Detroit skyline (Thinkstock)

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley mourns the loss of Eleanor Josaitis, a housewife-turned-activist who recently passed away. 

Eleanor Josaitis is gone, and she has left more than big shoes to fill.

She has left a void on the landscape of Detroit.

She has left a hole in the fabric of this city.

But as important, for the millions of women of substance and integrity and potential power in our community, are these questions:

Who's left? Who's being molded? Which women are preparing themselves to step up to a new level of fight?

The women of this city and this region have to fight for respect and for opportunities to share what we have and do what we know we can do.

What must the men be thinking as the table gets larger — but the number of women sitting at it gets smaller?

With the passing of Eleanor Josaitis, who founded Focus: HOPE with Father William Cunningham 43 years ago to change not only the conversation in metro Detroit but also the way of life for thousands of its residents, I cannot help but wonder: Who are our female leaders? Where are our female leaders? And which women are ready to do even more, to make sure they have a place at the table?

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Read Rochelle Riley's entire column at the Detroit Free Press.