Local
12:53 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Focus: HOPE co-founder Eleanor Josaitis dies

Focus: HOPE’s co-founder Eleanor Josaitis died of cancer Tuesday morning. Focus: HOPE provides vocational training and food assistance. Josaitis and her partner Reverend William Cunningham founded the social services organization in the aftermath of the Detroit riots. Cunningham died in 1997.

Tim Duperron is the chief operating officer at Focus: HOPE who worked with Josaitis for 13 years. He says she had strong ties and loyalty with many people.

"She will certainly be missed," he said. "There’s no doubt of that. She just had a way about her of – you meet her, you talk to her, she is so inspiring and you just don’t forget her."

Duperron says Focus: HOPE will not lose sight of its mission without its co-founder.

"It’ll be tough … walking past that office and not seeing Eleanor," Duperron said. "It’ll be very, very difficult for a very, very long time."

- Amelia Carpenter - Michigan Radio Newsroom