Volunteer of the Month – Joyce Spayd

On any given day, one to 15 volunteers could be on our 555-acre cemetery. Much of what happens here, whether it is working with youth, weeding the pollinator garden, cleaning tombstones, or giving tours, is done by volunteers. Their dedicated work enables us to accomplish much more than the five members of the Crown Hill Foundation staff could do otherwise. In our e-newsletters, we will highlight the work of our amazing volunteers so that you get to know them a little better, understand what they do, how they help, and why they choose to spend their free time with us.

Joyce Spayd

Growing up, Joyce moved frequently because of her father’s work as a Methodist minister. She met her husband, Alan (of 47 years), in Evansville, where they continued to live following their marriage. Joyce graduated from the University of Evansville with a degree in Social Work and raised two kids and worked full-time in the social service area until her retirement. After retirement, what was next? Well, a cemetery of course!

Why volunteer at a cemetery? Joyce noted that as a child she often spent Mother’s Day in cemeteries, including at her maternal grandmother’s grave. The family would picnic and explore the bordering woods. She always seemed to be the one in charge of the upkeep on all her family’s graves and a key inspiration for her interest in volunteering at Crown Hill is to learn how to clean stones, and she will start helping our Director of Historic Preservation clean tombstones this summer.

Joyce also finds peace in cemeteries and enjoys thinking of those buried there — their personal history. Because of this, she also helps our Director of Education with school groups. The fact that her daughter is the Director of Education might also be a reason why she regularly volunteers.

Since starting in January, Joyce has helped direct school buses navigate the cemetery for our Spirit of Freedom school event, helped students properly plant native plants in our pollinator garden and the connecting activities in learning about plant parts, and has been a guinea pig as we create work assignments in our new volunteer program.

Thanks, Joyce, for all your help! We look forward to many more volunteer days with you!