Piecemakers will continue on without leader

Despite the recent death of Piecemakers founder Marie Kolasinski, the Costa Mesa-based religious group plans to continue without her, members said Wednesday.

The group will keep its Adams Avenue store and Placentia Avenue warehouse, Piecemakers member Doug Follette said.

"We're alive and well and serving the community as we always have," Follette said.

The group is also planning to continue offering its craft fairs and peddlers' market, said member Debbie Ready.

The Piecemakers do not expect anyone to assume a leadership role left vacant by Kolasinski's death Monday, Doug Follette said.

"Basically, she followed Christ, and that's who we're following," Follette said. "We all have jobs, responsibilities. As long as God wants us here, we'll be here and serve him like we always have."

Follette said Kolasinski left a will, but details were not immediately available.

An adjacent business complex owned by the Piecemakers at 2845 E. Mesa Verde Drive is in the process of being sold.

The transaction began while Kolasinski was still alive, according to Follette and business owners who rent space in the complex.

Business owners in the 20,000-square-foot complex were notified of the pending sale, and told they could remain under the new ownership.

Escrow is expected to close sometime in August or September, said Port Realty owner Ruth Porter, whose business is in the complex.

Like other businesses, the Piecemakers were affected by the recent economic downturn. Kolasinski oversaw downsizing, which included the sale of the adjacent complex.

Kolasinski, who died of natural causes at age 90, was known for challenging City Hall on permits. Her absolutist views on property rights and stubborn nature even landed her in jail at one point.

But her group of 25 men and women who live communally in Mesa Verde stood by her.

A memorial for Kolasinski is set to take place at noon Friday at the Piecemakers Country Store, 1720 Adams Ave. The service is open to the public.


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