Victoria Christine Josslin, resident of Bainbridge Island, Washington and Albuquerque, New Mexico, died of natural causes on May 12, 2019.
She was born on December 12, 1946 in Dunnigan, California, the first child of C.W. and Katherine Bernice Jones, née Metz. In 1949, the family moved to Bothell, Washington. Here, Victoria became an older sister to Bob and Elizabeth. When she was nine, the family relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, where brother Mark was born. In high school, Victoria studied French and German, spent a summer abroad in Switzerland, and played guitar in a folk band with her then boyfriend, David Margolin.
At Occidental College in Pasadena, California, Victoria majored in painting, and received her BA in 1969. While there, she met and married a CalTech graduate student, Richard Josslin. She taught children at a Montessori school before having two of her own, Dana and Burke. In 1976, the family moved from San Pedro to Los Angeles, where she created abstract oil and watercolor paintings, sang in the choir of Westwood Presbyterian Church, and volunteered at the St. Paul the Apostle School Library. She also sewed fabulous Halloween costumes such as Burke’s James Bond tuxedo, entertained guests by playing the piano while wearing a gorilla mask, and threw birthday parties during which kids pinned the fangs on Dracula.
In 1986, the Josslin family moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington, where Victoria became a lifelong member of the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church Choir. As her first marriage ended, she returned to school, and received an MA in Art History from the University of Washington in 1995. She went on to write art reviews for many publications including The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Glass Quarterly. In 1999, she founded her own online regional arts magazine, Artdish, which she published for five years. From 2003 to 2013, she served as the Director of Education and Information at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts. As a writer, editor and educator, Victoria loved to encourage people to talk about art, whether they were professional artists, the gallery-going public, or middle schoolers about to compose their first artist’s statement. In 2017, she distributed her collected art writings, How does it feel to be in the same room with it?
After her mother ordered a CD from David Margolin, by then a fiddler in the 5 Dog String Band, Victoria and David reconnected. They were married at St. Barnabas in 2011. Afterwards, they divided their time between Bainbridge Island and David’s home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to gardening, befriending local dogs, and traveling to Seoul and Paris, Victoria turned her focus from art to fiction. In 2018, she published her first novel, The Bookstore of Other Languages, and the following year founded a Facebook page for friends who wanted to discuss books, The Shelf of Endless Possibilities.
Victoria was looking forward to having her granddaughter much closer than she had been in Korea or Texas; meeting the famous DB; spending two weeks in Germany, immersed in the language she’d been studying since high school; wandering through the long and growing list she had compiled of novels by authors from distant cultures; and putting all of this future on her own personal shelf of possibilities.
Victoria is survived by her husband, David Margolin; children, Dana and Burke (Nahyun) Josslin; siblings, Elizabeth (Mike) Medes and Mark Jones; mother, Katherine Bernice Jones; and granddaughter, Karen Kim Josslin.
The funeral service will be held at one o’clock on Saturday, June 29 at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church with the Reverend Karen Haig officiating.
Memorial donations may be made to the Episcopal Relief & Development’s Global Needs Fund at episcopalrelief.org.