Harvard-Radcliffe Class of '89

Joseph Cice

Joe Cice was too good to be true. But he was true. Joe was fun, he was kind, he was full of love for the world. His smile lit up a room, his laugh was pure joy. He was taken from us much too soon. When I heard the news I wept for our loss, and also because it had been far too long since I had seen or spoken to him. Those of us who knew him will never forget him. He made us want to be better people, to be worthy of him. He still inspires us to try and be worthy of his memory. – Ronald J. Granieri

No one who met Joe Cice could possibly forget him.  Wearing an overcoat adorned with an enormous Bobby Kennedy pin stuck to the lapel, Joe was a magnetic presence on campus. Joe taught that listening was more active and challenging than talking. You were careful to think through every opinion because Joe was paying attention. Joe was passionate about politics and social justice, particularly for children. But Joe’s sincerity was lightened by a great sense of humor and fun. One year, I volunteered with Joe at the Boston Chinatown Boys Club where I was privileged to witness him as the pied piper, guiding and inspiring kids while making them laugh. After graduation, Joe became a social worker and transformed numerous lives as an advocate and counselor for troubled youth in San DIego. Joe died ten years ago, but will always be remembered by the countless people he encountered and whose lives he enhanced. It is fitting that the Lakeside School District in San Diego annually bestows the Joseph Cice Memorial Award to the student who shows “the most positive change.” -Dan Weinfeld

The first time I met Joe, he was dressed entirely in white, wearing a jacket covered in political buttons. We met at Dickson Bros. He was standing at the top of the stairs, smiling. “Hello there!” he said. In true Joe Cice fashion, he struck up a heartfelt conversation. That conversation went on for years. At Harvard we probably spent more time talking than studying. And laughing—oh, I loved that laugh of his. Joseph’s laugh was bold, perfectly suited to the way he moved through the world. Once, Joe saw a perfect stranger reading a postcard and recognized my handwriting. He walked up and said, “Do you know Conna?” There began a new friendship. When Joe and I visited my younger sister’s college I watched as he listened, truly listened, to the students’ life stories. A friend of ours observed, “Most people speak in sentences. Joe listens in paragraphs.” One of the most beautiful memories I have of Joseph is watching him interact with my grandmother. She was born in 1903 and had a lifetime of stories to share. He listened. She was born on the ninth of May; Joe died on what would have been her 101st birthday. I spoke with Joe’s mother on May 9th this year and we talked about how quickly ten years have passed. Mrs. Cice shared with me that Joseph’s elementary school now has an annual memorial to him, “Project Pride,” which engages children in helping others. I imagine that the seeds of caring and harmony that Joseph planted will continue to come to fruition for a long, long time. I miss Joe. We had a plan: we were going to live wildly and then reconvene in our 80s and drink lemonade on the front porch together. Absent that, I will plant seeds in his honor. – Conna Craig



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