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Joan Bohnett Historic Neighborhood Preservation Fund

PAC*SJ is mourning the loss of Joan Bohnett, a local historian, preservation advocate, dedicated PAC*SJ volunteer, and a generous and trusted friend. In her honor, we are announcing the Joan Bohnett Historic Neighborhood Preservation Fund. The fund will support the efforts of neighborhood groups in protecting and celebrating their historic character, from pursuing historic district status to developing walking tours and other educational programs.


Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution in her memory by donating online here.

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or by check to:


Preservation Action Council of San José

Attn: Joan Bohnett Historic Neighborhood Preservation Fund

42A S First Street

San José, CA 95113


About Joan Bohnett

Joan E. Bohnett (1942-2020) was a consummate historian with a love of both history and her personal heritage. Her family was active in law and politics, most notably her grandfather, the late L.D. Bohnett. Joan grew up in San Jose and graduated from San Jose State University in education. She excelled at teaching (Fremont School District) and introducing history to her students was the favorite part of her job.


In the 1970s, Joan inherited from her grandparents a lovely 1919 home in the Palm Haven neighborhood of San Jose. She began restoring it in 1995 and the home was granted San Jose City landmark status in 2008.   


Joan was active in many historical organizations: Preservation Action Council of San Jose (PAC*SJ), History San Jose, and California Pioneers of Santa Clara County. Other groups she was committed to included San Jose Woman’s Club and the Master Gardeners. PAC*SJ members will especially remember Joan as the cashier at our famous garage sales. She was the go-to-person for pricing sales objects, often sitting under the canopy at the cash table.

Active in the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, Joan chaired the book project “Touring Historic Willow Glen: Ten Walking Loops.” She, along with the 15-member team, worked many long hours toward its 2007 printing.    


Friends have described Joan as helpful, thoughtful, affectionate, conscientious, a fun bridge partner, and a great lady. Joan’s passing is a sad loss for her family, friends and the many organizations with which she was involved.

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