CHESHIRE - Joyce Marie Rogers Leach, 81, passed away on August 16, 2020. She was predeceased by her husband, Walkie Leach.
Joyce was born May 29, 1939 in the small town of Hooper, Colorado, and was raised by her grandparents. Growing up, she didn’t have much, but she did have a horse to ride into town with. That is how she met Walkie Leach, a ranch hand at the Medano Ranch in Hooper, who became her husband of 59 years. He swept her off her feet with his fancy car!
Joyce was unique and never fit any stereotypes for women of her time. Growing up in the small town of Hooper in the 1940s, opportunities for women were limited, but she didn’t let that hold her back. She was a jack of all trades, who followed where her interest led. She was an AKC judge, taught obedience to hundreds of dogs and their owners, herded sheep with her dog, taught agility lessons in her backyard, was active in the Cheshire Grange, drove students safely to school, loved her horses, played the pipe organ and sang in the St. Peter’s Choir, and played the accordion. She owned a goose named Michael.
Joyce’s final years were enhanced because of her close friendship with her caregiver and “adopted daughter,” Marcy Keely. Marcy was always thinking of new adventures for Joyce, like trips to the aquarium and sleepovers on snowy nights. The highlight was a trip to her childhood home in Hooper where they saw old friends, visited Sand Dunes National Park and the Hooper Swimming Pool.
Joyce is survived by her four children, Carolyn Brown of Middle Haddam, Christine Leach and her husband Derek Burton of Cheshire, Donald Leach and his partner Mike Sanger of New Haven, and Kimberley Leach of Fredericksburg, VA. Additionally, she leaves behind her ten grandchildren, Jason, Christopher, David, Daniel, Adrien, Alexander, Alicia, Niletta, Jacob, Arielle, five great grandchildren and her loyal cat Penny.
Arrangements - A graveside service for Mrs. Leach will be held at 11:00 A.M., Friday, August 21, 2020 at In Memoriam Cemetery, 18 Maplewood Ave, Wallingford, CT 06492. Family and friends are asked to meet directly at the cemetery. There are no calling hours and The Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St, 06410, is assisting the family with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joyce’s memory to www.aussierescue.org.