Dedication...

Spirit of Resh Foundation is dedicated to Lois Joy Myers and David Lynn Akard.  Their lives and deaths inspired these principles, by which we serve:   Love is the connective tissue between all life.    Life is precious. This moment is all we have.    Respect for all life creates vital, healthy communities.    The purpose of human life is to love, learn, grow and serve.    Honesty, expressed with compassion, builds intimacy and trust.    Forgiveness is a path to healing.    It is up to each of us to make the most of the circumstances we are given by life.    Trusting in the connection between that which is seen and unseen transforms fear into love.

Spirit of Resh Foundation is dedicated to Lois Joy Myers and David Lynn Akard.

Their lives and deaths inspired these principles, by which we serve:

Love is the connective tissue between all life.

Life is precious. This moment is all we have.

Respect for all life creates vital, healthy communities.

The purpose of human life is to love, learn, grow and serve.

Honesty, expressed with compassion, builds intimacy and trust.

Forgiveness is a path to healing.

It is up to each of us to make the most of the circumstances we are given by life.

Trusting in the connection between that which is seen and unseen transforms fear into love.

 

Spirit of Resh Board of Directors...

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Lily Myers Kaplan, Founder & Director

With thirty years as an ordained non-denominational minister and a Master's degree in Culture & Spirituality Lily has made a career of guiding people to build meaning and purpose from the most challenging of life circumstances. She’s also been a program director of a modern day mystery-school, a hospice volunteer manager, and the executive director of a non-profit family camp. But she says that the greatest work of all is the privilege of sharing stories with the people whose paths intersect with her own. Using story as a force for transformation and healing in her southern Oregon community and in her work as a soul-guide at her twenty-acre Sanctuary at Rainbow Ridge is Lily’s way of honoring Ancestors, sharing wisdom gained through hardship, and helping others find beauty in their losses.

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Sally Long, Co-Founder & Chair

For Sally, the Spirit of Resh Foundation is a living memorial to the legacy of love left by Lois and David. As Lois and Lily’s elder sister, she was both distraught and inspired by Lois and Dave’s extended cancer journey and untimely deaths. Fueled by the two emotions, she imagined a world where renewed life purpose could spring from honoring death. Her knowledge as a long-time educator combined with her non-profit board experience led to co-founding Spirit of Resh with Lily. From the beginning Sally cheered from the background as the emerging Foundation took shape. Now, retired from her multi-faceted career in higher education, she continues to be a creative champion of Resh and is proud to serve as the current Board Chair.

Marnie Olena, Secretary/Treasurer

It is a deep privilege to serve as Treasurer of Spirit of Resh Foundation. Through my service, I know that I am supporting others as they walk the path of grief and begin to translate their loss into legacy. I know firsthand the value that our programs bring to those in the midst of grief, having experienced losses of close friends and family. I’ve worked in the financial industry for nearly 25 years, and bringing my business skills, as a source of fiscal support to the Spirit of Resh Foundation is a pleasure. Our values, in particular, honesty, love and respect, are core beliefs for me and I am honored to be part of the work that is Resh.

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Megan Farnsworth, Director

Megan is an Associate Professor of Special Education at Southern Oregon University, and a holistic educator who uses story and breath to explore the human condition. Her son, Keita, died in 2012 from complications due to Bipolar Disorder. This loss has deeply affected her personal and public identities, leading Megan into research on how grief affects teaching and learning. With a PhD in Multicultural Special Education, Megan's 17 years of teaching in private and public schools is a solid foundation to her emerging emphasis on using story for re-writing grief-stories. Megan says that, "The Spirit of Resh Foundation's premise of trusting in the connection between that which is seen and unseen underlies how the magic of story—and creatively exploring my son’s death—has helped me transform fear into love and discover healing within my own mourning journey."

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Mary Ann Perry, Director

Mary Ann loves living in and being of service to the Rogue Valley community. With a background in education, youth mentoring, and facilitation, she brings a grounded, calming presence that helps others feel safe and supported. In service as a Certified Home Funeral Guide, hospice respite volunteer, and Spirit of Resh board member, Mary Ann is passionate about the cultural shift that is happening around living and dying. Mary Ann says, "I envision acommunity where we all know what to do for each other around death and dying, and I am honored to be part of creating that in the Rogue Valley." As often as possible, you will find this woman out exploring wilderness areas with her husband David and their pooch Cody.

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Elizabeth Johnson,

Bend Representative

Elizabeth’s profound confrontation with loss opened her genuine curiosity around the metamorphic power of death and sorrow in individual lives. Her Master's degree in Community Planning and Not-for-Profit Management has taken her around the globe. Spending extended time in places like India, Guatemala and the South American continent, she's become fascinated in how cultural and social contexts serve to shape understanding of the mysteries of life and death. She’s passionate about the integration of death literacy initiatives in local communities for encouraging honest dialogue around the complexities of the dying process, and draws upon her experience of managing Global Learning Service programs for an east coast university in facilitating those conversations. She currently lives in Bend, OR with her partner, David, and their dog, Pai.