Sunday, December 5, 2010

Joyce L. Larson

Wellsville, NY - Joyce L. Larson, 83, of 133 Hills Street died on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at the Wellsville Manor Care Center following a brief illness. She was born September 1, 1927 in Dansville, the daughter of Thomas and Ruth (Ferchland) Forsythe. On November 23, 1957 in Jamestown she married Vernon F. Larson who survives.

Joyce was a graduate of Dansville High School; received a BA in English and Drama from Keuka College and her Masters from Alfred University. She taught English, Speech and Dramatics at Wellsville High School for 36 years, retiring in 1990. She directed the first musical in Allegany County; Victor Herbert's "The Red Mill" and directed over 72 plays and musicals during her career. She was a life member of the New York State Retired Teachers Association, Past President of the Wellsville Retired Teachers Association, Past President of the Allegany County Retired Teachers Association and Past Historian and Medical Coordinator of the New York State Retired Teachers' Association, Central Western Zone. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society and a member of the Andover Presbyterian Church, where she served as an Elder and Clerk of the Session.

Surviving in addition in addition to her husband, are two sons, John F. Larson of Atlanta , GA and Richard C. (Julie) Larson of Raleigh, NC, the apple of her eye, her granddaughter, Anna Larson, a sister, Suzanne (Frank) Leicht of Penfield, a brother, Donald (Carolyn) Forsythe of Penn Valley, CA, as well as several nieces and one nephew.

Friends are invited to call on Wednesday from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc., 34 W. State Street in Wellsville. The Funeral will be Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 11:00 am in the funeral home with Rev. Dean R. Bembower presiding. Burial will be in Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown. Memorial donations are suggested to any charity of the donor's choice. To leave online condolences, please visit


  1. Thank you Mrs. Larson for being a great teacher, I also enjoyed working with you on several musicals as well as the senior play. You will be greatly missed. Tim DeGraff class of 83

  2. We will Miss you Aunt Joyce! I loved your laugh and smile and the warmth your presence brought to the room. What a gift it has been to have you as an Aunt and family member. So sorry I am not able to attend but I know you are rejoicing in heaven and sharing your wonderful spirit as you have here on earth.

  3. I had the privilege of working under Joyce Larson in many plays and musicals during my middle/high school career. She taught us all perseverance (the show must go on!) and professionalism - and her productions were top-notch! She ruled over her theatre with an iron fist and she expected NOTHING less than our best. Joyce encouraged and inspired me to continue with Theatre beyond high school . . . I teach Theatre at a Performing Arts School in Durham, NC and Duke University.
    So many great memories! Best to Mr. Larson and family!
    Douglas Graves, class of '83

  4. Joyce was a GREAT inspiration to me and made me appreciate being a Thespian.What a great lady she was.My condolences to Vernon and her boys and family.She was indeed SPECIAL! Kaaren Lunn Monroe class of 1960

  5. I was in wrestling and football, so did not take part in the plays and musicals, but did greatly enjoy them all. I knew Mrs. Larson well as a teacher and also as her husband was my scoutmaster. Best wishes to Vern and all the family.
    Jeff Granger, 83

  6. Fred Young--Class of '58December 8, 2010 at 8:50 PM

    My sincere condolences to Vern & family. So glad we able to see both of you at our 50th Reunion. I'll never forget being in Joyce's Drama classes & having her direct both my Jr & Sr plays. A fantastic teacher & terrific person--one I'll always very fondly remember.

  7. A very, very special lady. Let us be silent that we may hear from heaven the whisper of God and the sound of Camelot.

    Ric Main, Class of '72

  8. I met Mrs. Larson when I first started working as the High School Art teacher. Working with her as Technical Director for the plays and musicals we brought to our school and community performances like "Twelve Angry Jurors" "The Pajama Game" and "Annie". Through it all Joyce was a great inspiration to me and a fine example of what a teacher should be. She will be greatly missed.

  9. Tima Graham Class of '83December 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Mrs. Larson was a great teacher. I enjoyed her classes very much. She was a teacher that was always there for us. She wanted us to learn everything that we could. Sometimes she would tell us things to that happened to her so that we would learn from them. She will be missed very much. God Bless to all of her family.