"Concerned with the General Welfare of the Deaf of Iowa"

Joyce Jacobson Leitch

January 17,1935--November 8, 2018


Joyce Jacobson Leitch of Germantown, Maryland, 83, passed away peacefully at home on November 8, 2018 at 7:13 pm, surrounded by her family.

Joyce was raised in Waukon, Iowa, and at the age of 5 years old entered the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs which she attended until her graduation in 1954. A proud Bison alum, Joyce attended Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University) in Washington, DC where she majored in home economics, was a member of the Phi Kappa Zeta sorority, an active thespian, and a member of several clubs. Joyce often spoke of the life-long friendships and wonderful memories she made during her time at Gallaudet, especially with her fellow class of ‘59ers. It was at Gallaudet where she met the love of her life, her late husband, Donald R. Leitch, whom she married on June 18, 1960.

Joyce had a long and fulfilling career as an educator of deaf children. After spending years raising her daughters, Joyce began her career at the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD), Columbia Campus as a teacher’s aide. After receiving her master’s degree in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), Joyce was promoted to a teacher’s position where she taught in the elementary and middle school programs specializing in mathematics and social studies.  Over the course of her 33-year career at MSD, Joyce taught and guided hundreds of students. Her passion for teaching and love for her students was evident in all that she did. She spent hours after
school ensuring that her classroom was the ultimate “kid-friendly” space and designing bulletin boards that defied description. Joyce was also committed to developing and supporting future educators through her supervision and mentorship of college interns and new teachers. Her lasting relationships with her former students and colleagues are a testament to the love and commitment she had for the MSD community.

During her retirement, Joyce kept busy doting over her family, and engaged in scrapbooking and genealogy. With a flair for drama, Joyce enjoyed entertaining her friends and family with her talent of sign-performing short songs and poems. Always a social butterfly, she loved attending community events such as Deaf Seniors and Red Hat Society gatherings, and spending time with the “Bridgettes,” her beloved 50-year bridge club.

Joyce is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Donald R. Leitch. She is survived by her three daughters and sons-in-law, Krista Leitch Walker (Steve), Erika Edgar (Brad), and Naja Frelich (Daryl), her 9 grand-children, and 5 great-grandchildren. Joyce is also survived by her brother, John Daniel Aide, of Prattville, Alabama.

A private family service and burial was held on Tuesday, November 13 at Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, with a celebration of her life to be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to the Maryland School for the Deaf Foundation, P.O. Box 636,
Frederick, MD, 21705.

Hilton Funeral Home, Barnesville, MD handles her funeral arrangements.

Thanks to Hilton Funeral Home, Barnesville, MD, Shirley Hicks and Susan Whitt for the information.


Updated June 30, 2019