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NORTHFIELD — Joy K. (Knauf) Tilton, 85, a former resident of Northfield for 50 years, died on Jan. 16, 2020, at Ridgewood Center in Bedford after a long illness.

Joy was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey, on July 2, 1934, the daughter of the late Wilbur and Florence (Mathis) Knauf.

A classically trained vocalist, Joy moved to New York City at 19 to begin a successful career as Joy Marlene, performing at the Metropolitan Opera House, Radio City Music Hall, and in various commercials and films, including “A Face In the Crowd”. She appeared in numerous productions, including “Anything Goes”, “Brigadoon” and “Finian’s Rainbow”. On Broadway, she appeared in “Seventh Heaven” and “Portafino” where she met her husband, Webb Tilton.

Joy moved with her family to New Hampshire from Bronxville, New York, in 1969, and began a new career as an executive secretary for the Franklin School District, SAU 18. Joy was proud to serve in the New Hampshire State House of Representatives in 2004-2010 and again in 2012-2013. A co-founder of the Government Leaders Task Force on Methamphetamine, she was co-founder and on the Legislative Caucus on Alcohol and Drug Problems, among other important legislative initiatives. Joy was a member of several boards throughout New Hampshire and was an active member of the Sanbornton Congregational Church.

Her family includes her daughters, Christina Tilton Howe and her husband, Roger, of Bedford, and Andrea Tilton Adamczyk and her husband, Michael, of Delmar, New York; her step-daughter, Deborah Dario, and her husband, Ed, of San Gabriel, California; a step-son, Daniel Tilton, of Paauilo, Hawaii; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be on Tuesday, Jan. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the William F. Smart Sr. Memorial Home, Franklin-Tilton Road (584 West Main St.), Tilton.

There will be a funeral service on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m., also at the Memorial Home. Encryptment will be in Park Cemetery in Tilton, in the Tilton Family Mausoleum. 

For more information, go to www.smartfuneralhome.com.

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