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Butte native Paul Joyce, Idaho college dean, found dead in submerged car

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Paul Joyce, a Butte native who was a dean at the University of Idaho, was found dead in a car that had been submerged in the Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho, authorities said.

Joyce, 57, who graduated from Butte High School in 1977, was found in his Toyota Prius around 5:20 p.m. Saturday, according to the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office. The county is in northern Idaho and borders Montana.

The cause of death has not been determined.

The University of Idaho shared news of his death on Facebook Sunday.

"It is with shock and great sorrow that we share with you the death of Paul Joyce, Dean of the College of Science," the university posted on Facebook. "Paul died in a car accident Saturday. Our thoughts and deep condolences are with his family, friends and colleagues during this very sad time."

Joyce joined the  university's faculty in 1991 and was appointed dean of the College of Science in 2013.

"He was ... admired by staff and faculty, as well as his students, for his dedication and interdisciplinary efforts. He will be sorely missed," the university's Facebook post added.

Joyce lived in Moscow, Idaho. His siblings include Eileen Joyce, who is the county attorney in Butte-Silver Bow.

Joyce earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at Montana State University and his doctoral degree in mathematics at the University of Utah.

He did post-doctoral work at the University of Washington and the University of Southern California before joining the Idaho faculty as an assistant professor in 1991. He was promoted to associate professor in 1994 and became a full professor in 2001, according to the university.

He had served as the director of the graduate program in bioinformatics and computational biology. He also served as vice chair and chair of the faculty senate.


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Paul Joseph Joyce was born September 26, 1958 in Butte, Montana, one of the 12 children of Thomas and Dorothy Joyce. Academically gifted, he b…

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