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In Memory of Joan Getchell: 1948-2011

Added on: March 10, 2011

Joan GetchellMACHIAS, Maine – Joan Getchell ‘83, alumna and longtime employee of the University of Maine at Machias, passed away on March 8, 2011, at a local healthcare facility. She was 62.

Joan was best known around campus for her employee payroll, accounting, and human resources responsibilities. She spent her entire 42-year career working in just one office, the Business Office, located in Powers Hall.

Joan was hired as a secretary in the Business Office in 1969 at what was then the Washington State College of the University of Maine. In 1976, she was promoted to administrative assistant to the business manager.

In 1983, Joan earned her bachelor’s degree in general studies from UMM. That same year, she was promoted to the professional staff position of director of business operations. She was promoted once again in 1989 to her most recent position of assistant to the vice president for administration and finance.

“There is no way to fully convey what Joan Getchell meant to this university over the past four decades,” said UMM President Cynthia Huggins. “Her service and dedication to UMM—our students, employees, retirees, and alumni—were amazing. We will all remember Joan for everything that she did for UMM, but also just for being the warm, funny, endearing person that she always was.”

Joan had the pleasure of working under six different university presidents, numerous interim presidents, and served under two institutional names. One of just a few remaining resident historians, she could recall employee names and important dates in university history from decades ago. Her recollections were especially helpful in the completion of a paperback history of UMM in 2009.

Joan is survived by her mother, Abbie; two sisters, Barbara McKinley and husband, James, of Acton and Alison Savard and husband, Jean, of East Machias; two nieces, Jennifer Savard-Johnson and husband, John, of Monmouth and Marie Savard of East Machias; and two nephews, Richard and Tyler Johnson. She was predeceased by her father, Raymond.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Joan’s memory to the Joan M. Getchell Scholarship, care of the Development Office, University of Maine at Machias, 116 O’Brien Avenue, Machias, Maine 04654. Donations can also be made online here.

To view Joan Getchell’s obituary online, click here.


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