Joy Kisliuk, an educator and publisher who changed many lives for the better in her 54 years in Los Angeles, died Dec. 31, 2016. She was 89.
She was born Joy Rachin on Dec. 27, 1927, in Washington Heights, New York. Joy attended Hunter College in New York, and in March 1950 married Paul Kisliuk, who earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University on the GI Bill and worked for Bell Labs. They moved to Plainfield, New Jersey, and then Morristown, N.J., and started a family. In 1962 they moved to Los Angeles, raising four children in Pacific Palisades. Joy was a busy volunteer in her children’s schools and activities, and in the 1970s earned a master’s degree in library science from Cal State Fullerton. In the late 1970s she started Thoreau Montessori School in Santa Monica, where she delighted in working with young children. She also operated Career Architects, an employment agency in West Los Angeles. Later she launched The Clock, a trade newsletter focused on the information display industry.
As a young girl Joy contracted polio, and as a result she walked on crutches nearly all of her life. She never let this keep her from any goal, and friends and family members commonly remarked on her indomitable will. In her later years she lived in Westwood, where the neighborhood grew to know her as she walked her dogs in her wheelchair, played a major role in the lives of her grandchildren, helped anyone who asked and many who didn’t.
She is survived by her children Amy, Margaret, Thomas and Bill (Elisabeth); grandchildren Lianna (Italo), Dan and Claire; and great-grandson Eli. She is predeceased by her husband, Paul, and brother, Richard. Donations may be made to Los Angeles Catholic Charities.