Aug 6, 1930 - Feb 3, 2021
Joy Kaiser died on February 3, 2021 in Palo Alto, California from complications of Covid-19. She was 90.
A health care activist, Joy played a pivotal role in providing medical education for over 10,000 medical personnel of color in South Africa.
Following a Foreign Service career, Joy and her husband, Herbert Kaiser, turned to activism in 1983. Their foundation, Medical Education for South African Blacks, sought to alleviate the desperate shortage of health care workers of color in South Africa. Post-apartheid, with the enthusiastic support of luminaries such as Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and George Soros, MESAB's efforts continued and expanded, even as the HIV/AIDS epidemic was sweeping through the country. In the final move of their itinerant life together, Joy and Herb moved to Palo Alto in 1993, a period that Joy declared to be the happiest of her life. MESAB was shuttered in 2007.
Joy Kaiser was predeceased by her husband, Herb, who died in 2018. She is survived by her children, Timothy, Paul, and Gail and their spouses Margaret Darmanin Kaiser, Kathryn deGroof Kaiser, and Mark Anderton; her grandchildren, Natalie (Steven Richter) and Nicolas Kaiser, Alice and Jane Kaiser, and Claire and John Anderton; her great granddaughter, Léa Richter; her sister Jill Jones; and her half-brother Stephen Sundgaard.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6, 2021.