Weve Lost a Legend; Honoring the Legacy of Joyce Darlene Ellis

With profound sadness the Board of Directors of the LeMoyne Community Center announces the passing of our beloved Executive Director, Joyce Darlene Ellis on December 16th, 2020 at 10 PM.

Sadly, this occurred shortly after she had been named the Best of the Best Person of the Year award winner in the Observer-Reporter newspaper and was featured in an extensive article on December 9th.

Joyce was a life-long resident of Washington, PA and was well known throughout the area for her entrepreneurial drive, propelling her successful dance studios, and her charitable zeal in resurrecting the abandoned LeMoyne Community Center beginning in 2007.  The Center was a shell of what it had once been and was considered for demolition.  Joyce applied her grit and determination to continue to overcome obstacles, major and minor, to not only bring the Center back to life, but take it into new programs of community outreach.

Hundreds of children are now living a better life than they would have otherwise been due to participating in the LeMoyne Community Center’s programs.  These include Homework and More, our after school educational assistance and feeding program that serves 100 or more children each school year.  Camp Challenge is its summertime equivalent that serves around 150 children all day each summer, providing educational assistance, two meals and a snack, and growth opportunities thru in-house activities and field trips.  Along with this, Joyce set up a county wide feeding program providing meals every day for hundreds of children at 20 different locations.


Joyce tirelessly worked every day to continue to advance the programming and outreach of the Center and was close to completing a renovation of the Center’s gym, which dated back to the opening of the LeMoyne Community Center in 1956.

The Board of Director’s and staff of the LeMoyne Community Center are dedicated to continuing and expanding the legacy of Joyce Darlene Ellis as we traverse this period of reflection and sadness and begin to plan for a future that will honor and build on her accomplishments.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we defer any in-person remembrance, but will have an appropriate Celebration of Life event later in 2021.

To ensure Joyce’s legacy continues into the future, the Board has named Linda Harris as the Interim Executive Director.  If you would like to help Joyce’s family please send any donations directly to them.

If you would like to donate to the continued operation of the LeMoyne Community Center, please visit the Donate page.

Click here to watch a tribute video for Joyce.