DETROIT (WWJ) -Hunderds of mourners gathered at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament to say a final goodbye to Eleanor Josaitis, co-founder of Focus:HOPE.
Josaitis remembered by many as a woman who fought to end racism and poverty in metro Detroit.
Congressman John Connors told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Chrystal Knight what he will miss most of his friend and former neighbor: “Her optimism, she never gave up or gave in, and it helped a lot of people who, if they couldn’t get anything else, if the got that (optimism) it would change their own outlook in life,” Conners said.
WWJ spoke with Detroit City Council Ken Cockrel, Jr. as he made his way into the church and he talked about the impact she made on his life:
“I think the biggest thing I took away from her and also from Fr. Cunningham, because they really were very much in sync, of one mind, they believed as did Focus: Hope, they believed in the people they were serving, everything should be first-rate, and I think that is an important message, cuz often in Detroit we have a tendency to get so down, that we tend to see ourselves as second-rate,” said Cockrel.
Vera Warren was among those who paid her respects. She says she remembers Josaitis because she landed a job for her son.
Warren says that her son worked at Focus:HOPE for a number of years, and felt it was a great start.
Warren says Josaitis had a passion for justice…giving hope and opportunity for hundreds over the decades.
Josaitis was 79, she died Tuesday, August 9, after being diagnosed with cancer last year.