Obituary of Joni Renfro
July 30, 2018
If you looked really deeply into Joni's eyes, you can almost see the antelope and hear the coyotes out on the plains of Eastern Colorado where she helped her dad run cattle on their 3000-acre ranch. As a young cow girl, she loved the prairies, the sage brush, and the towering Rocky Mountains. There she could feel The Great Spirit (as did her friends, the Lakota Sioux) and the mysterious connection to something bigger than the "small self" and the sadness of her mothers's illness.
After the ranch, she went on to help thousands of people as a hospital nurse in the Bay Area and locally at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, while raising 2 children and 3 husbands. At age 32, she connected with Science of Mind in Fremont, CA and kept the connection in her heart.
Joni was comfortable with rugged living and solitude. She and her husband of 37 years, Dan, lived forty minutes out of town, off-thegrid, with their two dogs, one llama and one horse. On chilly nights, she would "cozy up" with an adventure or spiritual book, preferably a story from real life. The warmer California climate drew her here on balmy days she still loved to be out-of-doors with the local fox, hawks, mountain lions and bear.
But in the meantime, she drew on her years of caring, giving and empathy at the Spirit Peer Empowerment Center, helping people struggling with psychological and traumatic life experiences to get back on their feet. She saw the homeless problem close up and said "it's a humanitarian crisis!"
Joni loved the balance that SCSL provides from the chaos in the wider world and felt that we need to expand.