Members, 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.”
Cat & Delilah: Cat Woodman and daughter Delilah are originally from California. Cat is a single mom working in socially responsible finance. Delilah is a lover of art and millipedes.
Caroline: Caroline and daughter Liora are eager to be moving to an intentional community. We moved from Corvallis about 2 years ago and have had trouble finding community. Caroline is a Nurse Practitioner working with Brighton Hospice; I’m also an ordained UCC minister, still on the staff as the Parish Nurse for my church in Corvallis. I enjoy playing a number of instruments and singing, particularly in small groups; gardening is my therapy; and I love to hike. Liora is a trans woman, just beginning the process of transition. She loves good books, good music, her cats, and knows far more about science and the way things work than I ever will.
Carolyn: Coming Soon!
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.
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 kid Aiya and their father Jeff. Jeff and I are separated but stay friends and run the home and raise our kid 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!
JAMIE & KAREN:We met in Anacortes WA in 2021 and will marry in the spring of 2022 as River Song is being built. We enjoy the beauty of nature, good food and lively conversation. Our three adult children are spread across the country, and we look forward to the next stage of life in Eugene. Jamie is a soon-to-be-retired corporate attorney. He spent most of his life in and around Boston, including Cuttyhunk Island, where he has long found rest and refreshment and taught sailing for several summers. Karen works with communities and organizations in support of communication, connection and relationship skills. She grew up in Washington, spent high school and college in California, raised her children in Georgia, and is delighted to be back in the PNW.
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.
Lindsay & Justin: Lindsay and Justin (and their puppy, Porter) are excited to start their next chapter in Eugene, by way of NYC, Medellin, and San Diego. Lindsay works in public health and Justin is a software engineer for an education platform. We like campfires, dancing, raising chickens, gardening and we’ll be grateful to share these things and more with this new community.
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.
Marjie: Coming Soon!
Mark & Mary: Mark grew up in rural Oregon and traveled extensively abroad as a young adult. He returned to school to pursue a degree in English, then coordinated programs for migrant children in The Dalles and taught high school English in Hood River. He and his wife, Mary, also a teacher, raised one daughter, Rose, who currently teaches third grade in Eugene. Mark retired in 2015 and enjoys cycling, playing guitar, and volunteering. Mary grew up in Eugene with four older brothers. Mary moved to the Columbia Gorge in 1990 to teach reading and kindergarten. She is retired now. Mary enjoys fiber arts including spinning, knitting, weaving , and dyeing. She likes to cook and garden.
Mary Ann & Lyn: We’ve lived in Eugene for 25+ years, were previous members of RSC (then OMC) and are long time members of the Eugene Friends meeting (Quakers). Our nest has started to empty with our 31 year old daughter (Shaz) and 3 grandchildren in Salem, and our 20 year old daughter (Lena) living across town with her dog, Coal. A homegrown Oregon farm girl, Lyn works as a child and family therapist specializing in adoption. She is most alive when in nature, spending time with grandkids and cross-country skiing. I (Mary Ann) am a native New Yorker, and work at the university in a college-retention program for first-generation and lower income students as a mental health therapist. I love singing, watching UO women’s basketball, coffee with friends and playing pickle-ball.
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.
MEGHAN, ERIC & AVERY: Meghan learned about cohousing from a traveler in Santa Cruz about 5 years ago and thought it sounded so interesting. Since having our daughter Avery in 2017 without much family nearby, I am convinced that villages need to return!I am a former professional modern dancer & retired to start our family & have been at home raising our daughter (best & hardest job on the planet). My husband Eric works full-time as an arborist for a commercial tree care company. We enjoy camping, hiking & backpacking though don’t get out nearly as much as we’d like to and are hoping Eugene might provide easier access & inspiration! I also love to sing, dabble in guitar & ukulele, while Eric plays those instruments as well along with bass guitar. Definitely dream of making music with others around the fire pit. I love creating/making things in any medium as inspiration arises. Recently have been so inspired by some big pieces I’ve seen made out of garbage in community (anybody? Anybody?). One other big interest of mine is natural movement (ancestral movement), minimal footwear, furniture-free, etc…We really enjoyed the time we spent in Eugene and look forward to continue learning more about the community & getting to know folks better. I almost forgot…last but not least, our 9 year-old black & white scruffy terrier mix Rocket. 🙂
Miriam & Martin: Coming Soon!
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.
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.
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.
Rich & Sheryl:
Sheryl came to Eugene 18 years ago, originally from Washington. Rich has been in Eugene 32 years, originally from CA, with a stint in New York City. After raising 4 children and retiring, we are ready to downsize, simplify, shrink our footprint…. and the prospect of being part of a community like this is very appealing. (Sheryl, like Cheryl with an S): a wife, mother, friend and retired person (nursing) who loves experiencing deep connections, spaciousness, poetry, making music together, nature, creating art and whimsy, new learning, and playing pickleball (tennis too!) Who I really am is a mystery; a messy mix of curiosity, limitless potential and egoic foibles. I like to think that cohousing may be a good place to practice welcoming all of this with mindfulness and compassion (my own and others’ eccentricities); a place to continue growing and discovering, and a place where I can learn better how to give back to this amazing life and dear earth that has been so generous to me. (Rich) Since retiring in 2014 (from a fulfilling career as a 4th-5th grade schoolteacher), I haven’t looked back. Retirement has given me the time and freedom to pursue my many interests and passions to my
TOM: Living in community had been one of my dreams for decades, discussed with my spouse of nearly 40 years even in our courting days in the 70’s. Irene died prior to the fulfillment of our shared dream, but not before seeing our 4 sons raised in Sonoma Valley, California, and off to their own adventures. I am a NorCalifornia native, and enjoy hiking, nature, gardening and culinary adventures and plan on traveling a bit post-Covid (at least, when it’s less hazardous…). I’m looking forward to visits from family and friends, and creating in the Common House kitchen, Community gardens and the Woodshop/Workshop with my Neighbors.