St. Armand The longest-serving member of the Essex County Board of Supervisors passed away Dec. 3 at the age of 77.
St. Armand’s Joyce Morency had been a supervisor for the town since her election in 1981, only the third female to be elected to the position, following Mildred Dobie of North Hudson and Florence Hathaway of Willsboro in 1980.
Morency built up a long list of county accomplishments, serving as county Republican Party chair, budget liaison, vice chair and chair in 1994-95, the first woman to hold the position.
She had been battling cancer, and died at her daughter’s home in Potsdam around 4:30 a.m. the morning of Dec. 3.
“Joyce was a wealth of knowledge,” Jay Supervisor and current county chair Randy Douglas said. “She was a financial wizard with town and county budgets. She was a dear friend and a tremendous colleague. She served with quite a few generations of supervisors and had all of their respect. It’s a great loss for Essex County.”
“Joyce was one of the most dedicated local public officials I ever met as countless times I would stop in at her town hall and she would be the first person to greet me through her office door,” Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau said. “She was totally dedicated to her township and its residents and would spend whatever amount of time it took to solve any problem at hand spending tremendously more hours in the Town Hall than any two other town supervisors put together. Joyce was a fearless and unrelenting advocate of St. Armand and its residents.”
North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi, who has also faced a battle with cancer, said he developed a special bond with Morency.
“She certainly was an inspiration to me,” Politi said. “She was a good friend of mine. We both had cancer together and went through the chemotherapy together. I called her as much as I could, and she was always more concerned with how I was doing then with how she was doing. We are all greatly saddened by her passing.”
Politi also praised her prowess as a member of the board of supervisors.
“She was one of the cornerstones of our board,” Politi said. “She was a tough negotiator, but she was also very compassionate. She was very committed to her community and was a role model for women in the North Country.”