In Memory: Joan Poindexter


by Guest Writer Marion Wagner

Indiana NOW President Joan Poindexter died Aug. 20 in Indianapolis of cancer. Joan's illness and death came as a shock to everyone who knew her, as until she was hospitalized Aug. 13, the cancer was undiagnosed.

 Poindexter, 66, was a longtime NOW activist, joining NOW in the 1970s and becoming active in 1982 with the planning of the National NOW Conference in Indianapolis that year. She held various positions in Indianapolis and Indiana NOW, including treasurer of Indiana NOW, Indianapolis NOW and Indianapolis NOW PAC. She served as Indiana NOW vice President 1990-1992 and was elected president in June 1994. She also served on the National NOW Committee on Ending Violence Against Women.

 Indiana NOW depended on Poindexter for sound financial advice, for staffing the Indiana NOW telephone line, for computer savvy and for her expertise on racism, violence against women, poverty and many other issues. She was at the core of Indiana NOW's successes. Charles Poindexter, Joan's husband, is also a longtime Indiana NOW activist, having served on the chapter and state boards and as Indiana NOW state treasurer 1990-1992.

 At Joan's funeral Aug. 26, many NOW activists wore purple, gold and white to pay tribute to our sister. In her honor, Joan's family and Indiana NOW have created the Indiana NOW Joan Poindexter Scholarship Fund. We envision the fund as an ongoing endowment providing scholarships for women who might be returning to school later in life, as Joan did, or who would otherwise be unable to attend school. The scholarships will be awarded annually and will serve as an ongoing tribute to Joan. Contributions, which will go into a 501-C account, are being accepted now, c/o Indiana NOW, 3151 Ethel Ave., Indianapolis, Ind. 46208, and will be taken on an ongoing basis.

 The Joan Poindexter Scholarshi Fund is one way Indiana NOW will carry on her work and dreams for the organization she loved so much. We greatly miss her presence, her concern, her compassion and her wisdom. Joan is survived by her husband Charles Poindexter, children Carol Peterman, Jay Poindexter and Karin Estrada, parents, Alpha and Lavern Bowen, brothers John, James and Stephen Stafford, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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