Joyce Mary Lessard-Halvorson, 86

Published 4:59 pm Saturday, May 18, 2013

Joyce Mary Lessard-Halvorson, 86, of Naples, Fla. passed away Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Joyce Mary Lessard-Halvorson

Joyce Mary Lessard-Halvorson

She was born Joyce Mary Jordan to the late Roy and Lumina (Ledoux) Jordan in Northfield, N.H., on Nov. 16, 1926. Joyce grew up in Northfield and graduated from Tilton Northfield High School in 1944. She was married to Joseph R. Lessard on Feb. 17, 1947, at the Church of the Assumption in Tilton, N.H. The couple moved from Tilton to Appleton in 1949 when Joseph was hired as the uperintendent of knitting with Fox River Mills. Joseph was named president of Fox River and in 1971 they moved the company to Osage, Iowa. Joyce was actively involved in the business during Joseph’s presidency and their purchase of the mill in 1975.

Joyce and Joseph were married for 31 years before Joseph’s passing in 1978. Joyce was named chairman of the board for Fox River and served until 1999. On July 3, 1985, Joyce married John A. Halvorson in La Crosse, Wis. They enjoyed traveling, golfing and wintering in Palm Harbor, Fla. The couple was married for 20 years before John’s passing in 2005. Joyce was an active and generous woman, devoting her time to a variety of philanthropic organizations across the U.S. She especially focused her efforts where she lived in New York, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. People will also recall how determined she was. She approached each day as a new challenge, waking with a goal in mind to accomplish.

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Joyce enjoyed new experiences and adventures with enthusiasm. One of her favorite things was traveling to all 50 United States and internationally. Her travels took her all around the globe including flights on the Concord and the maiden voyage of the Queen Elizabeth II across the Atlantic.

Friends and family were very important to Joyce. They’ll remember her as a vibrant and joyful woman who spent time with the people she loved playing bridge, bowling, skiing and golfing. She was also an avid reader and writer, journaling about her travels and activities for many years.

She is survived by her four children, John Lessard (Becky) of Osage, Joyce Rory Lessard-Sprenger (Ken) of Freemont, Wis., James Lessard of Naples and Jeffrey Lessard (Donna) of Naples; two step-children, Ward Halvorson (Dixie) and family of Austin, Minn., and Bruce Halvorson of San Francisco, Calif.; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Jeannette Stuart (Harold) of Machias, Maine; Brenda Weathersbee (Ed) of Holden, Mass.; one brother, Roy Jordan (Wanda) of Franklin, N.H.; and one sister-in-law, JoAnn Jordan of Franklin. She also leaves behind many loving family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Jacqueline Mary Lessard (stillborn); two husbands, Joseph R. Lessard and John A. Halvorson; and one brother, Robert Jordan.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at 322 Eighth Ave., Seventh Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001. Online condolences may be made at