Obituaries

Suzanne Jones, the adopted daughter of Jim and Marceline Jones, died in November 2006.

Martin Tropp, whose only two siblings Richard and Harriet Sarah Tropp died in Jonestown, died in late December 2006.

Robert Moore, whose nieces Carolyn Moore Layton and Ann Elizabeth Moore died in Jonestown, and who established the Redlands Peace Center in southern California as his response to the tragedy of Jonestown, died in February 2007. A remembrance of Mr. Moore appears here. An article he wrote for Ten Years After Jonestown, a collection of essays published by Edwin Mellen Press in 1989, appears here.

Former Temple member Kay Henderson died in March. A remembrance appears here.

Charlie Touchette, who was one of Jonestown’s original settlers and who survived the tragedy by being on the Temple’s boat, the Cudjoe, died March 30.

Rev. Hamilton Boswell, who was the pastor of Jones United Methodist Church in San Francisco’s Fillmore district, and who shared the critical views of most African American pastors of Jim Jones and Peoples Temple, died May 6. An obituary for Rev. Boswell appears here.

Michael Bellefountaine, a frequent contributor to the jonestown report and the author of A Lavender Look at Peoples Temple, a history of gays and lesbians in the Temple, died May 10. An obituary for Michael appears here. Numerous remembrances appear here.

In addition, we learned this year of other deaths from previous years.

The parents of Marceline Jones, Charlotte and Walter Baldwin, who visited Jonestown in October 1978 less than a month before the tragedy, have died.

Miguel de Pina, one of the seniors who survived the deaths in Jonestown, was ill with stomach cancer at the time and lived less than a year afterwards. De Pina died in 1979. Remembrances of Mr. de Pina appear here.

Ruth Ellen Kerns Reinhardt, a former member of Peoples Temple who became a nurse practitioner, died in January 2006 in Boulder, Colorado. She is survived by her daughter Katie, and her sister Jeanette Hooman.

Two of Ruth’s family members died in Jonestown. Ruth and Jeanette, who had defected several years before, were considered “traitors.” As Jeanette wrote about Ruth and herself, “We chose to lead our lives in a positive fashion and not let the gravity of the Jim Jones experience dictate our lives.  We do not define our lives by the Jim Jones event and we have made personal strides to not let it interfere with our daily lives.”

Norman Ijames, the son of Rosie and Archie Ijames, and one of the few Temple members with a pilot’s license, died in a plane crash in South America in the 1980s.

Ruby Johnson, who survived the deaths in Jonestown because she was in Georgetown on November 18, died several years ago.

Shiva Naipaul, whose book Journey to Nowhere: A New World Tragedy was the first to give a Third World perspective on the events in Jonestown, died in August 1985.

Shirley Purifoy, who defected from Peoples Temple with her husband Bill and 13 other relatives on New Years Day 1976, died during the summer of 2006.

Ricky Stahl, a former member of Peoples Temple who was related to several people who died in Jonestown, died in the 1980s.

Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on June 26th, 2021.
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