Litany of words to describe Lancaster |

Litany of words to describe Lancaster

A woman of substance and purpose and a multi-faceted achiever – that’s how most people who knew Joan E. Lancaster will remember her. An activist, a successful real-estate agent, a great mother … the list of titles is endless.

Lancaster died Jan. 31 at the age of 71, after a year long battle with lung cancer.

“She was a founding member of our organization, Habitat for Humanity (in) Nevada County,” said David Emanuel, longtime acquaintance and volunteer at the Habitat. “She served on the board of directors for seven years. She was also in our site selection committee and with her real estate expertise she helped fund our building sites.

“She was our critical link to the real estate community, to the Nevada County board of realtors and also the Affordable Housing Task Force. She was a crucial member of our organization.”

And, apparently, she was also a key member of the western Nevada County community where she lived for the past 30 years. Lancaster was also a founding member of the League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County, and eventually served on the organization’s state board. She also was actively involved with the Soroptimist Club.

“(She was) very energetic, (and) like to be involved in things,” said Heather Cowan, Lancaster’s eldest daughter. “She was the supportive figure in the family. She was very supportive of all her kids. She was always there – kind of a rock. A lot of times, you weren’t even aware of it.”

A Celebration of Life will be held from 4-7 p.m. today at the Miner’s Foundry in Nevada City. Internment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity, the Soroptimist League, Hospice of the Foothills or a charity of the donor’s choice in her memory.

“People write in their notes to us what an inspiration she was, how she became involved, how she lived her life, (people) looked to her,” Cowan said. “She was an inspiration to others by her character.”


To contact staff writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion .com or call 477-4229.

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