In Memory of





Obituary for Rev. Dr. Joyce B. Duerr (Blakney)

Rev Dr. Joyce (Blakney) Duerr, 83, of Christian Hill Road, Westerly, Rhode Island passed away at HopeHealth Hospice Center in Providence on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. She was the wife of the late Clifford T. Duerr.

Born in Boston, Mass., she was the daughter of the late Hilman and Sybil Blakney. She was a resident of Westerly for the past 52 years.

She leaves behind her five sons, Mark Goodwin of Poughkeepsie, NY, David Goodwin of Fredericksburg, VA, James Goodwin of Belmont, NH, Thom Goodwin of Derby, VT and Jonathan Goodwin of Pasadena, MD; three siblings, Stephen Blakney of Dover, NH, and Beth Gallagher and Lynda Roy, both of East Washington, NH; twelve grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. She was pre-deceased by one grandchild, one brother, and two sisters.

Her formal education included a 1958 Bachelors in Elementary Education from Gordon College; 1972 Masters in Reading Education from University of Rhode Island; 1976 Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study(CAGS) in School Administration from Rhode Island College; 1987 Doctorate of Education from Boston University; 1994 Masters of Divinity from Andover-Newton Theological Seminary.

Joyce taught elementary school in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island from 1958-1971. She was the reading specialist for Hopkinton (Rhode Island) School Department, 1971-1977, and the Title I coordinator there, 1972-1976. She was an Elementary school Principal with the Westerly School Department from 1977 to 1993 and was awarded Principal of the year by the US Dept of Education.
Joyce was honored as Pastor Emeritus of Tabernacle Baptist Church of Hope, Rhode Island, in 2016 when she retired after twenty years of leading that congregation. She was past president of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island; and was also active in the Westerly-Pawcatuck Clergy Association. She led several short-term missions trips in the Dominican Republic as well as participated in other missions in remote US locations. She was past executive director of Canonicus Camp and Conference Center in Exeter Rhode Island. She was a Board Member of Westerly Area Rest Meals (WARM) and a Friend of the Westerly Public Library.

Visiting hours are omitted. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Westerly Area Rest Meals,, or the Jonnycake Center of Westerly,
Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly is in care of the arrangements. For online condolences please visit