Joyce Thorn, a second-generation Denver native and an active member of B’nai Havurah, passed away Jan. 3, 2019, in Denver. She was 81. Rabbi Evette Lutman officiated at the Jan. 6 memorial service at B’nai Havurah.
Mrs. Thorn was born May 5, 1937, in Denver to Harry and Rose Cohn.
She attended Park Hill Elementary, Smiley Middle School and East High School.
After earning a BS in speech pathology at Northwestern University, she returned to Denver and treated children with speech defects.
She married Bill Thorn on Dec. 27, 1961.
In the early 1970s, Mrs. Thorn played the character of Worm, a puppet bookworm who realized that reading books was more fun than eating them, on the KRMA-TV 6 show “Story Time.”
She also began teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESL) to elementary school students in DPS.
Mrs. Thorn and her husband, along with cousin Joe Levi, invested in residential real estate in the Denver neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park, Congress Park and Mayfair.
As property values and rents rose, they maintained low rents at their properties to help provide housing for lower middle-class residents.
They encouraged composting and recycling.
Mrs. Thorn’s advocacy of diverse communal living practices at her Mayfair Village property garnered local media attention.
Bill Thorn passed away Aug. 10, 2009.
After his death, Mrs. Thorn opened her home to young people who lived with her and provided friendship, conversation and entertainment.
Mrs. Thorn is survived by children Todd Thorn of Denver, Bret Thorn of Brooklyn and Courtney Thorn of Denver; sister Donna Kornfeld; and grandchildren Tahirah Thorn, Harrison Thorn and Alia Thorn.
Contributions may be made to B’nai Havurah, “We Don’t Waste.”
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