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Joyce Carol Ghee

March 11, 1931 ~ August 6, 2018 (age 87)

Joyce Carol Connelly Ghee passed away August 6, 2018 at Archcare at Ferncliff in Rhinebeck, New York.  Joyce was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on March 11, 1931.  She was a loving wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother.

A lifelong resident of Dutchess County, Joyce was the first of Vera May and Raymond Lewis Connelly’s two beautiful daughters.  She was pre-deceased by her sister, Nancy Marinucci, who passed away on April 23, 2011. 

On January 7, 1953, Joyce married her high-school sweetheart, William Donald Ghee, who survives along with their four children: Michael Ghee, Kathleen Prosser, Terrance Ghee and William Ghee.  Joyce is also survived by her niece, Jodi Bingham, her nephew, James Outwater, nine grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and five grand-nephews.  Joyce was a longtime and dedicated congregant of Hyde Park’s Community United Methodist Church.

 Joyce will be missed – not only for the love she gave, but also for the example she set.

Joyce was the valedictorian of Franklin D. Roosevelt High School’s class of 1948, and shegraduated Vassar College in 1952, with a bachelor's degree in French.

In an era where few women maintained both careers and motherhood, Joyce succeeded at both.  Joyce began her professional career as a public school teacher, and later became the adult program director for the YWCA of Dutchess County.  She did all that and more while raising her four children.  And despite the best efforts of the two youngest, they all have thrived – because of her, but mostly because of her love.

Joyce was also both skilled and varied in her artistic endeavors.  As a musician and singer, she played and sang in multiple church and independent choral groups.  Joyce also authored and co-authored numerous history and children’s books. 

Despite her passing, Joyce’s spirit lives on throughout Dutchess County.  In the early1970’s Joyce was a founding member of the Hyde Park Visual Environment Committee, where she worked tirelessly to preserve many of the town’s historical landmarks.  She then served from 1981 to 1991, as Dutchess County Historian.  Devoted to her community and its history, Joyce was instrumental in having Eleanor Roosevelt’s Vallkill designated a National Historic Site – the first such to honor a First Lady of the United States.  In appreciation of her commitment to public service, Joyce was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Valkill Medal in 2003, and in 2004 she received a public service Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.  Joyce also received the President’s Award from Marist College in 1991, and she was named the American Association of University Women Woman of the Year of 1987. 

Calling hours will be  Friday, August 10, 2018, from 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, 51 W. Market St., Rhinebeck, and a private burial will be at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery.  A public memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, August 12 at 2:00 P.M., at the Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, her family suggests donations to The Alzheimer’s Association, which can be made at

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