Margaret Kierstein: Remembering Joan Keochakian

Posted: 08/24/2021 21:18:09 PM It was with great sadness that I read the death of Joan Keochakian in the Gazette on August 17th...

Posted: 08/24/2021 21:18:09 PM

It was with great sadness that I read the death of Joan Keochakian in the Gazette on August 17th. She did this through her lifelong commitment to pioneering palliative care services and coordinating patient care and services.

One area not mentioned in his obituary was his extraordinary contributions to helping nonprofits fund the services they provided. As a member of the board of directors of Cancer Connection in Northampton, I first met Joan and her husband Simon when they attended a meeting of ours to talk about the benefits of starting a thrift store that would fund them. Free Cancer Connection services provided to all of its clients. They knew that this business could bring our financially troubled organization into an entirely new and secure financial position so that the range of services we provide could be expanded and our organization could be financially stable.

Joan had previously facilitated the development of the Cooley Dickinson Hospice Thrift Store in Northampton as well as the Thrift Store in Amherst which helps support services at the Hospice of the Fisher Home.

Under the leadership of Joan and Simon, Cancer Connection was able to open its thrift store on South Street in Northampton several years ago. Cancer Connection has never looked back on what initially seemed like a risky business. Joan’s assurance that our free services to people with cancer, as well as their caregivers and family members, would be financially supported by a thrift store has been proven time and time again. I have always been in awe of Joan and her vast contributions to all of us.

She was truly an exceptional woman who was one of a kind. She will be sorely missed.

Marguerite Kierstein


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Newsrust - US Top News: Margaret Kierstein: Remembering Joan Keochakian
Margaret Kierstein: Remembering Joan Keochakian
Newsrust - US Top News
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