December 16, 2018

Joleen Vatcher

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Joleen Vatcher, 74, passed away on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, after battling a long illness. She was a woman of strong faith, believing in the power and strength of Jesus Christ, and sharing His love with others. Joleen is now at peace, spending eternity in Heaven with her Savior. Joleen (Meyers) was born in Kansas City, Kansas on March 10th, 1944. She graduated from Shawnee Mission High School and continued on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and English from the University of Missouri and a Master’s Degree in Reading Education from Rhode Island College. Joleen married Jack Vatcher on August 20, 1965 and they were married for 52 years. Joleen met her husband Jack (East Providence, RI) in Kansas while he was in the service. After getting married, they moved to New England and have lived in Seekonk, MA for over 50 years. Joleen worked in the East Providence School System, starting as an elementary school teacher in 1966. Joleen was the first TITLE 1 Reading Teacher in East Providence and she continued her teaching career in East Providence as a Reading Specialist until her retirement in 1997. She served as the President of the East Bay Retired Teachers Association and on the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Retired Teachers Association. For over 40 years, Joleen was also the Sunshine Committee for the East Providence Teacher Association, where she was responsible for sending plants and cards to those teachers who were sick or suffering a family loss. Joleen was well-known and respected in the local community. Joleen had a passion for serving her community, which translated into years of volunteer service. She was a very caring and compassionate person, and always put the needs of others before her own. She was the past President and Secretary of the Friends of the Seekonk Public Library. In July 2018, Joleen was the recipient of the 2018 Sharon St. Hilaire Public Service Award. Joleen was a Registrar for the Town of Seekonk and worked at the polls and town meetings. For many years, Joleen did outreach for the Barrington Baptist Church to people in the local nursing homes and homebound community persons. In addition, she taught CPR and First Aid for the American Red Cross in Providence for over 15 years. Joleen was also on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers of Rhode Island. For over 20 years, Joleen and her husband volunteered at the Providence Performing Arts Center as Greeter Coordinators. Joleen’s music was one of the many great joys in her life. When Joleen retired from teaching, she auditioned to play with the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble and became a proud member of the group, as a flutist for over 20 years. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Wind Ensemble. In her spare time, Joleen was an avid reader, enjoyed travelling the world with her husband, and watching her garden flourish. Joleen is survived by her husband, Jack Vatcher; daughter, Jaclyn and her husband Tyler Nutter (Maine); and granddaughter Lillian Grace Lorena Nutter. She is also survived by her brother Jack Meyers and his wife Jan (Kansas). Her Funeral will be held on Thursday August 2, 2018 at 9:00 AM from the Perry-McStay Funeral Home, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence with a service to follow at 10:00 AM in the Barrington Baptist Church, Old County Road, Barrington. Burial will be in Seekonk Cemetery. Calling hours will be Wednesday August 1, 2018 from 4-8. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Joleen’s memory can be made to the Providence Rescue Mission at 627 Cranston Street, #1, Providence, RI 02907.

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