Joanne Couch Lara, age 68, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on June 9th, 2020, at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, CA. She was born on June 3, 1952, in Monticello, GA. She grew up in Tampa, FL where she graduated from the University of South Florida with a BFA in Dance. She moved to Los Angeles in 1985 to pursue her acting career. A professional dancer, classroom education specialist and a university professor. She dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of individuals with autism through movement and dance. Her advocacy led to the founding of the nonprofit organization Autism Movement Therapy. Along with The Glorious Pies Truck, which gives youths with autism a job and a paycheck.
An inspiration to so many, she touched so many lives, especially the children she loved so very much.
She is survived by her family in Tampa, FL; Sister Natalie Stewart (husband Tom), Nieces Jennifer Stewart (great niece Victoria), Jessica Stewart (great nephews Nathan and Zack) and Nephew Jason Stewart. Along with all her cousins in FL and GA. She is predeceased by her parents Fred and Lois Couch.
Due to the current COVID pandemic, services will be postponed to a later date. There will be a virtual service held on June 27, 2020. Details to follow.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to: http://autismworksnow.org/donations/make-a-change/