Dr. Joseph Lavender died Sunday (January 21, 2007). He was a man of many abilities and interests. He had a deep concern for mentally challenged students. He received his Ed.D. from Teachers’ College, Columbia University. He wrote special education legislation and opened classrooms throughout Connecticut as a state consultant for special education, from 1956 to his retirement in 1986. He was also a talented craftsman and he created beautiful and unique rugs, and wood sculpture. He loved rivers and was a white water instructor on the Farmington and many other rivers. Classical music was a special love from Beethoven to Schubert’s Lieder. He loved gardening, all children and all dogs. He was a hero to many of the children in the neighborhood. Joe and Beverly were married 64 years. He leaves to mourn his wife; daughters, Judy and her partner, Charles Porter, Joan Lavender and husband, Dennis Schmidt; a sister, Norma Fischer; many beloved family members, and dog, Pitou. Joe was a Military Police officer in World War II, and as such, will have a plaque in the Veteran’s section of Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford. A memorial gathering for family and friends will be held in the near future. Donations in his memory may be made to CARC, Farmington River Wastershed and Elmwood Community Senior Center.