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Joyce Hayes Whitman, 93

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 08:49

Joyce Hayes Whitman was proud to be a part of the Montauk community, which she demonstrated in her extensive volunteer work with the Montauk Library. She read stories to children for nearly 20 years -- before there was a children's librarian there -- and held nearly every board position at one time or another with the Friends of the Montauk Library. She also hosted Wednesday night movies and helped coordinate the annual book fair.

She "always imagined that she was seeing Montauk for the first time, even as a full-time resident for 33 years," wrote her daughter, Suzanne Whitman of Boulder, Colo. "She would exclaim over the magnificent views, the beautiful flora and fauna, and the seasonal decorations in the village."

Ms. Whitman died of metastatic lung cancer on April 22 at East End Hospice's Kanas Center for Hospice Care on Quiogue. She was 93 and had been ill for more than a year and a half.

She was born in Springfield, Mass., on March 24, 1928, to George Wesley Hayes and the former Louise Wright. She went on to study at Lasell University in Massachusetts. In May of 1952, she married Barrett Whitman, who survives.

The couple lived in Columbus, Ind., and Boston before settling on Long Island in Melville, a placed they loved living from 1956 to 1988. They bought property in Montauk in 1964, and moved there full time in 1988 after Mr. Whitman retired from a career in engineering with Grumman.

Mrs. Whitman had a career first at an interior design company in Massachusetts before taking a secretarial job with the Army Courts and Boards Office in Indiana and another later on with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was also a homemaker, raising two children, who were born in 1957 and 1960.

She loved doing needlepoint, and with a lifelong love of gift giving, many of her creations went to family and friends. She also loved gardening, entertaining, and shopping.

She "had a bright smile, a big laugh, and she loved a good time," Suzanne Whitman wrote.

In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Whitman leaves a son, Alan Whitman of Boulder, and a granddaughter, Ana Melara-Whitman. A sister, Virginia Hayes Butcher, died before her.

Mrs. Whitman was cremated and services will be announced in the future. Her family has suggested memorial donations to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048 in Westhampton Beach 11978.

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