Beloved pillar of Venice community passes away at 73
By Dolores Quintana
Joëlle Dumas, a beloved pillar of the community of Venice has died at the age of 73. She was the founder and director of the Ecole Claire Fontaine and served as the chairperson of the Venice Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Dumas was awarded the prestigious “Palmes Academiques,” and is Executive Director of Cultural Affairs for “Movement of French Abroad.” Fluent in French, English and Spanish, she has worked cooperatively with the French Consulate, Alliance Française, Los Angeles Accueil, the Venice Neighborhood Council, the Getty Museum, UCLA and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. Before moving to the U.S. 30 years ago, she earned a teaching degree from the University of Bordeaux and taught at the Chantemerle International Institution.
The emailed statement from the Venice Chamber of Commerce said, “She was a blazing force and her devotion to her kids, to the Venice Chamber of Commerce and to the Venice community will leave a lasting legacy.
Joëlle shared so much love and joy, always giving and thinking of others. She will be greatly missed. The loss we feel in our Chamber community is huge so we can only imagine how much more her loss means to our community members, her family, and to all who loved her. RIP beautiful soul, thank you for your service and smiles.”
On the Venice Chamber of Commerce Education Committee website, Dumas said, “The guiding mission of the VCCEC is to elevate the status of children and education, while underscoring the importance of our community’s communication. During my 10 years as Chair of the Venice Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, I have worked as the architect of bridges between local businesses and educators, developing a lasting forum where ideas and action meet for the betterment of our community and beyond, fulfilling Abbot Kinney’s vision for Venice as a Mecca for art, culture and education. The VCCEC promotes equality and inclusivity in our community of schools by fostering invigorating learning environments for local children of all backgrounds to be educated together, and so creating indelible bonds in our dear Venice.”
Her memorial service was held on December 17 and you can watch it on Youtube here:
A statement from her husband Jimmy, daughter Gwendoline and son Clay on her website said, in loving tribute, “What is so great about stars is that even after they cease to burn their radiance reaches the eyes of countless children over many years.
We, Joëlle’s immediate family, have lost our sun, but we are consoled by the radiance we see reflected in so many of you: our family, our friends, and the great Ecole Claire Fontaine community that Joëlle created and nurtured for more than thirty years.”
Members of the community who would like to share a memory of Joelle Dumas with her family can do so through a form on her website or by emailing it to the following email address. The page states, “If the spirit moves you to share a memory of Joëlle or ECF, our family would be grateful to hear from you. If you have a photo or video to include, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A final paragraph on the website set up in tribute of this great woman says, “On December 12, 2022, Joëlle passed to another plane, peacefully and painlessly, surrounded by her husband Jimmy, children, Gwendoline and Clay, sister Anne, and hermana Lily. For the past few years she willed herself to school, farmers’ markets, and community gatherings in spite of an aggressive cancer and the treatments intended to slow it down. Now she is resting.
May her memory be an inspiration to body surf at sunrise, show up first to the farmers’ market, speak fearlessly in foreign languages, and above all else, to eye the world through the eyes of children.”