In Memory: Joyce Lawrence

Dear Laurentian Friends,

We have learned of the January 25 death of retired Modern Languages and Literature secretary Joyce Lawrence, who served the University from 1970 to 1989. 

Two of her colleagues offered me their memories to share with you.  Professor Emerita Rita Goldberg remembers Joyce as “the best secretary ever… she had a tiny, hole in the wall office in the basement of Richardson where she did it all, first just basic departmental business and later, working with the program coordinator, also everything associated with the department’s abroad programs as they started up and became ever more demanding of her time. Eventually the whole operation was taken over by the University when what is now the Center for International and Intercultural Studies was created. We’ll never understand how Joyce did it for so many years, even with some student help. Faculty as well as students and the building’s janitor would plop down in the chair next to her desk and tell her everything. This worked well because Joyce knew everything about everybody both in Canton and on campus. During the day, she and I moved back and forth between our adjacent offices. You could tell because by the end of the day, all the pens would have migrated from one office to the other. Joyce was caring, hardworking, supportive, wise and kind and just gossipy enough. She was a terrific secretary, but I remember her as a great person, someone who always cheered you up and even now makes me smile whenever I think of her.”

Elaine White offered these thoughts “Joyce was an absolute professional in completing her Modern Language responsibilities – serious, tactful,  always gave 100% to her job.  But, when appropriate (and sometimes when not so appropriate), her jokester side would take over and Joyce would suddenly break out in a loud, infectious laugh because she had just been able to play a great joke on a co-worker.  I just loved that laugh – she was so full of life.  Many of my memories of Joyce are from time she spent with my parents and she was a prankster then too.”

Most sincere condolences to Joyce’s family and friends who mourn.  Your memories of Joyce will bring comfort, and we invite them on our Memorial web site.