Remembering Joshua Janicki at Mono Lake

The Mono Lake Committee has been fortunate to receive gifts in memory of loved ones over the years—we are always honored by these special gifts. This summer the Janicki family donated a refresh of the sitting area in front of our bookstore in memory of Joshua Michael Janicki (1989–2022).

Memorial gathering

In late September Joshua’s family traveled to the Mono Basin for a memorial gathering, which included a canoe trip on Mono Lake. They paddled over the rippled sand and underwater tufa towers and watched the phalaropes, a bird that relies on a place Joshua loved—Mono Lake—to get to a place where he longed to travel—South America.

Joshua’s family gathered in late September to dedicate the picnic spot at the Mono Lake Committee in his memory. Photo by Mara Krista Plato.

Joshua’s family also dedicated the space in front of the bookstore in his memory. Donations from family and friends allowed for a refresh of this area that is well utilized near the bookstore. The picnic tables are busy most of the year with people planning their next hike, travelers catching up on remote work, and families sharing meals. Now those who pause there can notice plaques about Joshua while they rest and refresh for the next adventure together in the Mono Basin.

From Joshua’s family

Joshua Michael Janicki, 1989–2022. Photo courtesy of Molly Oser.

“Joshua loved traveling down 395. He knew every turn, every bend in the Walker River, the turn for Green Creek Road (where he learned to drive) the crest before the descent towards Mono Lake and the entrance to Lee Vining. No matter the season, winters on the way back and forth from Death Valley, summers camping and backpacking in the Hoover Wilderness, swimming across Tenaya Lake, fall at Lundy Lake and Twin Lakes, Joshua always made it a ritual to stop at the Mono Lake Committee bookstore. Even when he was with his buddies, they always stopped to look around and to call home and tell the family where he was. We would smile together over the miles.

“We would like others to make it a family ritual. Stop at the bookstore. Take a moment to acknowledge each other and the beauty around you. Joshua loved nothing more than family time. That is all he wanted and that is all we wanted. He is so loved and cherished. And we miss him desperately.

“Joshua loved swimming in Green Creek, eating burritos from the Mono Market, and hiking up to East Lake. Please share a meal at the new picnic tables and take time to think of our son and brother.”

Memorial gifts

Gifts like these are a powerful and tangible reminder of how much people care for Mono Lake. When we as staff use the picnic tables for meetings feel so grateful to Joshua’s family and are honored to remember him in this meaningful way.

If you would like to make a gift to the Mono Lake Committee in honor or in memory of a loved one, please send me an email or call (760) 647-6595 x112.

Top photo by Elin Ljung: Joshua’s family members Andrew Janicki, Terry Janicki, Molly Oser, and Angela Chen at the Mono Lake Committee.