FITCHBURG---Joy Faith (Porter) Contois passed into the arms of her Lord on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 in the Apple Valley Center in Ayer surrounded by her family whom she loved dearly. Joy was the adopted daughter of Florence and Harding Porter (now deceased) of Leominster.
She attended Leominster schools, Mt. Wachusett Community College, Fitchburg State and Logos University, and obtained her Master’s Degree in 1991 from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where she studied Biblical archaeology. Joy was better known as an educator having taught at middle schools in Hudson and Nashua, NH; adjunct instructor at Fitchburg State; and as the Educational Coordinator at Fitchburg Historical Society from 1995-2004. She founded The Joy of Archaeology Program in 1997 in order to teach school children history from the ground up. Her published curriculum and local digs have reached over 5,000 children. Joy was one of the co-authors of both Fitchburg, Past and Present and Legendary Locals of Fitchburg. In semi-retirement she taught in various schools and at Fitchburg Senior Center, where her 27 programs on local history were filmed by and for Fitchburg Access Television, the worldwide web and Google. She has also taught many ALFA (Adult Learning Fitchburg Area) courses on local history. Joy also taught numerous Bible Studies, and Adult Sunday School classes.
Other interests included watercolor and acrylic painting, reading, and travel, especially to the Middle East. In 2015 she was named Artist of the Month at the Leominster Art Center and Gallery where 32 of her paintings were on view. In 2014 Joy was listed in the Sentinel & Enterprise’s A Salute to Women of North Central Massachusetts. In 2012, she created a calendar called “An eye on Fitchburg”, including 400 locals facts, over three hundred years of history and 12 watercolor paintings of Fitchburg sites.
Having had a Christian born-again experience in 1974 her greatest passion was following her Lord and studying His Word, the Bible.
Joy leaves her husband John “Jack” Contois of Fitchburg whom she married March 17, 1962. She leaves her children Kimberly and husband Greg Massak of Lunenburg; William and his wife Patricia of Gardner; Pamela and her husband Michael Harris of Lancaster and Deborah and her husband Rob Klawitter of Harrisburg, PA. She also leaves a widowed foster daughter-in-law Kina (Boudreau) and husband Eddie Trueheart of Athol. Joy also leaves two very dear friends Diane Bernatchez and Carol Tellier, of Leominster.
Joy also leaves her 10 grandchildren: Shawn, Eric and Kyle Massak, Emily and Brandon Contois, Kristen (Harris) and husband Vance Cromwick, Matthew Harris, Allyson and Robyn Klawitter, and foster granddaughter Danielle (Boudreau) Parker, and foster great granddaughter Cloie Marie Parker. She also leaves many biological cousins of Maine who she was very close to, nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many friends. Her older brother, Richard H. Porter and foster son, Daniel Boudreau predeceased Joy.
Calling hours will be held at Pilgrim Covenant Church, corner of Chase Road and Beal Street, Lunenburg from 3-7 pm on Friday, April 8th. The memorial service will also be held at the church at 11 am on Saturday, April 9th. Burial will be private at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, Winchendon at a later date.
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