Remembering Joanne Sultar, an expressive soul with a lifelong passion for learning

Joanne Sultar, Aug. 17, 1946 – March 6, 2018

Our beautiful Joanne Sultar died peacefully at home on March 6, 2018 in Berkeley, CA, at the age of 71.

Joanne was born an only child on Aug.17, 1946 in the Bronx, NY, to Alex and Francis Sultar.

Joanne was very close to her mother’s siblings: Jack Foreman, Ida Biener and Doris Rosen. Her cousin, Sherwin Rosen, was like a brother to her and they shared a quick-witted humor.

At the age of 21, Joanne moved to the Bay Area with her then-husband, Robert Taxin.

An expressive soul who spoke her mind, Joanne, who lived in Berkeley for the last four decades of her life, was an avid writer, imaginative painter, music and theater enthusiast, a deeply devoted mother and a loyal friend to many.

Her interest in the human spirit inspired her to get an M.A in Clinical Psychology for Drama Therapy from Antioch University of San Francisco.

Her career path reflected a passion for lifelong learning, and she taught elementary school, developmentally disabled individuals and seniors in classes involving movement meditation and music movement, Tai Chi Chih, Breema Bodywork and therapeutic drama.

Joanne belonged to many writing groups and classes where her voice and personality were brought to life with her words. The therapeutic drama classes she led and attended gave her a strong voice to navigate and express her life’s difficulties and joys.

During the last several decades, she would often volunteer to play and sing a vast array of music for senior centers in her community, in addition to ushering at the Berkeley Repertory Theater and other theaters.

Joanne was also heavily involved in advocacy work for the developmentally disabled which was inspired by the relationship she shared with her son and her immense efforts to provide him and others the best possible care.

She was very spiritual and strongly identified with Eastern medicine, energy healing, Amma’s ashram and Jewish traditions inspired by her upbringing.

Joanne is survived by her son, Jesse Taxin, and her cousin Sherwin’s two daughters, Ariana and Amberly Rosen.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Joanne on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019 at Live Oak Park picnic area #2 (located next to Berkeley Arts Center:  1275 Walnut St., Berkeley, CA 94709) from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. All who knew Joanne are invited to attend.