The Joyce M. Walker Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Established in 1998, this scholarship honors the legacy of Joyce Mary Walker, who epitomized the ideal of the caring and dedicated nurse. The scholarship is awarded to a second-year student who demonstrates potential for success in the nursing profession and who has been involved in the community. The criteria reflects principles practiced by Mrs. Walker throughout her life as a long-time nurse active in many community organizations.
A native of Cape Vincent, Joyce Mary Lawrence was born July 18, 1939, the daughter of Joseph N. and Agnes M. Docteur Lawrence. She graduated in 1957 from Cape Vincent High School and 1960 from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Watertown.
During her school days, she was renown as an athlete and good friend to all. Her family farm upbringing, genuine cheerfulness and exceptional fortitude would stand her in good stead throughout her life.
Prior to her marriage, Mrs. Walker worked at Rockville Center, NY with her sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Riscica. While working on Long Island, Mrs. Walker met her future husband, who was then a Coastguard's Man, assigned to the Staten Island Coast Guard Station.
Mrs. Walker was married to Allen L. Walker on Oct. 20, 1962, at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Rosiere. The young couple initially lived in Watertown, where Mrs. Walker was a private duty nurse at Mercy Hospital. Mrs. Walker gave birth to the first of three children, Kevin Michael, in November 1963.
In 1965, Mrs. Walker moved to Clayton with her family. She resided in Clayton until 1986. After moving to Clayton and giving birth to her son, Mark Allen, in 1966, Mrs. Walker worked at Edward John Noble Hospital in Alexandria Bay.
After the birth of her third child, Suzanne Marie, in 1970, Mrs. Walker enjoyed several years at home, raising her children full time. In 1976, she returned to work at Mercy Hospital in Watertown. Mrs. Walker worked as the Emergency Room Charge Nurse from 1976 to 1981, enjoying the challenges of the weekend night shift. In 1981 she became a head floor nurse at Madonna Home, where she remained until she retired in 1992.
Mrs. Walker was well known for her dedication to her patients and her ability to see the humor in almost any situation. She was highly regarded for her clinical knowledge and nursing skills.
Mrs. Walker was actively involved in her local community. Her faith was always a central part of her life. During her years as a Clayton resident Mrs. Walker was active in the St. Mary's Parish. Upon moving to Cape Vincent, Mrs. Walker returned to St. Vincent de Paul Church, Rosiere, her childhood parish. Mrs. Walker was a past member of the Altar and Rosary Society in both parishes.
Always involved in her children's activities, Mrs. Walker volunteered in number of youth related organizations. Mrs. Walker was an active volunteer for Boy and Girl Scouts, Clayton area 4-H activities, youth sports, and school and PTA activities.
Mrs. Walker also was a member of the Cape Vincent Improvement League, the Mercy Hospital Alumni Association and the Cape Vincent Lighthouse Society.
Joyce M. Walker died on February 20, 1998 following a long battle with scleroderma.
Jefferson Community College Foundation is grateful to Allen L. Walker, Mrs. Walker's husband, Major Kevin M. Walker, Mr. Mark A. Walker, and Suzanne M. Walker Zicari for having established this scholarship.