In Memoriam: Joyce Light

Joyce Lightborn in the middle of the Great Depression in rural Texas, died 2013 in California. A co-founder of Center for White Rose Studies, Joyce poured her heart and soul into this work. Those of you who have been customers and friends since the beginning know: Joyce handled our finance and administration with efficiency and unmatched charm.
     Our initial research trip to Germany (February through May 1995), Joyce "manned" the video camera. We have our sweet Erich and Hertha Schmorell on tape, showing us Alex's samovar and bust of Beethoven. She made Dr. Inge Jens laugh, and convinced the Kohlermanns to show us nooks and crannies we'd otherwise have missed. Joyce had a sixth sense about people. She could tell when the camera made someone uncomfortable. Occasionally when she would shut the camera off, we would experience a real breakthrough in hearing stories that made a difference.
     A product of her generation and of Texas, Joyce had never considered that there could have been "good Germans" during the Shoah. As she told Fritz and Elisabeth Hartnagel, she had always assumed that all Germans were evil. She was moved and challenged to grow, as she learned the life stories of Willi and Traute, Christl and Alex, Hans and Sophie, Lilo and Falk, and the rest of the friends.
     Her death has left a gaping hole in our lives. When Domenic said he had found some previously unknown Lilo letters, reflex was, "Oh, Joyce would love this!" We miss her as sounding board, as copy editor, as business advisor.
     Her memory will always be for a blessing.
     - Denise Heap

Text © 2013 Denise Heap. Photo © 1949 John Heap. All rights reserved. Please contact Exclamation! Publishers for permission to quote or use photograph.

This post is also on Substack. If you knew Joyce or were touched by her life, please comment on that Substack post. Thank you!