Joan Audrey (Chaya Zelda) Bricker Larsen, 82, of Canton, New York died peacefully early in the morning on December 15, 2021 after a short battle with cancer.
The Life She Lived:
Joan was the life partner and wife of Ronald John Larsen. They were married in June 1962 in Palo Alto, California and spent nearly 60 years together on a journey that took them throughout the United States and Europe.
Joan was born on Yom Kippur (September 22, 1939) in Bronx, New York. She was the eldest child of Julius and Miriam (Fisch) Bricker. After graduating from public high school in the Bronx, she attended City College of New York from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Biology in 1960. Joan continued her studies in Biology at Stanford University, receiving her Master’s degree in 1963.
After years of teaching and pursuing other interests, Joan attended the State University of New York – Albany and received a Master’s degree in Library Science in 1977. From there, she became the Head of Reference and Bibliographic Instruction at St. Lawrence University’s Owen D. Young Library, a position she held until her retirement from the University in 2011.
In addition to her work at the Library, Joan played a leading and formative role in several other programs on campus. She was instrumental in the origin and development of the Basic Academic Skills program early in her tenure and was a critical part of the design and institution of St. Lawrence’s esteemed First Year Program for incoming students. Joan served multiple terms as a member of St. Lawrence’s faculty council and was the coordinator of Jewish Student Life on campus for many years; a role she continued even after her retirement.
Her lifelong passion for learning, for collaborative instruction and for the overall pursuit of knowledge was recognized in 2002 when Joan was awarded St. Lawrence’s prestigious Louis and Frances Maslow Award. The Maslow Award is given annually to a faculty member who has shown the most interest in and understanding of the education and welfare of the student body as a whole.
Joan’s life outside the University was as rich and as varied as her achievements at the University. She cared deeply about, supported passionately and never desisted from issues related to her Jewish heritage and to other groups who have been historically underrepresented and discriminated against.
Joan is survived by her husband Ronald of Canton, New York; a son, Nils Erik and daughter-in-law Stacey Michele of Chicago, Illinois; granddaughters, Zoe Isabella and Ruby Sophia and a grand-dog, Archie all of Chicago; a brother, Sy Bricker (Lucille) of Bradenton, Florida; a sister, Dorothy Buglione (Joseph) of Minneapolis, Minnesota and many nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces and her guys – Morgan, Phil, Finnegan and the others.
Joan was buried in the Jewish section of Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois surrounded by intimate family. Memorial contributions can be made in Joan’s name to the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts (www.yiddishbookcenter.org).
Lawrence Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Canton and Lakeshore Jewish Funerals in Chicago have been entrusted with Joan’s care and arrangements. Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.lawrencefuneralhome.org or www.lakeshorejewishfunerals.com.