Josepha “Jossy” Eyre, one of Denver’s original social entrepreneurs, died of complications from coronavirus on Monday, April 20th. She was 89 years old.
Jossy was the founder of the Women’s Bean Project in Denver—an organization founded to create bridges to self-sufficiency for women coping with homelessness, poverty, violence and substance abuse.
Her life-long work in service was inspired by a childhood in Holland scarred by war, Nazi occupation, bombings, and her eventual flight to the US as a refugee. In addition to the Women’s Bean Project, she was a TB/public health nurse, an advocate for seniors and the homeless, a committed activist for peace and justice, and a co-founder of Work Options for Women. She went back to school for an MS in Social Work in her mid-50s, where her later work in life was inspired by classmates who included the founders of The Gathering Place in Denver. Even into her 80s she was committed to social justice, active in Denver’s Ignatian Spirituality Program and a Co-member of the Sisters of Loretto.
As a young nurse on her way to a job in California, she stopped in Denver. An unusually warm winter day convinced her to look for work in Colorado instead, where she settled, married her husband Richard and raised four children, Richard Jr., Andrea, Christina and Judith. The last twenty years of her life have been blessed with four grandchildren, Sebastian, Emma, Christian and Victoria. She was predeceased by her husband, parents and nine siblings.
When travel and gathering restrictions are lifted, we will hold mass and celebration of Jossy’s life. Until then, you can view the virtual memorial service and photos by visiting the links below.
In lieu of sending flowers or a card, please consider a donation at the links below in memory of Jossy.