Members, Explorers, Friends, Family
Brenda: A daughter of Indiana, who fell in love with God and the Pacific Northwest, Brenda is a single, creative woman who gets energy from conversations with friends, and from noticing the wonders of nature. She has worked as a United Methodist Pastor in rural Oregon and Portland, and trained to be a Hospice Chaplain. Since retiring in 2015, she has not lacked for adventure: disaster clean up, whale petting, National Parks from Olympia to Arcadia to Bandelier to Crater Lake, kayaking and contra dancing. Brenda appreciates cohousing’s commitment to honest, open communication and shared values. She says, “I want to live in a community where I am accepted with my challenging bits as well as my creative kindness – a place where I can share my enthusiasm for life as well as retreat and rest in the beauty of nature.”
Cici: Cici is an osteopathic physician who specializes in physiatry, Cici also teaches osteopathic manipulation at a medical school in West Virginia. She is on the board of the PAC for the Democratic Women’s Club in her county. She loves gardening, hiking, swimming, kayaking, camping/backpacking, music, cooking, stained glass, and her friends! She also enjoys entertaining and sharing resources. With her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Eugene, she looks forward to living closer to them soon!
DEBORAH: is a Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, where she teaches literature of the margins and creative writing. She retires at the end of May 2021; looking forward to more writing (memoir, poetry and research on California Indians), grandparenting, travel, beading, reading, kayaking (beginner), biking (old lady style), hand-made book making, teaching creative writing workshops, taking train rides up and down the west coast, giving readings, and in general, more of what she loves. She is very interested in forming a community and community connections for the next phase of her life!
MARGO: was born in East Tennessee in 1957. Graduating with a B.A. in theater arts from the University of Tennessee led to years of work as a lighting technician and designer for theater and dance. Margo then shifted gears and for the last 30 years thrived as a chef and innkeeper, with an occasional backslide into carpentry. Currently, Margo lives in Lexington Virginia with her wife Deborah, one Malinois/Shepherd mix named Stevie, and one foster dog of a doodle-ish nature named Luci, who has found her forever home with us. Margo volunteers at the local food pantry, fosters dogs, does organic gardening, is learning to grow flowers you can’t eat but are pretty, and reads voraciously. As a daily practice, Margo is interested in making the world a better place with what she’s got to do it with.
Elizabeth: A retired pediatric physical therapist and avid traveler who loves Eugene for all it offers to “fill her cup” – hiking, biking, gardening, the arts, and close proximity to her grown son in Bend.
Emily, Gabriel, Elias & Mila: Hello to all! We are the Gellon-Maxon Family – Emily, Gabriel, Elías (17) and Mila (11) .We are a bilingual, bicultural, binational family currently living in Buenos Aires. We very much value shared spaces and community and love raising our kids “in a village.” Gabriel is a biologist and science educator who started an NGO (Expedicion Ciencia) fifteen years ago combining experiential science learning with the great outdoors. Emily is an international educator with 15 years working in international mobility at both US and Argentinean universities. She is currently working in a corporate university as the Director of the School of Business and Management. Elias is in his last year of high school and a great artist and Dungeons and Dragons player/dungeon master. Mila is also creatively inclined and loves making jewelry, drawing, cooking and socializing with friends.
Frances: Frances is a West Coaster with activist roots and a life of “good trouble”. First a nurse, she eventually became a doctor in palliative care. A lifelong Californian, she is taking the plunge and moving to Eugene in May 2021 to join her new community. Her current interests are heavily in music and dance from around the world, as a student and a performer. And making the world a better place.
Jeff: Grew up in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, the oldest of four. We were Quakers. As a teen I was a total nerd: wore glasses and a slide rule, and was absorbed in ham radio. Went to Antioch College in Ohio (with a year Germany), then went to U Mass in Amherst to get a PhD in Computer Science. Landed a plum research job in Austin, Texas software engineering, then started a software company for improving how teams communicate and collaborate on “wicked problems”. While in Austin I also collaborated on trying to start two intentional communities. Moved to Washington DC facilitation and training. Met and married Joanne, moved to Annapolis, MD, and about 20 years ago we moved to Napa and adopted Aiya from China. I taught and practiced a facilitation technique I had developed called ‘Dialogue Mapping’, and after ten years of writing about it published a book. In the last few years I retired and started enjoying fixing any and everything, (“If it ain’t broke improve it!”).
Jim & Sandi: Both Jim and Sandi are “process people,” and love to turn to the wisdom of authors like Harriet Lerner, and Marshall Rosenberg…[they] found a shared passion in working to address the climate crisis so their kids and grandkids will have a brighter future. They have brought the healing work of the Pachamama Alliance to BC, leading classes based on the book Drawdown, and training a cadre of other facilitators to carry on that work in BC.
Joanne & Aiya: I am a family of three: myself, my teenage daughter Aiya and her father Jeff. Jeff and I are separated but stay friends and run the home and raise our daughter together in Napa California. For the last 30 years I have been a practicing Massage Therapist. I’m a full member of the River Song Cohousing community, sharing virtual social gatherings, working in different RSC teams, and getting to know the community and the individuals. It’s a very exciting time — we’re going to be breaking ground soon!
KRISTINA, RICH & ELLIE: Kristina grew up in Oregon, lived for many years in California, and is passionate about dance and interactive theatre, creativity, spending time in the beautiful outdoors, and raising her almost two-year-old daughter with her husband Rich. Her vocation is Career Counseling focused on professionals and semi-retired folks in career and life transition. She is looking forward to raising their daughter in Cohousing among people who care about and care for one another.
Katherine: Retired from the natural foods community, and co-ownership of an organic, vegetarian restaurant and catering business, Katherine is happy to have contributed to awareness of the environmental impact of one’s food choices; an important value of Eugene today, and a key to the future. “My most abiding life-force is community. I have been privileged to be a part of, or to create, community wherever I am,” she says, having enjoyed this privilege locally, in Hong Kong, Japan, and Israel. She’s excited to be co-creating community again – the sharing, caring, and daring to do it differently.
Kris: Raised in East Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains, Kris is the first in her family to attend college. She became a psychotherapist working with children and people with disabilities and later created a small dog boarding business in her home in Oakland California.
She also volunteered reading to preschoolers and was a volunteer baby cuddle in the newborn ICU unit at the local hospital.
Having desired co-housing for over 30 years, she can’t wait to live at River Song. Currently she splits her time between Oakland and Hawaii where she swims, paddle boards, bicycles, and plays with children.
She’s thrilled to be joining community here in Eugene, and plans to continue splitting her time with us and the Hawaiian Islands.
Lanny: Raised in Portland and living in Vancouver, WA, since 1980, Lanny has always loved the NW. She is a retired Nurse Practitioner, with a variety of interests, including Beekeeping.
Lorraine: Lorraine long ago heard the beckoning siren call of SoCal and moved to San Diego from Massachusetts to explore job opportunities. That siren is calling again as she nears retirement, this time northwest to Eugene, where personal growth through shared values and community mindfulness beckons her towards likeminded individuals. A devout communitarian, she believes an individual’s social capital is built through community service. To put her beliefs into action she volunteers for non-profit boards, as a docent at a state park, and by going on national service trips for fun and fulfillment. As someone who loves nature while enjoying fellowship, she has adventured by group hiking, biking, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, snow-shoeing, backpacking, and winter camping. When not practicing civic engagement, she stays gainfully employed as a technical writer for a startup in Carlsbad, California. At River Song Cohousing, she seeks to build strong connections and lasting friendships in a community that works, learns, and plays together.
Martha: I’m glad to be joining in the adventure of living in an intentional community, and so impressed with all of the people involved. My most highly developed skills are asking lots of questions and understanding diverse viewpoints, as I spent a couple decades working as a journalist. I also taught elementary school in Spanish and English. Having three credentialed teachers on board (at last count) is one of River Song’s family-friendly features! I currently sit on Sierra Club boards in Santa Barbara, my particular focus being nature equity – the ability of people living densely in cities, possibly without cars, to access trailheads but also stars, soil, bugs, birds, and trees in the neighborhoods where they live. I love hiking and meditating and am looking forward to our new home with a garden, in togetherness, by the river, near the mountains.
Nancy & Joe: Now that their kids have launched, Joe and Nancy find themselves ready to take on the next chapter of life. Ready for new challenges in a small city, they are looking forward to living a car-free life in Eugene. Nancy looks forward to working in advocacy related to car-alternate-futures, and Joe looks forward to leaving his frame shop behind to settle into a second career in early childhood education. They both look forward to community living with shared woodworking, gardening, cooking, and entertaining, leaving behind the burden and the solitary upkeep of single-family homes. They are ready to co-create community in River Song Cohousing.
Myrna: I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to San Fransisco 33 years ago. I am a studio artist, artwork on my website https://www.myrnatatar.com/ I was really impressed with the community of RiverSong, and how welcome you made me feel. I look forward to my next chapter in Eugene.
Patricia: A writer, poet, and writing tutor at the local community college in Bryan, Texas (for now), she loves to read–especially well-crafted mysteries and contemporary fiction. She is also a scrapbooker and paper artist. She enjoys cooking and sharing meals. Her current past-times include Sheng Zhen meditation, yoga, and a book study group.
TOM: Bio coming
Will & Lynn: An architect, and a builder whenever possible, Will looks forward to playing music with company in the common house and believes that cohousing makes sense as a practical way to house ourselves and to build community. Lynn, a 2nd grade teacher who loves cooking, crafting, and company, believes that skills learned from living in community are some of the most important skills in life. She can’t wait to share meals and games with others in the common house.