Meet Joyce & Ed Enos – A Tribute on the Eve of their Retirement

ed and joyce enos

When Joyce Enos started working at the MBL, the average cost of a new home was under $14,000, America was in the height of “Beatlemania,” and the Vietnam War was escalating at a rapid pace.    The year was 1965. Joyce was hired as a secretary for the Supply Department, a precursor to today’s Marine Resources Center.  Besides handling the orders and billing for specimen shipments, Joyce was responsible for selling supplies in the stockroom. “It was very informal in those days,” says Joyce.  “Everybody knew everyone else and pitched in when needed.”

Four years later, in 1969, days after being discharged from the Army, Ed Enos joined his future wife as an MBL employee. Ed was hired as a collector, which in those days also meant operating and maintaining all of the six vessels MBL owned at the time.  The MBL even had its own railway back then, and was capable of hauling its boats in and out of the water.  “We were responsible for taking care of everything from the bottom paint up,” recalls Ed.  “The collecting business was also big.  We’d ship 60 or 70 packages a day.”

Although they worked in the same department, Joyce and Ed didn’t go on their first date until June 27, 1970, which happened to be the dedication day of the original Loeb Laboratory.  “Until then, I had no free time, I wasn’t interested in girls,” says Ed.   Unbeknownst to their colleagues, Joyce and Ed’s relationship was blossoming and three years later they were engaged.  “People were shocked,” says Joyce.  “They had no idea.”  Joyce and Ed were married on May 18, 1974.

In addition to cultivating their personal relationship, Joyce and Ed continued to develop their careers at the MBL.  In 1986 Joyce, in addition to her Supply Department position, also became the Administrative Assistant to Richard Cutler, the new Director of Facilities, Services and Projects.  She continued the dual roles until 1995 when she became Richard’s full-time Administrative Assistant.  Ed also rose up the ranks, becoming Senior Marine Specimen Collector in 1986 and the Superintendent of Marine Resources in 1990. “I learned the operation from the ground up—from collecting, to maintenance, to administration,” says Ed.

Along the way, they met thousands of scientists and students and collected scores of fond and funny memories of the MBL of yesteryear.  Like the day the Kennedy kids visited the MBL (they came with their dentist who happened to have an MBL connection) running wild and climbing up the mast of a boat, or the historic 1975 visit from Japan’s Emperor Hirohito.  “They come to us at the MBL,” says Ed.  “It’s a who’s who in science and medicine and beyond—you never know who you might see.”

Fast forward to 2012.  After 47 and 43-year long careers, respectively, Joyce and Ed are preparing for their retirement from the MBL, effective January 2, 2013.  The couple plans to travel, and may take a cross-country trip by car to visit good friends in Seattle. Ed says he hopes to do some work on their house and yard and Joyce will be able to spend more time on her hobby of making custom greeting cards.

When asked what they’ll miss the most about their jobs and the MBL, both Joyce and Ed quickly say ‘the people.’  “Everyone here is part of the patchwork quilt we have in our memories,” says Ed.  “You’re here and I’m here to see that science gets done.  It doesn’t make a difference if you’re a scientist, or a custodian, or a plumber, we’re all in it together.  I came in as a young man, got paid to do what I loved, and was given the opportunity to learn and develop.”

And, perhaps best of all, he met his wife of nearly 40 years along the way.

Watch a video of Ed aboard the RV Gemma.