OSS Joyeuse, Rene

Heroines of SOE
By Beryl E. Escott

John Robertson

Staff member


  • UNIT

  • RANK


Distinguished Service Cross

France 1944-45

changed surname to Joyeuse postwar (it was his OSS codename)

SARANAC LAKE - Rene Joyeuse, 92, of McKenzie Pond Road, Saranac Lake, retired physician and a quiet professional, passed away on June 12, 2012, at AMC-Uihlein Mercy Center in Lake Placid. He passed away peacefully after 10-plus years of battling Alzheimer's.

He was born Jan 17, 1920, in Zurich, Switzerland, to Delphine Pezzotti and George Rene Veuve. Dr. Joyeuse was raised in Altkirch, Alsace-Loraine, France, and resided in Paris, France; Cape May, N.J.; Washington, D.C.; Corsica, France; Rochester, Minn.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Kailua, Hawaii; Plainfield, N.J.; South Williamson, Ky.; Kinnelon, N.J.; Wassaic, N.Y.; and Tupper Lake.

Rene graduated from the University of Besancon, France, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1939. He then graduated from the University of Montpellier, France in 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy magna cum laude and then served in World War II as an officer (captain) in the Free French Forces and the U.S. Army Office of Strategic Services from 1943 to 1945.

He received the following military medals and honors for his service and actions: the U.S. Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion D'Honneur-Chevalier, Ordre de la Liberation, Mediaille Militare, Croix de Guerre 1939-45 avec Palme, Croix de Guerre TOE 1939-45 avec Palme, Medaille de la Resistance avec Rosette, Combattant Volontaire 1939-45, Medaille des Evades, Medaillle de L'Aeronautique, Medailles des Forces Francaises Libre, Medaille Coloniale-agrafe EO, Medaille Commemorative 1939-45, Indochine, Outre-Mer, Blesses, Order of the Million of Elephants and White Parasol-Laos.

After his military service, in 1950, he matriculated at the University of Paris Medical School (La Sorbonne), earning a doctorate degree in medicine in 1955. There he also met his wife, the former Suzanne G. Bouffon, of Autin, France. The couple married in 1955 at St. John's Episcopal Church, also known as the Church of the Presidents, Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. Rene was a physician, researcher and professor having worked at the Mayo Clinic and also earning a Master of Science degree in surgery from the University of Minnesota, UCLA research, private practice in various locales, an assistant professor of medicine at Rutgers, where he was involved with emergency surgery and training EMTs in trauma and emergency medical services, a chief of medical services in the New York State Developmental Disabilities Service Office and a director of medical services in the New York state prison system. He retired from the New York state prison system.

Rene was a member of a multitude of associations and societies. Some of the most notable are the Mayo Clinic-Priestly Society, the Mayo Alumni Association, Fellow of American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Hawaiian Medical Association, the Hawaiian Academy of Science, the Honolulu General Surgical Society, the Veterans of OSS/the OSS Society, the AFIO and the Order of Lafayette. He was a founding member of the American Trauma Society.

Surviving are his wife, Suzanne Georgette (Bouffon) Joyeuse; his two children: Marc (Elizabeth) of Kinnelon, N.J., and Remi (Angela) of Knoxville, Tenn.; two grandchildren: Zane and Savana of Knoxville, Tenn.; brother Jean-Pierre (Helene) Veuve of France; and four sisters: Georgette, Dehila, Elaine and Mariane of Switzerland.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. There will be no calling hours. Interment will take place at a later date to be announced at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers to please make a donation in his memory to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601-7633, www.alz.org; or the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 8th Ave., 7th Fl., New York, NY 10001, www.alzfdn.org. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.