Joyce A. Stevens
Joyce Stevens started with the Thurston Classic in the first year of its existence, Meadville’s Bicentennial year of 1988. She worked with Ted Watts as a paralegal, so it was instinct for him to get his go-to employee to take over the huge job of matching up pilots and official observers. That job cascaded into more and different duties during that weekend. None of us was very sure of what we were doing in that first year but Joyce helped make it happen. She was a major reason for our success.
Since then, Joyce proved herself to be the centerpiece of the Thurston. Year after year, the Thurston has gone on without missing a beat and it was all because of Joyce. Even we on the committee did not realize how much work she poured into the Thurston and we are still trying to catch up. Sadly, she passed away in March of 2017, too quickly. It was a shock to all of us. We miss our friend and our partner.
We are continuing to honor Joyce for all of her many years being the soul of the Thurston Classic. We will never be able to replace her and all we are left with is honoring her memory annually with the Joyce Stevens Memorial Night Glow. Hopefully, somehow she will be able to see the Thurston take flight once again and hopefully she will know how much she is missed.