The compassionate soul and huge heart of Joyce C. “Joy” Lester, 80, of Spofford, will be greatly missed with her peaceful passing, with her son, Larry, at her side, on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at her home in Spofford that she and her husband, Lawrence (March 27, 1940 — Dec. 8, 2005), proudly built together.
Her parents, Mary F. (Martin) and Peter P. Rusnak Sr., welcomed their daughter into the world on March 27, 1941, in Bridgeport, Conn. Joy grew up in Bridgeport and was a 1959 graduate of Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport.
Joy was a woman of strong will and self-sufficiency, a trait that served her well over the years. She was a strong advocate for her son, Todd, who was born deaf, ensuring his success in his ability to obtain an education as well as his selected career, in a world that presented itself with limitations. She had a great love of nature and wildlife of all kinds. She enjoyed taking in everything that nature had to offer. She had a special place in her heart for all animals, especially her bearded collies that she enjoyed raising. Joy also enjoyed traveling, going on cruises and watching NASCAR. Her most precious memories were those of family times and vacations together, as well as her pride in building her home in Spofford with her husband, with much of the construction completed on the weekends while residing fulltime in Milford, Conn. Following retirement, Spofford became their full-time home, away from the hustle and business of the city. After her husband’s passing, Joy continued to maintain the home herself, doing everything from gardening and repairs, to plowing the driveway with the family truck.
Joy was a longtime member of the Red Hat Society — Purple Lilac Ladies of Keene; the Old Homestead Garden Club; and the Surviving Spouse of the Milford Police and Fire Retirees of Milford.
She will be greatly missed by many in the area, especially her three children: Lawrence R. “Larry” Lester Jr. of Spofford; Todd J. Lester of Prospect, Conn.; and Tammy L. DiJoseph and her husband, Mark, of Prospect, Conn.; a brother, Peter P. Rusnak Jr., of Connecticut; a sister, Janice Swidar, and her husband, Alex, of Connecticut; a brother-in-law, Terrance Lester, and his wife, Sandee, of Oklahoma; an uncle, Robert Martin, and his wife, Darlene, of Arizona; several cousins, nieces, nephews and her many dear friends.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Sherry A. Guardiano, DO, from Rheumatology of Keene, who had a natural way of uplifting Joy throughout the years.
Services and burial in the Kings Highway Cemetery, Milford, Conn., will be held privately by the family. For those who wish, donations may be made in Mrs. Lester’s memory to: Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption, P.O. Box 10093, Swanzey NH 03446; Spofford Fire Department, P.O. Box 138, Spofford NH 03462; or the Monadnock Humane Society, 101 West Swanzey Road, Swanzey NH 03446.
The Foley Funeral Home of Keene is assisting the family with the arrangements. To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, please visit www.foleyfuneralhome.com.