Tribute in Memory of Joe Stackhouse

Joe Stackhouse, South Shore Community Service Association / Bonny Lea Farm’s last remaining founder died on April 21, 2024.

Joe was tireless in his efforts for and on behalf of Bonny Lea Farm and the people it serves. He held numerous positions on our Board of Directors for many years and continued to visit Bonny Lea Farm almost daily until the onset of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020.

His regular visits would include his stopping in the front office to ask “What’s new?” and “How are things going?” before moving on to the cafeteria where participants would be gathered for morning coffee break or lunch. He would stop to speak with each one, addressing them by name and asking them how they were doing.

“He treated everyone with dignity and respect.” – Karen Lake, Executive Director.

At the time of his 90th birthday in 2019 Joe reflected:

“It has been a good journey. What still stands out to me the most is the feeling I get when I walk into the cafeteria and am greeted by the participants who benefit from the vision shared by our founders. It is a community that Bonny Lea Farm has created — a place where people with disabilities can learn, grow and succeed. Each one is different and each one has a place here. That is what it’s all about.”  – Joe Stackhouse, Life Member of Bonny Lea Farm / South Shore Community Service Association

While his presence will be missed by many at Bonny Lea Farm, the legacy of his dedication to the organization and the determination he demonstrated for its mission will live on, ensuring the rights of people with disabilities are upheld and that opportunities for them to learn, grow and succeed will continue now and in the future.

“Our thoughts are with his family. We at Bonny Lea Farm are grateful for his more than 50 years of leadership and support as we constantly adapt to the changing and unique needs of the participants who are at the centre of everything we do,” – John Biebesheimer, Chair of the Board of Directors.