Cover photo for Joyce M. Rittenhouse's Obituary
Joyce M. Rittenhouse Profile Photo

Joyce M. Rittenhouse

March 16, 1934 — April 20, 2024


Joyce M. Rittenhouse

In memoriam, 


Joyce Major Rittenhouse, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother left a hole in our hearts when she passed away peacefully on April 20, 2024, at the age of 90.  Joyce was born in Ottawa, Canada on March 16, 1934 to Omer and Yvonne D’Amour Major but at age 5, she was moved to Strafford, PA to live and be raised by her Uncle Harry M. and Aunt Cecelia Towhey.  In her early years, Joyce dedicated many hours to being a ballerina and in her early 20s did some modeling for The Philadelphia Model Agency.  After starting at Rosemont College, she continued these activities but her interest in science turned into a major in biology. She met her future husband, P. Neel Rittenhouse on a blind date while in college.  They married and had four children that they raised in Woxall, PA. She worked as a laboratory technician at UPenn’s hematology department for several years but after having children, she became a stay-at-home mom.  


Joyce had a strong and passionate creative side in the field of art. Initially, her medium of choice was oil paints.  She loved landscapes and still life paintings, that hang in her children’s homes today.  In the early 60s, she organized a Creative Arts Studio, a local cultural center which offered arts, crafts, drama, piano and ballet classes.  Wanting to broaden her love of art, Joyce attended community college to learn both pottery and stone carving. In her older years she enjoyed decoupage, producing beautifully decorated vases, boxes and pieces of furniture.  


Joyce also loved antiquing, a passion that would result in her selling “treasures” locally at her own antique store called The Snoop Coop. Gardening and cooking were part of her love of home, nature and family.  Her passion for flea-marketing and “yard saleing”, an activity she shared with her husband, began her recycle and reuse ideology.  She could make something out of nothing, turn trash into art, craft a new meatloaf dish from leftovers or a piece of driftwood into a Stephen King sculpture. 


She had a long and happy life, and she was loved deeply. 

She was predeceased by her brothers Harry Major, Eddie Major, and sister Grace McGee.   Joyce is survived by her husband of 67 years, her four kids, David (Christine), Philip (Mary), Valerie Landis (Duane), Stephanie Burkhart (William) and daughter-in-law Debi Rittenhouse.  In addition, her eight grandchildren, Andrew Rittenhouse (Ashley), Robert Rittenhouse (Michelle), Natalie Capello (Chris), Eric Rittenhouse (Jeremy), Devon Landis, Heather Rafferty (Bob), Logan Landis and Kira Landis (Eric) and her eight great-grandchildren, Brooke and Michael Rittenhouse, Kayla Capello, Ellie Rafferty, Cora Capello, Derek Rittenhouse, Blake Rafferty, and Lily Rittenhouse. 


Services will be private.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to The Alzheimer's Association (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce M. Rittenhouse, please visit our flower store.


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