Long-time Literacy Council volunteer and all-around remarkable woman Joyce Routzahn died on June 13, 2018, at the age of 88.
Joyce began volunteering with the Literacy Council in 1976, after becoming certified as a tutor. She was an elementary school teacher who tutored many children as well as our Literacy Council adult students – she often worked with as many as six adults simultaneously. Over the years she tutored more students than she could count and was still tutoring a student as recently as December. She was respectful of each one, very patient, and was devoted to helping them all. She tutored students at all levels, but she had a special gift for working with the developmentally disabled.
Soon after beginning with the Council, she became a tutor trainer, helping to train hundreds of new tutors until finally retiring from training, but not from tutoring and promoting literacy, at the age of 80. She said that when she hit that milestone, she thought it was time to stop. Not only did she train here in Frederick County but in surrounding areas as well. She regularly helped in Hagerstown, and she and Betty Seligmann made many overnight trips to Pennsylvania, Virginia and the far western counties of Maryland to conduct 2-day weekend workshops for councils that had no trainers.
She had exceptional knowledge and skills, but perhaps most outstanding was her cheerful, positive outlook. Each student, group of new tutors, or situation presented a new challenge – an opportunity and a learning experience for her, and her enthusiasm was infectious. She always wanted to continue learning new things and her interests were broad.
Joyce led a good, productive and interesting life, and those who had the privilege of knowing her were very fortunate.
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