BLOOMINGDALE — Longtime St. Armand Town Supervisor Joyce Morency died early Monday morning.
She was the longest-serving member of the Essex County Board of Supervisors, having first taken office in 1982.
She was the first female chair of the Essex County Board of Supervisors, heading the board from 1994 to 1995.
Morency had been fighting cancer for several years and succumbed at 4:30 a.m. Monday.
She was 77 years old.
Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake is in charge of arrangements. Tentatively, calling hours are 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Fortune Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. The funeral is at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Saranac lake, with burial to follow in Brookside Cemetery in St. Armand.
Highly respected as a veteran supervisor, Morency had been one of the most staunch fiscal conservatives on Essex County’s board.
She handily won re-election to a four-year term as supervisor in 2009 and served repeated terms as chair of the County Finance Committee, a post she relinquished in 2010 due to her illness.
Her death was announced with heavy hearts by county officials Monday morning.
Beyond her long career as a lawmaker, Morency was a respected businesswoman, a mother and a grandmother.
She was also chairwoman of the Essex County Republican Committee for eight years, stepping down in 2006. She served on the St. Armand Town Council from 1978 to 1981.
Current GOP Chairman Ronald Jackson worked with Morency both in county government, when he was the Town of Essex supervisor, and in organizing the Republican Party.
“It’s a big, big loss for the county,” Jackson said Monday morning, recalling the many years he worked with Morency in county board chambers.
“Joyce was always fiscally conservative — it was a tough time to convince her to spend money unless it was absolutely necessary.