One of Twin Oaks' primary founding members, Kat Kinkade, died on July 3rd, peacefully at home at Twin Oaks. Kat was a visionary and a mover-shaker, and her life's work touched thousands of people. She was buried on our land: burial photos here. [Posted 5-July, updated 7-August & 3-September-2008.
Kat Kinkade, community visionary and founder, died peacefully in her room at Twin Oaks, on Thursday July 3, 2008, at 7:40 in the evening. She was buried in the graveyard at Twin Oaks the afternoon of Friday July 4, in a simple ceremony.
A Memorial Service is planned for Saturday July 19, at Yanceyville Church in Louisa, at 2 pm. If you are interested in attending, or would like more information, please email Valerie at
A memorial webpage was created, and everyone was invited to post photos or write memories of Kat there.That page has now (as of 2012) been removed from the internet (because NING no longer provides free hosting and may not have archived this material.)
Below is a copy of Kat's obituary, written by her daughter Josie, which will appear in the Central Virginian (our local Louisa newspaper). Obituaries also appeared in these two national newspapers: The Washington Post and The New York Times. The latter obituary was reproduced in several other prominent newspapers in the US and Canada.
'Kathleen "Kat" Kinkade, 77, died on Thursday July 3, 2008, in her home at Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, surrounded by friends and family.
Kat was born in Seattle in 1930, the depression era. She became the first person in her family to go to college by attending the University of Washington for one year. There she met and married Army Sergeant Donald Logsdon.
When the marriage fell through, Kat took her four year-old daughter to live in Mexico City, Mexico, here she taught English to first graders at a private elementary school for five years.
She returned to the United States in 1960, got a job as a secretary, and became an avid international folk dancer. She and her daughter Josie (who was now twelve) joined what would become the famed Los Angeles Troupe Aman.
It was while living in Los Angeles that Kat read the book "Walden Two" by BF Skinner. She became obsessed with the idea of a group of people who could live cooperatively, with true equality of income. In 1967, with six other like-minded souls, she founded Twin Oaks Community in Louisa.
The early years at Twin Oaks were difficult but exciting. Kat believed in the idea of the community so strongly that she was not deterred by 25 cents a week spending money, having to take turns commuting to Richmond to find temporary work, or by folks who found the lifestyle too difficult and left.
She believed strongly in equality, and was careful to include others in setting up by- laws that would prevent any one person from telling others what to do. An incisive thinker, she "led through persuasion" and helped put in place systems that still help make Twin Oaks the success it is today.
Over time, Kat helped form two other communities also still in existence: East Wind in Missouri and Acorn in Louisa county. She wrote many of the early Twin Oaks newsletters, as well as two books on the subject of Twin Oaks: "A Walden Two Experiment" and "Is It Utopia Yet?"
An important part of Kat's life was music. She joined the Yanceyville Church, and was involved in the choir, where she sang any part required of her, and wrote music, including parts of an adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". She wrote a light-hearted play "Utopia" for Twin Oaks based on show-tunes from various musicals. For ten years she was involved in Sacred Harp music of early America, and composed several pieces in this genre as well. She had no formal musical training, and made many amateur's mistakes, yet produced some beautiful music and lyrics.
At the age of 70, with not much physical strength, Kat decided she wanted to try living in a house of her own, something she had never had the opportunity to do. She moved into a tiny little house in Mineral, and enjoyed planting many beautiful flowers, rescuing five cats of her own, and bottle-feeding the occasional litter as a foster mom. Last December, when she became too weak to live on her own, Twin Oaks graciously took her back in and took care of her in a way that only the most attentive and loving of families would have done. When she passed away, her beloved cat Oolong was by her side.
Kat is survived by her daughter Josie Kinkade, and her granddaughter Lee Ann Kinkade.
A memorial service will be held at Yanceyville Church on Saturday July 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to SNAP (Spay and Neuter All Pets), PO Box 1277, Louisa VA 23093.'
With community in my heart,