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Memorial Service for Joe Durocher, Professor of Hospitality Management

August 5, 2009


Joe Durocher

A memorial service for Joseph Durocher, associate professor of hospitality management at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, will take place Sunday, Aug. 16, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Richard Auditorium in Murkland Hall.

Durocher died July 18 at Hyder Family Hospice House in Dover, after a long battle with cancer. He continued to teach until the last few months of his life, saying, "When I'm in the classroom, I don't have cancer."

A message on the Whittemore School of Business and Economics’ Web page regarding Durocher’s death reads:

“We are deeply saddened by the news that Professor Joe Durocher passed away on Saturday, July 18th. 

Joe's passion for life was an inspiration to us all.  Each day was a new celebration for Joe.  His attitude reminded us not to sweat the small stuff, but instead to embrace every moment.  He was an important asset to the school.  Joe loved teaching and his students; his talent for engaging students and building their confidence left a lasting impression, and often students said how fortunate they felt to have Joe as their professor.

Joe's innovative thinking was critical to advancing the Hospitality program.  He was one of the first faculty to integrate technology into his teaching; created many new programs, including one in which students travelled to Tuscany to study its culture and culinary offerings first hand; and developed a curriculum rich with hands-on experience.  Joe's thoughts were always with others, and he was happiest when teaching. 

Joe Durocher was a great colleague, and always found time for his peers.  We take comfort in the lasting imprint he left on us and the school.” 

As a true measure of his spirit, Durocher chose to have a "celebration-of-life" party three years ago in lieu of a funeral after his death.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science, master of professional studies and doctorate from the Hotel School at Cornell University.

Durocher is survived by his wife, Regina Baraban; three daughters, Debra Valdivieso, Lori McElroy and Gail Durocher-Wentworth; two granddaughters, Madison McElroy and Cheyenne Durocher-Wentworth; and one grandson, Jorge Valdivieso III.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Seacoast Hospice: https://www.seacoasthospice.org/donate_form/dform.cfm; or (800) 416-9207.


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