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Eulogies:Joyce Lipkis

Professor, Dies at 81

by Kate Lipkis

February 7, 2002 | 7:00 pm

Joyce Lipkis

Joyce Lipkis

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies, but not everyone lives.

Joyce Lipkis died on Nov. 29, 2001, at the age of 81. Born in Kansas City, Mo., but almost a native resident of Los Angeles, Lipkis lived -- and how. At a time when most women were still working their husband's way through college, she took herself back to school -- with the full support and admiration of her husband, Leon. This was no easy task -- either psychologically or physically -- with three young sons still at home and a devotion to providing them with all the usual motherly comforts.

She graduated with both bachelor's and master's degrees from UCLA, and was bestowed with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1967. She had blazed a trail and was now thrilled to be able to teach students who were recruited in supermarket parking lots by the Women's Return to Work program. A devoted and admired professor of English literature at Santa Monica City College, she was instrumental in originating the Women in Literature course, as well as creating a new course titled literature of the Absurd.

After retirement in 1993, she remained active and traveled extensively. Her philanthropic generosity reflected her concern for women, her compassion for all people and her dedication to the arts.

Her courage and grace in the face of illness was a reflection of her indomitable spirit. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Leon; sons, Don (Arlene), Roger (Desiree) and Andy (Kate); and grandchildren, Phoebe, Kira, Alex, Henry, Sienna and Skye. -- Kate Lipkis

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