K-State faculty and students remember Professor Joye Gordon

MANHATTAN (KSNT) — Students and colleagues are mourning the loss of Kansas State University Professor Joye Gordon.

Her death comes as a shock as close friends say they remember seeing her just last week.

“Joye lived up to her name, she as a joy,” says former student Mary Renee Shirk.

“We were in shock,” says Birgit Wassmuth, Director of the A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kansas State. “I think that’s what it is, disbelief and shock. This just happened and we can’t make sense of it.”

Around 7 A.M Monday morning Riley County Police were called to the 1100 block of Rimrock Drive in northern Riley County where officers found 50-year-old Gordon deceased.

News of her death has hit this journalism school hard.

“The student reaction has really summed up what is going on,” said colleagues and friend, Dr. Barbara DeSanto. “She has broken our hearts with her death.”

“I honestly just broke down and cried. As a woman was just so powerful to me,” said Shirk.

But as tears dry up, colleagues and friends want to remember Gordon just as she was.

“Larger than life most cases, very exuberant, very energetic,” says Dr. DeSanto.

“She was a girl from the south and when she would get excited about something that southern accent would just come out,” Shirk said.

The Louisiana native had a love for nature and traveling, and loved the Konza Prairie.

“It was just so wonderful to have a colleague you could just trust, that you could admire, and that you could laugh with,” said Dr. DeSanto.

The cause of Gordon’s death has yet to be determined. Police say they haven’t found any evidence of foul play.

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