Joy Louise Brinkman Abbett Matusky Goldstein passed away Saturday June 19 at around 12:05 pm. Her son Fred was at her side and she was surrounded by most of the weekend staff at Vashon Community Care, and her hospice caretakers. Joy was born in San Jose, California on May 26th, 1935.
Joy was a person who sought to start things with a pattern of recruiting others to help. Her passion for activism came from her mother, a Kindergarten teacher whose students were racially and ethnically mixed. Her Japanese students were deported when the war started and Joy’s mother was furious. She tried to take the rest of the class to bid farewell, but she was halted by military bureaucracy. ”That’s the first place I got the idea of standing up for what you believe”, Joy said. It’s a practice Joy continued throughout her life.
In high school she gathered several friends and approached the management of the local department store to setup a play room for the children of shoppers at Christmas. That didn’t fly, but later she recruited service clubs, her boyfriend and family for a used clothing drive to help people in Holland who had lost everything in the flood of 1953. In the 60’s she and a friend established pottery classes for kids in a public housing project in Chester, Pennsylvania, recruiting support from the local African American community, faculty at Swarthmore College and local Quakers. This project was eventually taken over by the Chester housing authority .
On Vashon she was one of the initial organizers of the Vashon Friends Worship Group which her son, Fred had the idea for after an auto accident that almost killed him. In addition she helped form Vashon Household, a non-profit organization which grew into the largest developer on the Island. Ground Zero, a nuclear weapons resistance organization, was also a passion in her heart and soul. She leafleted and was arrested more than once for civil disobedience at Bangor base. In addition for years she and Swaneagle, leafleted and vigiled on the corner 4 way stop in Vashon, getting support for missing women of all races so they would not be forgotten as well as the banning of nuclear weapons.
She is survived by her sons, Mike and Fred Matusky and their wives Jody Scott Matusky and Cynthia Chalmers Matusky, her grandchildren Amber Matusky, Marcus Matusky and McKenzie Bomber and her great grandchildren Natalia and Oscar Matusky.
A service on July 11th will be held from 2-5pm at the red barn at the AYH Ranch. She had a mountain of friends and all are welcome to come say goodbye to her and celebrate her amazing life.
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