BAKERSFIELD: Levi Nelson Joyal, Jr. died December 23, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. He was born in 1938 in Bakersfield to Levi and Ida (Machia) Joyal. Levi, or Junior, as he was known to many, attended the Cook School and Brigham Academy in Bakersfield before he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Germany and after an honorable discharge, returned to the family dairy on Joyal Road where he worked until his very last day.
He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, David. He is survived by his sister, Helen, of Williamstown, several cousins, his good friend and companion Rosalie Williams, and her granddaughter Erionah, who was like a daughter to him.
Entering the Joyal dairy barn was like stepping back in time. A small pane window in the weathered wooden door glowed with light from within. The cows were quiet, happily chewing on hay in the manger, clean sawdust around them like a blanket. Levi and David ran their dairy barn together, every day of the year. David was the skeptic, the one you had to convince that your plan was worth listening to. Junior was the jovial one, loving a good rib to his brother or giving you that look that he thought you were full of it, then giving you a hint of a smile. Junior farmed for his whole life. It was who he was. Anyone who was fortunate enough to work with him in his barn knew the love he had for the cows and for the land.
In 2008, David and Junior made the difficult decision to sell the cows. Not long after, David died suddenly while out in his beloved woods. Luckily, Junior was able to continue dairy farming with Rosalie and Erionah Williams. He was a very hardworking man and would never ask for help, but if you offered, he wouldn’t turn it down. He enjoyed spending time in the woods cutting trees, or in the fields haying or spreading manure. In his free time, he enjoyed riding motorcycles and snowmobiles.
Junior wasn’t really one for public gatherings but always enjoyed spending time with friends and family. Although he may have seemed like a shy, keep-to-himself kind of person, Junior loved teaching others, especially kids and young adults. He taught Erionah and other Bakersfield youth different aspects of the trades he knew such as farming, logging, welding and mechanics.
Junior will be remembered by many in Franklin County due to his countless hours of volunteer work with the Lucas James Williams Memorial Youth Fund. He was a mentor to a generation of area kids through the Memorial, which serves the community by joining all ages in outdoor activities, hunter safety education, fishing, and the yearly Haunted Forest, which has entertained hundreds of people annually over the last two decades.
Junior liked doing things the “old school” way, without all the new technology. Despite this, he did enjoy being shown how technology such as smartphones and tablets worked and how they could be used for fun and entertainment (yet never for a picture of him).
We will miss Junior’s shy hesitant smile, his hard work in the barn and the fields, and his love for the cows. He was one of a kind; they just don’t make them like him anymore. Anyone who was able to meet him and work with him is grateful for the lessons he has taught them. Junior was an amazing person and a blessing to anyone lucky enough to have him in their life.
Thank you to Robert Willey, Terah Williams, Michael Morton, Bayada Home Health and hospice caregivers for helping Junior through his final days.
As per his wishes, there wilI be no services. In the spring, Junior will be placed high on a hilltop on his property. If you wish, you may send a good story of Junior to Erionah Williams, or make a donation in his honor to the Lucas James Williams Memorial Youth Fund Ltd, P.O. Box 85, Bakersfield VT, 05441.