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Joyce Fondren Elbrecht

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Joyce Fondren Elbrecht Obituary
Elbrecht, Joyce Fondren

Joyce Fondren Elbrecht, 86, died in her sleep on January 25 from complications from a 2011 stroke. She was born May 2, 1927 at her grandmother's house in Adaton, MS and lived her childhood years in the Mississippi delta. She graduated with a BA in English from Bennington College in 1948 and married William Frederick Elbrecht that same year. After graduate study in English at the University of Chicago, the couple transferred to the University of Minnesota and later to Tulane University in New Orleans. There, her two "lovable and loving daughters" were born and spent their childhood years: Leah A. Kelly of Plantation, FL and Celia H. Elbrecht, MD of Ithaca. When their daughters reached kindergarten age, the couple returned to graduate school at Tulane, where both switched majors, he to physics and she to philosophy. Joyce obtained a MA and a PhD in philosophy in 1967 and moved with her family to Ithaca to take a job in Ithaca College's Department of Philosophy, where she taught until her retirement in 1984. Her husband predeceased her in 1976. After retirement she concentrated her study on theories of psychotherapy and wrote two novels in collaboration with her longtime partner, Lydia E. Fakundiny, who predeceased her in March 2013. She is survived by her daughters, Leah and Celia; her much-loved friend and sister, Marj Fondren Haydon of Bellaire, FL; her attentive brother, E. Louis Fondren, Jr. of Pascagoula, MS; and her favorite son-in-law, Tim Kelly, Leah's husband. She will be much missed by her family. She will be remembered for her brilliant mind, her aesthetic aptitude, her amazing wit, her beauty, her creativity in multiple formats, and her beautiful smile. There will be no public services, at Joyce's request. Friends and relatives are asked to remember her in private and, in lieu of flowers, make donations to organizations working for the right-to-die option, such as Final Exit or Compassion & Choices, both of which she supported during her adult life, or to a cause of your choice.

Published in Ithaca Journal on Jan. 28, 2014
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