrett was a member on the Keene School Board from 1970-1979 and served as Ward 3 checklist supervisor for 3 decades. She served a 3-year term as Eastern Director of National Extension Homemakers Council in the late 1960s, was a member of the Surry 4-Corners Extension Homemakers group, leader of the Best Yet 4-H Club, and a lifetime member of the Associated Country Women of the World. She was a regular Red Cross blood donor giving more than 15 gallons of blood over her lifetime. For 10 years she volunteered answering phones at The Samaritans suicide prevention hotline in Keene.

Mrs. Barrett enjoyed attending school-related and athletic events in which her children and grandchildren participated. As a member of the New Hampshire Womens Golf Association, she played in many Tuesday Tournaments at golf courses around the state. She cross-country skied, did yoga, made braided rugs, knitted mittens, hats and sweaters, and engaged in many other handcrafts. She was a member of the Raggedy Anns, a group of women who met monthly for years to craft hand-made Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for sale in the local hospital gift shop.

Mrs. Barrett was selected as one of 20 Extraordinary Women recognized by The Keene Sentinel in 2013. Many remember her as being a kind and capable leader and friend, with beautiful white hair, an easy smile, and twinkling blue eyes. She was very family-oriented and felt extremely fortunate to have her 5 children living within 2 miles of her home.

Survivors include her husband of 67 years, Ellis, of Keene; son, Matthew Barrett and his wife, Laura, of Surry; three daughters, Rebecca Barrett of Surry; Kathryn Blair and her husband, Michael, of Keene; and Julie Barrett and her partner, Kevin Postrech, of Gilsum; seven grandchildren, Hannah Barrett, Ethan Barrett, Jason Barrett, Lucas Barrett, Benjamin Jarrell, Kaisa Jarrell, and Christina Blair; and five great-grandchildren, Andrew, Kendall, Jonathan, Matthew, and Kalynn. Her grandson, Elijah Churchill Barrett, died in August 2007, and her son, William Churchill Barrett, died in January 2014.

Calling hours will be held Friday, September 12, 2014 from 6 to 8pm. at Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel, 44 Maple Ave. Keene. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 13 at 3pm. at The United Church of Christ, 23 Central Square, Keene. Flowers are welcome. However, the family prefers that donations be sent in Mrs. Barretts memory to the UCC Keene Radio Ministry Fund, 23 Central Square, Keene, NH, 03431 or to the Park Hill Meeting House Restoration Fund, c/o Jan Hurley, Treasurer, 1752 Route 12, Westmoreland, NH, 03467. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431.

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