Re: Joani (Blank) update - Sad news
From: Kathryn McCamant (
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2016 16:18:02 -0700 (PDT)
My question exactly!  How can we have a cohousing conference without Joani!?  
But, of course, we know she’ll be there in person. 

I wrote the following to share at her Celebration of Life: 

Dear Joani, and assembled guests, 

I am so sorry that I can not join you in person for this celebration of the 
fabulous Joani. Instead I send this note to share, and please know my heart is 
with you today and always. 

I have known Joani since about 1992, when she left many messages on our office 
phone over a weekend to find out about Doyle Street Cohousing, which she had 
just read about in the Bay Guardian. Later that year, she became our neighbor 
there, the second cohousing community in the United States. Typical of how 
Joani approaches all of her endeavors, she jumped into cohousing full of 
enthusiasm and energy. We always knew when we sat down at common dinner with 
her, it was going to be an interesting dinner conversation! She was our 
neighbor for 8 years, before moving to Swan’s Market cohousing in 2000.  She 
also joined me as a member of the founding board of the Cohousing Association 
of the US. 

As a cohousing enthusiast, Joani has given her cohousing neighbors, the 
National Association, and literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of people 
curious about cohousing endless hours of her time. Since the formation of the 
National Association in 1996, she has been the primary person to answer phone 
inquiries, offering information, advice, and encouragement to all who called. 
And she has visited more American cohousing communities than anyone else, 72 at 
last count. 

As news of her disease made it across the cohousing world, many recounted her 
generosity in sharing information and encouragement. One woman shared that as a 
single mother with two small children, she was struggling to find the money to 
buy into a forming community when she called Joani.  Having never met her, 
Joani offered to loan her $10,000 for the early stage, high risk investment. 
Now a resident of that community, Patti says Joani “changed her life, “ and she 
now passes that experience forward when she can lend others funds. 

And that is what I will always remember about Joani, her generosity. She is one 
of the few people I always felt I could go to if I needed help, a place to 
stay, or money to get me thru a hard time. 

It’s hard to imagine a time when Joani won’t be there to answer the phone, or 
offer the friendly face across the crowd at the cohousing conference. In my 24 
years of knowing Joani, she never seemed to age, never seemed to lose her 
energy, or even slow down.  But sooner or later, we must all face our own 
demise…..and in typical Joani fashion, she is showing us how to do that full 
on, in style, and on her own terms. I feel blessed to have known her these many 
years. She has given so much, and inspires us to live life with gusto as she so 
aptly showed us how to do. 

Katie McCamant
And with much appreciate and love from the whole cohousing world, 
And hugs and kisses from Chuck and Jessie too

Kathryn McCamant, President
CoHousing Solutions
241B Commercial Street 
Nevada City, CA 95959
T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755

On 8/8/16, 4:12 PM, "Cohousing-L on behalf of Diane" 
< [at] on 
behalf of dianeclaire [at]> wrote:

She will be so deeply missed.  How can there be a coho conference without

On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 5:41 PM, Neil Planchon <neil [at]> wrote:

> Hello everyone in Cohousing-l land…
> I am attaching two recent messages about Joani - my longtime personal
> friend, neighbor and Cohousing ambassadress. One of mine and the other
> Amika’s (Joani’s daughter) are below….
> =-=-=-
> Hello neighbors
> I am saddened as I share with you that Joani passed away Saturday (8/6)
> around 5:30PM.  She had loving family by her side who shepherded her
> through the last stage of this life.
> Rest in peace, Joani (my sweet)
> Neil
> (Swan's Market Cohousing - <
> -=-=-
> And here is the message which Amika posted on Facebook on August 7th…
> "My mama passed yesterday, at home, Blossom and me and Bapu by her
> side...My family was blessed to have spent this sacred time with this
> lovely woman who raised me as her own.
> "She was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in June, took the news like a
> champ and did like she always down to business and handled
> logistics and preparations. She chose to have a Celebration of Life rather
> than a funeral, and at celebration last week, she was able to say her
> goodbyes and feel the love of her community.
> "She opened her celebration addressing police brutality and honoring the
> Black Lives Matter movement. Her life was based on advancing social justice
> issues, and the bigger picture always took precedence over her personal
> struggles. The celebration was another platform for her to acknowledge what
> was really important to her. She had a rapid decline after the celebration,
> and I think she felt she had completed what she needed to.
> "This fierce revolutionary woman has taught us all so much. She has done
> so many things in her full days here on earth and I know you all have
> stories...share them if you feel like it. If I made this post about all
> she's done it would take days.
> "Instead, we are honoring the graceful way she passed. She relaxed into
> the process and let go of trying to control anything...she was able to
> receive love and care, and transformed into this gentle and vulnerable
> Queen. She spoke with each one of my kids and my Papa in the last days of
> her consciousness. She passed me the "boss torch", and gave her blessings
> to my incarcerated other half as he led us in family prayer on the phone.
> We laid with her and watched her take her last breath. She had a sweet
> smile on her face and was comfortable. Milo joined us and we covered her
> body in henna tattoos, flowers from the garden, frankincense and lavender
> oils, and filled her space with candlelight, sage, copal, and Palos Santos.
> Bapu stayed curled up with her in bed...we played music and looked at
> pictures and laughed and cried. It was exactly what she wanted, and it was
> beautiful to hold space for her at the gates…”
> -=-=-
> _________________________________________________________________
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Diane Margolis
175 Richdale Av.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617 354 1349
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