June 1, 1931 – February 26, 2020
Joanne Nash Willey passed away peacefully with family by her bedside on Feb. 26, 2020. She was born on June 1, 1931, the only child to Frank William Nash and Effie Elmira Leighton Nash. Joanne grew up in Cherryfield and attended Cherryfield Academy, graduating in 1949. She was a member of the band and played softball and basketball. She loved the water and being on the water, whether water skiing at the lake, or going across the bay to Pond Island, where she spent many memorable moments throughout her life. After graduating from Cherryfield Academy, she lived in Massachusetts for several years, and returned to Cherryfield in 1960.
She married Leonard R. Willey on Oct. 5, 1962, and they made their home in Cherryfield. During that time, she served as town clerk. In 1965, they moved to Massachusetts, and, for the next 10 years, Joanne and Leonard both worked at Texas Instruments. They returned to make Cherryfield their home once again in 1975 and have enjoyed living among family and friends for the last 45 years. Joanne work in the office of Merrill Newenham, CPA for several years. In 1995, she purchased his business and established Guagus Business Services and was well known to many as an expert tax and payroll accountant. Her clients became lifelong friends and she continued to work with many of them until she was 80 years old.
Over the years, Joanne enjoyed serving in her community. She is a past member of the Cherryfield Celebration Committee. In 1999, she and her close friend, Margery Brown, shared the honor of being named Cherryfield Americans together. She served as treasurer for the Cherryfield-Narraguagus Historical Society. She also served as a trustee for the Cherryfield Academy. She was a member of the Cherryfield Public Library Association as a trustee and treasurer. In addition, after she retired at age 80, she enjoyed assisting patrons through working volunteer hours at the library. She was an avid reader and a strong supporter of keeping the library operating for all to enjoy. Along with those duties, she volunteered for the Pine Grove Cemetery Association and served as treasurer for them over the years.
She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Leonard R. Willey; her children: Brenda (Craig) Fickett, Janet (David, deceased) Seeley, Cheryl (Larry) Brown and Frank (Maureen) Willey. She had 11 grandchildren: Jessica Fickett, Stephanie Fickett, Rachel Seeley Merrill (Adam), Rosanne Seeley Ellis, Sarah Seeley Peterson, Jonathan Seeley (Jennifer), Daniel Seeley and Katie Seeley (Daniel) Dyches, Eli Brown, Rebecca Brown and Matthew Oxton. Her great-grandchildren are Emma, Anna and Benjamin Merrill, Cole and Owen Ellis, Ava, Blake and Chase Peterson, Dallin, Elise, Olivia and Isaac Seeley, Milo and Nash Dyches and Kayla Mesiti.
Services will be held June 1, 2020, at 11 a.m. at the Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, 47 Main Street in Milbridge. The family is hosting a gathering at Cherryfield Academy after the services.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Cherryfield Academy Community Center Elevator Fund, 53 Main Street, Cherryfield, ME 04622.