Joyce C. Elsner passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, with her loving family by her side. She was 85 years young.
Born in Hanover, Pa., she was the oldest daughter of Lena Joyce Stambaugh Hamm and Lester Lawrence Hamm, and predeceased by two sisters, Susan R. Walters and Sandra E. Dubs. She is survived by her husband, Bertram with whom she shared 63 years of marriage, and three children: Cynthia Winter with husband Michael and granddaughters Abby Ingaglio and husband Joseph, and Julie Morgan and husband Shane; Leslie Bell with husband Robert and grandson Robert; and Bertram II with wife Lisa and grandson Benjamin.
After graduating from Eichelberger High School in 1954, Joyce entered Gettysburg College and graduated in the first class of B.S. music education with a minor in piano and organ in 1958. Her love of music was evident throughout her life. She and three local pianists, Nancy Leister, Mickey Fiery and Joan Bowman, performed as “Duo Times Two” locally and along the East Coast giving numerous piano concerts raising thousands of dollars for local charities.
As an active supporter of Gettysburg College, she served on the Parents Board, The Board of Fellows, The Commission on the Future and retired from The Board of Trustees after 12 years. She was most proud of the capital campaign to honor the founder of the Gettysburg College Choir and Music Department, Dr. Parker B. Wagnild. With the help of her husband, she raised thousands of dollars for the Endowment Fund for College Choir touring.
As a lifetime member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, she sang with the Sanctuary Choir for more than 50 years; was a member of the Music and Worship Committee and chairperson of public relations for the Concert Series; played with the Hand Bell choir; and performed preludes and offertories on organ and piano at worship services. Joyce also served on church council for three years. She sang with the Hanover Community Singers.
Joyce touched many lives through her service to the community. As a member of the board of True North Wellness (formerly Adams-Hanover Counseling Services) for over 25 years and also served as President for three terms, she was intimately involved in all of its subcommittees. She initiated a program for Emergency Housing for Homeless and the “Show you Care, Buy a Bear” program for abused children. She and her husband, Bertram, co-chaired a major capital campaign, “Commitment To Care,” to refurbish a downtown store into one of the agency’s facilities.
Her other community service included president of the YW Wives Club, board member of the Hanover VNA, Hanover Public School District Co-operative Diversified Occupation Program assistant, Loaned Executive for York County United Way, and member of the Citizens Advisory Board for The Brethren Home. In addition, Joyce was a member of the Daughters of the American Colonists, Order of the Eastern Star, Hanover Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, the Hanover Country Club and board member of the Hanover Symphony Orchestra.
Joyce received many honors during her lifetime for her works of service: the YWCA “Salute to Women” in 1990; the “Distinguished Community Service Award” from The Brethren Home Foundation in 1997; a Jefferson Award nomination in 1995; and Volunteer of the Year from the Mental Health Association of York County in 1998.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Wetzel Funeral Home, 549 Carlisle St., Hanover, Pa., where a viewing will be held Friday evening, Nov. 19, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 30 W. Chestnut St., Hanover, Pa., where the family will receive friends after 11:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Her pastor, Rev. Dr. Kathy Vitalis Hoffman, and Rev. Lawrence McNeil will officiate. Burial will follow at Rest Haven Cemetery, Hanover.
The family wishes to express its heartfelt appreciation for the wonderful and dedicated team of Visiting Angels including Diane, Beth, Rena, Tricia, Pepper, Kathy and their outstanding staff who ensured she had wonderful home care and her private duty nurse, Pat.
For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to Gettysburg Community Theatre, 49 York St., Gettysburg, PA 17325; True North Wellness, 625 W. Elm Ave., Hanover, PA 17331; Gettysburg College, the Parker B. Wagnild Endowment Fund for College Choir Touring, 300 N. Washington St., Gettysburg, PA 17325; or St. Matthew Lutheran Church Music Fund, 30 W. Chestnut St., Hanover, PA 17331. Gettysburg Community Theatre, https://www.gettysburgcommunitytheatre.org/donate.html; True North Wellness, https://www.truenorthwellness.org/ways-to-support-us/Gettysburg College, the Parker B. Wagnild Endowment Fund for College Choir Touring, use “other designations” https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1685/match19/interior.aspx?sid=1685&gid=2&pgid=749&cid=1659&appealcode=22WGP.
To share condolences, please visit www.wetzelfuneralhome.com.