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Joan E. (Nelson)'s Story

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Joan (Nelson) Leighton, 84, wife of the late Henry Vye Leighton, passed away April 13, 2017 at Lawrence General Hospital surrounded by her loving family.
Born in Beverly, she was the daughter of the late David and Frances B. (Baron) Nelson. Raised and educated in Beverly, she was a graduate of Beverly High School, Class of 1950. She attended Wheelock College in Boston and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. She married Henry in 1956 and lived in the Midwest where their five children were born. The family moved to Boxford in 1968. Joan was teacher in the Boxford school system and over the years taught many of Boxford’s current residents. Her passion was children, not only her own but also her grandchildren and all the children she had the privilege to teach.
She was a generous, kind and gentle soul who had a calming effect on everyone she met. Joan loved to laugh and had a great sense of humor.
Something she instilled in all of her children. While sometimes shocked at their lack of propriety, she loved them dearly, as only a Mother could.
After her husband, Henry passed, Joan found companionship with Wendell Weyland, also of Boxford. Wendell shared his love of golf with Joan who went from a reluctant novice to enthusiastic coach & tutor. Joan loved to travel. Wendell and Joan saw many new places together and loved sharing their stories with the combined families.
She will be sorely missed by her family and friends.
Joan is survived by her five children, Nicholas H. Leighton and his wife Suzanne of Georgetown; Jeffrey D. Leighton and his wife Shaunna of Boxford; Julie E. Leighton and her husband Roger Griffiths of Woburn; Stacey J. Murphy and her husband Robert of Woburn; Matthew Leighton and his wife Nancyellen of North Reading; 13 grandchildren, Morgan Leighton, Paige Leighton, Scott Leighton, Ashley Leighton, Kathleen Leighton, Presley Griffiths-Leighton, Brittney Murphy, Callie Murphy, Andrew Murphy, Timothy Murphy, Matty Leighton, Christopher Leighton and Abby Leighton; sister in law Margaret Nelson of Danvers; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her brother, Graham J. Nelson and Wendell Weyland, her companion of 12 years.
Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend funeral services on Tuesday, April 18 at 11 a.m. at the Second Congregational Church, UCC, 173 Washington Street, Boxford. Burial will follow in Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Mt. Vernon Road, Boxford. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to The Community School, 308 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030. Arrangements are by the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main Street, Haverhill. Please visit Comeau Funeral Home on Facebook or www.comeaufuneral.com.
Published on  April 15, 2017
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