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Joy Griffith, loved by friends all over the world, quietly passed away at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House in Reading on Monday, March 7, 2021, following a ten-year battle with Alzheimer’s. Joy, who was a resident of Burlington, was 86 years old. Her longtime friend, Judith Ross, was at her bedside at the time of her death. Joy was born and raised in Blue Island, Illinois. She was the daughter of the late Dorothy (Lavender) and Thomas Barnett Drew. Joy was the sister of the late Thomas Paul Drew. She is survived by her niece LoriBeth Jackson of Colorado, and her nephew Scott Thomas Drew of Alabama.
Joy received degrees from Swedish North Park Junior College in Chicago, the University of Illinois, and Valparaiso University in Indiana. Joy had a long and distinguished career in teaching. She taught elementary school for one year in New York City, Staten Island, and New Jersey. Then she went to Europe, where she taught music in Mainz, Germany, for one year. Joy then taught for the Dept. of Defense for 25 years in Frankfurt, Germany (elementary school), music classes and chorus for all grades for three years in Sasebo, Japan, and elementary school for three years in Keflavik, Iceland. Joy was totally dedicated to her students, who adored her. Her colleagues admired and highly respected her as a teacher and a strong leader.
Joy lived in Vermont for five years, between tours of duty, where she was a political human rights activist. Joy was a talented watercolor artist, and her paintings have been on exhibit. Joy was an accomplished pianist. In high school she soloed with a Liszt piano concerto. She was an excellent alto recorder player and played with various recorder ensembles in Germany and Hingham, MA.
The most memorable things about Joy are her sense of humor, her generosity, her exceptional charisma, and her radiant smile. She brightened everyone's lives whom she touched.
The funeral service will be held at the Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St, Burlington, on Sunday, March 21st, at 11 a.m., followed by burial in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite animal shelter.