Joan Decker Melcher

Joan Decker Melcher, age 89 of Abbott Hill Road, Wilton, died on October 19, 2013, swept away in the recent fall glory.

She was born in Philadelphia to Theodore Frank and Helen Malone Decker. She graduated from Germantown Friends School in 1942, and Bradford Junior College in 1944.

Joan married Harold Porter Melcher on June 13, 1945. They had five sons: William of Wilton, NH; Stephen of Surrey, UK; Thomas of Pawlett, VT; Harold of Basking Ridge, NJ; and Charles of Oak Park, IL. Her niece and nephew, Christine Budd of Woburn, MA and Fred Budd of Acton, MA, were taken in and became part of the family.

After years as a “homemaker” she went back to school to study Gerontology at 59, which defined the rest of her life as a community activist.

The organizations Joan belonged to go back to the Bradford Alumni Board, Christ Church Thrift Shop (Cambridge, MA), Lexington Historical Society, and Mount Auburn Hospital Auxiliary. She founded and coordinated the Lexington Council on Aging from 1976 to 1986, moving her commitments to Wilton soon after.

In Wilton, Joan served as a Trustee of the Wilton Library, worked at the Hospice of Peterborough, drove for FISH and was a past president of the Wilton Lioness Club. She was honored for her work at the Wilton Main Street Association.

Joan’s passions were tennis at the Wilton Tennis Club until she was in her early 80s and her painting. Joan knitted for the whole family and also co-authored and published “The Way to Greece with Hal.”

She is survived by 13 grandchildren: Sierra, Adam, Elizabeth, Chapin, Henry, Sean, Chris, Andrew, Jack, Craig, Grace, Charlotte and Luke. Her first great-grandchild, Ashton, was born a few hours before she died. She was predeceased by her husband, Hal, in 2005 and brother, Frank, in 2012.

There are no calling hours. The service will be Nov. 16 at The Unitarian Church, 598 Isaac Frye Highway, Wilton at 1 p.m. The family suggests that memorial donations be made be made to the Wilton Public & Gregg Free Library in Wilton, NH.

Arrangements are in the care of the Michaud Funeral Home, 32 Maple St., Wilton, NH. To view an online obituary or leave a condolence, please visit our web site at www.michaud