Katherine Kinkade died on 3 July, at age 77 of cancer (some sources says breast, some say bone), at the commune she founded 40 years ago, Twin Oaks, on 123 acres near Charlottesville, Virginia. She sounds like an interesting woman:
“She made enemies. Her impatient style did not always sit well with community members fond of endless discussion and group consensus. Some regarded her as power-hungry and intimidating. In truth, she was more pioneer than hippie, an awkward fit wherever she went, too wayward for conventional society and too managerial for the chaotic 1960s.
“‘She was a tough cookie,’ Leslie Greenwood, a commune member, wrote on a memorial Web site dedicated to Ms. Kinkade. ‘She was not fond of group hugs, had no interest in alternative medicine, nature-centered activities or tofu lasagna.'”
In later years, she briefly lived in Boston and worked as a computer programmer there, returned to Twin Oaks, sang in a church choir (though she’s an atheist), and in 2000 moved into a house her daughter bought her in Mineral, Va, where “she rescued stray cats and talked to her flowers,” among other things.
(Photo credit: Twin Oaks Community)