Josephine “Jo” Ann Jeannette Traina Fogg

Josephine “Jo” Ann Jeannette Traina Fogg, a longtime local activist and the driving force behind the creation of the Malibu Senior Center, died on Nov. 1. She was 91.

Fogg was active in various aspects of Malibu life, including the cityhood movement, for nearly 50 years. But her passion was for seniors. “She was a gentle nag in that she kept reminding us we needed a Senior Center and to do things for seniors,” former Mayor Ken Kearsley said.

Fogg, known to many people as “Honey,” proposed the idea of a Senior Center in 1997. Due to funding difficulties and political fighting, it was a difficult mission, but it was finally accomplished six years later when the Senior Center opened at City Hall on April 12, 2003.

“If one person took the Malibu Senior Center on a mission in life, it is Jo Fogg,” then-Malibu Parks and Recreation Director Paul Adams told The Malibu Times in 2003, shortly before the opening of the center.

Fogg was born in Boston on Oct. 21, 1919. She and her family moved to Malibu in the early 1960s. Jo and her husband Clay were influential in establishing the Malibu Senior Citizens Club. They also organized trips around the world and promoted Dial-a-Ride, the program that offers transportation to seniors. Clay died in the 1995.

Fogg was a working mother who was passionate about her accounting career until she retired at age 80. She enjoyed all social occasions, especially going to the theater, acting, dancing and cooking for family and friends.

“My mom had boundless energy,” Keith Fogg wrote in an e-mail this week to The Malibu Times. “She could work all day and dance all night. Her passion for the Malibu Senior Center was based on her personal philosophy that if you slow down, you will stop. She always said that it was easy for seniors to stay home. She was adamant they needed a place to go be with people and share a meal and activities to stay vital and healthy. It certainly worked for her.”

Fogg was recognized for her efforts in 2000 with a Dolphin Award from The Times.

“I find great joy in what I do,” she said in the interview regarding the award.

Then-Mayor Tom Hasse told The Times in the interview for that story, “I am amazed at her energy. When I’m a senior, I want as much.”

Former Mayor Sharon Barovsky said this week she had recently seen Fogg, and she told Barovsky that she was dancing every night, and Fogg appeared to be enjoying life as much as she ever had.

“I’ve never known anyone that enjoyed life more than Jo,” Barovsky said. “She was the youngest senior citizen I ever knew. And she was absolutely instrumental in the cityhood movement and with the Senior Center. There wouldn’t be a senior center without Jo.”

Fogg was recognized in 2004 as the California Grandparent of the Year by the National Grandparents Day Council. She received the recognition after her great-great granddaughter Delaney Poist submitted a drawing. This was fitting for a woman who valued her large family.

“You’ve got a wonderful family like that, that’s what makes life worth living,” she said in a 2000 interview.

Fogg is preceded in death by Clay, her husband of 55 years, and her daughter Janet Shaffer. She is survived by her daughter Linda Saavedra, son Keith and his wife Ginny, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren and three of her five siblings.

A private family memorial will take place. Those wishing to share tributes, pictures and stories about Fogg should go to

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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