Re: Songaia Community founder, Stan Crow passed away yesterday
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 12:27:47 -0800 (PST)
Dear Craig and everyone at Songaia and beyond ...

My deepest condolences to you all as you trod this sad path to a new place. It's always sad to lose a community member particularly when that person has influenced your values and vision so deeply.

Thank you for sharing how Songaia reaches so deeply into that mysterious place we call community.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and with yours. May you journey ever onward together.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
McLean, VA
703 663 3911

On Nov 16, 2009, at 12:42 PM, Craig Ragland wrote:

One of Songaia's beloved members, Stan Crow, passed away yesterday morning. Stan and his wife Carol Crow, along with Fred and Nancy Lanphear are the four people most responsible for articulating the vision of Songaia as a cohousing community in 1990. They defined our original, and still current, values statement. All four are extraordinary community builders who lead
collaboratively, making space for others and have continued to
provide critical leadership for many years. Stan was on the Songaia
Navigators (our leadership team) when he passed.

Songaia was just one of Stan's communities. He was the founder of the Rites
of Passage Journeys, a non-profit which has operated on what is now
Songaia's 11 acres as our cohousing community came into being. He was the president of Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church board of directors. He was also an Institute of Cultural Affairs colleague for decades. Stan
was honored as a Songaia Elder a few years ago - and his life was
well-celebrated while he was there to enjoy reconnecting with his many
friends and wonderfully large family.

On Saturday night, Songaia monthly circle addressed the past, present, and future of Songaia Community - in particular, we looked at our energy as a community; who we were/are/will be and how we were/are/will be as we share
our lives.

This two hour circle included 3 fish bowl conversations (two different
people conversed about each topic with the whole community listening).
Following the first and second fish bowl, everybody participated in dyad conversations. After the third we shared amongst the whole community. With families of 12 out of the 13 Songaia homes represented, this circle was
particularly well attended.

After our broad sharing, Stan and I closed the circle with a final fish
bowl. We attempted to summarize and synthesize our Community's story.

I see Stan's final living gift to Songaia as articulating three historic
arcs for our community;
- Inventing (1990-2000)
- Growing (2000-2010)
- Reinventing (2010 and beyond)
Another metaphor used was Child, Adolescent, and Adult.

As Songaia looks to its future, we may explore how we re-invent ourselves as a cohousing community able to act like an adult. Exactly what this looks like is unclear, but perhaps its about taking more responsibility? What does it mean, metaphorically, for a community to reinvent itself as an adult?
Making a living? Raising children?

I am so grateful for what Stan has meant to me, our family, and our
community. At his core, he was a truly good man and an amazing community
builder who deeply embraced life and everyone he encountered.

Many of us, myself included, are experiencing deep grief. Together, with members of his other communities and family, Songaia members gathered for hours yesterday. And ours were not the only gatherings. I've been crying while writing this. Whether or not you were part of Stan's life, perhaps you can take a moment today to think about the good people who have had such
positive effect on our many communities.

In community,
Craig Ragland
Songaia member since 1992
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