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Shiva for Lawrence M. Joseph

Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:00-8:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Lawrence M. Joseph died on September 2 at the age of 88 at his home in Manhattan. He is survived by children Miranda Joseph and partner Erin Durban, Harlan David Joseph, Galen Joseph and partner Robert Allen, sister Susan Gloria Joseph, and granddaughter, Fenniver Durban-Albrecht-Joseph.

He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended local public schools including James Madison High School. He met the love of his life, Ellen, when he became a swim counselor at the summer camp her father owned (Camp Chi Wan Da). They married in 1955 when he was 22 and she 18. Shortly after, he was called to meet his ROTC obligation in the Air Force. He was assigned to Japan, where he and Ellen spent two formative years that shaped their interests and aesthetics for the rest of their lives.

He went to college at Rutgers University where became president of his fraternity, one of many leadership roles he undertook throughout his life. He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1960, then started his first job in the Appellate Court Litigation section of the National Labor Relations Board. While in Washington D.C., he and Ellen had their 3 children and made several lifelong friends. They moved back to New York City when he was hired at Western Electric in 1968. Living in Forest Hills Gardens, Larry joined the West Side Tennis Club, where he remained a member for 40 years. Among the numerous leadership roles he played at the Club, he served as President for 4 years. 

When the “Bell System” was dismantled, Larry became labor counsel for AT&T, where his work included advising management on a variety of issues, such as negotiation of collective bargaining agreements with the unions representing the company’s employees and the company’s equal employment opportunity policies and practices. He loved being a trial attorney; but he was particularly proud of his role as lead counsel to the collective bargaining team. He retired in 2000 as General Attorney for Labor and Employment Relations. 

He also served as manager of the S. Klein LLC, helping to steward the legacy of his great uncle’s landmark department store on Union Square. In retirement, he served for 18 years on the Board of Directors of Global Kids, an organization that develops youth leaders through global education and leadership development programs, including in the roles of Treasurer and Chair of the finance committee.

In addition to being a devoted husband and father, he was a devoted participant and fan of numerous sports. A competitive swimmer in college, as an adult, tennis became his primary sport to play and watch. He also loved to watch baseball and to tell his kids about his childhood adventures as a baseball fan; he never really forgave the Dodgers for leaving Brooklyn. 

Donations can be made in his honor to Global Kids, the American Diabetes Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or Columbia Law School.

A funeral service will be held at Riverside Memorial Chapel on Sunday September 5th, 11am.