Remembering an Exceptional Champion for Equity and Community

Joan Platt

Joan R. Platt (1945-2020)

Together, YMCA of Silicon Valley board, staff, and community recognize and celebrate the life and legacy of Joan Platt. Joan passed away in November 2020 with family by her side in London, England. Joan was actively involved with YMCA of Silicon Valley for more than thirty years, serving as an advocate for youth, board member, Heritage Club member, and naming donor of the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA. 

With her husband Lew, Joan established the Joan Platt Heritage Child Development Endowment Fund in 1991 to provide resources for vulnerable children and their families to participate in the Y’s programs and services. In 2016, Joan created the Caretha and Ken Coleman Endowment Fund to honor her good friend and co-volunteer, Caretha Coleman, and her husband, Ken. Joan was especially dedicated to the YMCA located in East Palo Alto and she made a lasting impact on the surrounding community. In addition to her tireless work with the YMCA, Joan served with other organizations that aligned with her passions, including the Human Rights Watch, Global Fund for Children, Fund for Global Human Rights, and The Philanthropy Workshop, a network of over 450 global leaders committed to solving the world’s most pressing social issues. Joan was a true friend and mentor to so many in the Y.

“Joan was generous, empowered, and dedicated to the causes and people she loved most. A fearless leader for the Y, her passion shone through in everything she said and did,” said Gay Krause, an active member of YMCA of Silicon Valley’s board. “It was actually Joan who first recruited me to join the YMCA board many years ago. Her legacy and impact will live on in the communities she served and her company will be missed by those of us who had the joy and honor of working alongside her. All of us at the Y send our deepest condolences to her family.” We miss sharing the Y’s work with Joan and will continue to be inspired by the example she set for us all. 

For more information on Joan’s work and legacy with the YMCA, please contact Delayzio Amerson, Executive Director of the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA, at 650687-5317. Gifts in honor of Joan can be made to the Y at