Joyce Doreen Eldridge, 83, died peacefully at the Genesis Healthcare Keene Center on Dec. 1 surrounded by loved ones after a long struggle with dementia.
She was born Jan. 16, 1934, in Toronto, Ontario, the youngest child of George and Evelyn (Cooke) Eldridge.
In 1951, she married James Richardson, and over the next eight years they had three sons — Brian, Jeff and Danny. In 1959, Jim’s finance career required the family to relocate to Dover. Two years later, Joyce gave birth to her daughter, Julie, three minutes after being admitted to the hospital as family lore goes.
As the children grew up, Joyce and Jim grew apart and separated. Joyce resumed her education and received her GED in 1972. A voracious reader and lifelong learner, over the next dozen years Joyce earned an associate’s, a bachelor’s, and two master’s degrees in management and social work, while raising her children as a single mother and working full time.
Joyce was a model of personal growth who touched the lives of countless individuals as a teacher, a therapist, and with those she encountered in her everyday life. She headed the medical assistant program at the former New Hampshire Vocational-Technical College in Claremont; taught at Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vt.; and was a licensed social worker and psychotherapist in Sarasota, Fla., Saratoga, N.Y., and most recently at Community Council in Nashua. Joyce was deeply spiritual, completing two sojourns to the Findhorn Foundation and participating for years in a group studying A Course in Miracles.
In 1981, Joyce met her future husband, Anton Bingel, with whom she built a life of joy and adventure. She was a frequent traveler to Ontario to spend time with her brother, his wife and family at “the lake.” Joyce was known for the intensity, energy, creativity and passion she brought to the many things she devoted her energies to: her family, painting, reading, cooking, golf, knitting, figure skating and gardening.
Joyce brought love and light to the world and will be deeply missed by many, especially her devoted husband, Anton “Toni” Bingel of Keene; her children, Brian Richardson (JoAnn Ellsworth) of Dover, Jeff Richardson (Sandy Desmarais-Richardson) of Westmoreland, Danny Richardson (Julie Ruth) of Claremont, Julie Evelyn Richardson (Julie Reiss) of Florence, Mass.; her husband’s children, Otto Bingel of Mansfield, Mass., Berthold (Harriet) Bingel of Manchester, Christopher Bingel of Marblehead, Mass.; her grandchildren Rachael, Ben, Matthew, Daniel, Carolyn, Tiffany, Matt, Susie, Jo, Manny, Tanya, Toni, Sarah, Margaret and Christopher “Bing”; 14 great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law Joan Eldridge of Barrie, Ontario; six nieces and nephews; and long-time daughter-in-law Victoria Bingel.
Joyce is predeceased by her parents, her brother George Eldridge III, her sister Lorraine Wimbs and her first husband.
A celebration of Joyce’s life will be held on Friday, Dec. 8, at 12 p.m. in the Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court St., Keene. Family and friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Donations in Joyce’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Mass & N.H. Chapter, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.
To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, visit www.foleyfuneralhome.com.