Cover photo for Joelle Chantal Birkett's Obituary
Joelle Chantal Birkett Profile Photo
1949 Joelle 2020

Joelle Chantal Birkett

July 21, 1949 — October 29, 2020

Joëlle Chantal Birkett (née Roy), 71, of Concord, MA, passed away Thursday, October 29, 2020 at Care Dimensions Hospice House in Lincoln, MA. She was the beloved wife of Robert Birkett and the loving mother of Claire Birkett.

Joëlle was born in Enghien-Les-Bains, France on July 21,1949. She was preceded in death by her parents Ginette and Jacques Roy, and is survived by her siblings Nicole, Catherine, and Patrick, as well as many nieces and nephews.

She met Bob, her husband of 40 years, in Bath, England. They were married at his parent's home in Needham, MA in 1980 and chose to make their home in Concord. She became an American Citizen in 1992.

Joëlle completed her studies at the Sorbonne, Paris in 1971, earned British Teacher Certification at Southampton University, and started a long career as a teacher of French language and culture. Her first teaching position was at Hartcliffe School in Bristol, England where she rose to the level of Housemistress. After moving to the United States, she continued her teaching at l'Ecole Bilingue in Cambridge, MA, The Park School, Concord Academy, Carlisle Middle School and Newton Country Day School where she taught for 15 years. When Claire was young, Joëlle volunteered at The Barn Nursery School, Sunday school and for Claire's Dance Prism ballet performances.

Joëlle filled her classrooms with laughter and joy. Students, colleagues, and parents appreciated the enthusiasm she brought to teaching. She was a wonderful storyteller and all were drawn in by her humor, charm and personality. She brought elegance and joie de vivre to everything she did and blended cultures gracefully to make everyone feel special.

Joëlle loved her life in Concord, the long walks with Bob, and visiting the local shops and farms, which reminded her of her native France. She generously shared her flair for cooking with close friends, and loved visiting her French family in Cassis, Cannes and Menton, bringing back many treasured memories.

A private memorial will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to:
Care Dimensions
75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102
Danvers, MA 01923


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