Joel Ellis Bixby, a long time resident of Lisbon NY, died at home on September 22, 2023
after a two-year battle with cancer. He was born in Potsdam NY on August 27, 1945, the
son of the late Dr. Donald and Irene McGee Bixby, lifetime residents of Norfolk NY.
A native of Norfolk NY he graduated from Norwood Norfolk Central School in 1963. In
1967 he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Lawrence University and
completed his masters degree in counseling from SLU the following year. At St. Lawrence,
he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, Laurentian Singers and the Singing Saints.
Since graduation, entertaining college classmates at his home has been a highlight of
On August 12, 1967 he married his college sweetheart Jill Jennifer Baird of Warwick NY
with whom he raised daughters Abigail of Brooktondale NY, and Samantha of Midland MI.
He was always extremely proud of all of their accomplishments.
After two years of teaching math at George Hall Junior High School in Ogdensburg NY from
1968 to 1970, he worked in Student Services at the State University of New York at Canton
until his retirement in 2005. In those thirty-five years he served as Counselor, Director of
Counseling, and Director of Career Services. After he retired he continued to work part
time in the Office of Alumni and Development until 2009.
Long time interests include individual sports such as badminton, tennis, running,
swimming and especially bicycling. He was an avid cyclist and regularly commuted by
bicycle to Canton from his home in Lisbon. From 1984 to 1992 he was the president of the
Canton Bicycle Club which organized the first duathlon in Northern New York and twice
hosted the League of American Bicyclists Great EAstern Rally (GEAR) in Canton. He
enjoyed competing in triathlons, duathlons and running events. He served for several
years as a 4-H leader.
From an early age he had a passion for working with wood and always welcomed
opportunities to develop his skill restoring antiques and creating items for gifts and
personal use. As long time residents restoring their 1807 residence in Lisbon, there was
always something in need of repair or improvement. In 2023 their home was placed on the
National Register of Historic Places. He always looked forward to sawing and splitting
firewood to count down the winter days.
In later years he served on the board of directors for the Norwood Norfolk Class of 1963
Scholarship and volunteered at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association Archives.
He was a charter member of the 1000 Islands Chapter of the Sons of the American
Revolution and served as secretary and treasurer. He has proven his direct descent from
and the service of 40 Revolutionary War Patriots.
After retiring, Joel and Jennifer spent time traveling throughout North America. He
continued helping with home improvement projects when called upon by his daughters.
Besides his wife and their two daughters, Joel is survived by a brother Roy Bixby of Malta
NY, and a sister, Meribeth Davis of Fletcher NC, plus several nieces and nephews and
cousins. He was predeceased by a brother, Dr. Robert Bixby of South Colton NY.
There will be no calling hours and no service.
Arrangements are under the direction of LaRue & Pitcher Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be made at www. LaRuePitcher.com.