In Memoriam: Joan Madeira ‘76

Joan Dillon Hay Madeira, Class of 1976, died peacefully November 9, 2017 at her home in Jupiter Island, FL, at the age of 94. Her life was one of service to God and then to her family of 6 children, 4 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren and then to hundreds of close friends.

Madeira was a spiritual guide and mentor to countless friends and students, a committed Christian who walked her talk to the very end. Many called her a saint because of her tireless work for the Lord. She was loved and respected by all who knew her as she was always on point knowing when to push and when to pray.

Madeira was one of the first women to be ordained as an Episcopal deaconess (sic) and served as such in her churches in Manchester, VT and Jupiter Island, FL. She worked for most of her life as a chaplain and Episcopal clergy person in several hospitals on Long Island, Bellevue in New York City and several in Florida. She was instrumental in setting up Hospice Centers on Long Island, Vermont and Florida. She was on the Board of Directors of The Harvard Medical School, The National Salvation Army of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Adelphi University, Bellevue Hospital, The Church Club of New York, Nassau County Red Cross, Trinity Episcopal Seminary, Westover School, Jupiter Hospital, Martin Memorial Hospital, Jupiter Island Medical Clinic, Christ Memorial Chapel, Jupiter Island Historical Society, Jupiter Island Garden Club, Hobe Sound Nature Center, Hobe Sound Yacht Club, Jupiter Island Beautification Committee, Bennington Hospital, Southern Vermont Art Center and many more.

The daughter of Herbert Lowell Dillon and Hope Bush, Madeira was born in New York City, and grew up between Long Island, Mountain Lake, FL and Hobe Sound, FL. She graduated from Greenvale School, Westover School, Bennett College and Sara Lawrence College before attending General and Mercer Seminaries and receiving diaconal degrees in 1983.

She married Air Force Captain Henry Hay in 1944 and they had a devoted marriage for 45 years and had six children together. They raised their family in Old Brookville and Oyster Bay Cove, Long Island until Captain Hay’s death in1989. Madeira moved from Long Island to Dorset, VT for her summers, spending her winters in Hobe Sound, FL., and then married Lewis N. Madeira in 1991. They were happily married until his death in the fall of 2009.

Madeira spoke French fluently and was a seasoned world traveler. She loved to play piano and was a talented singer/songwriter. She was a great appreciator of art and was a prolific painter. She was also a strong athlete playing golf, tennis, swimming and sailing. She is survived by four remaining children, John Hay, Sandra Hay Marshall, Laura Hay and Lisa Hay Morrin, as well as her four grandchildren and six great-grand-children. Her two deceased sons were David (Wyck) Hay and Henry (Ry) Hay.