Marjorie Ann Jackson of Manhattan, age (something she adamantly refused to disclose), died on February 18, 2022 of colon cancer. She spent her last days in the company of close family members and friends that go back too far to count.
Known as Marjorie or Marge by her Connecticut family and early friends, and Ann in her later Manhattan years, she defied categorization. While most people go through life defined largely by what they do: teacher, hairdresser, doctor, chef—not so Ms. Jackson. The answer to the question, “What do you do?” really depended on when you asked.
Her first job took her to Wakpala, South Dakota’s Standing Rock Indian Reservation and a missionary school where she was housemother, advisor, organist, and choir leader to Native American girls.
Back east, Ann, as she was now known, became scheduler and hand-holder-in-chief at the Merv Griffin show for stars ranging from Paul Newman and Woody Allen to Elizabeth Taylor and Moms Mabley. Oh, what tales she had to tell!
Her innate organizational skills took her behind the scenes of the first Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Tennis Tournament at Forest Hills, coordinating celebrity guests and consulting with Ethel Kennedy. She was a leader on the Save the Beacon Theater Committee working with other local volunteers to protect the landmark Upper West Side building from the wrecking ball and replacement by a discotheque.
Ann played a key role in the success of Bike New York in its earlier years as part of the small staff housed in the American Youth Hostels building. When she left after ten years, she was feted with copious gifts and unanimous praise. This active member of the West Side Camera Club served as its President and made lifelong friends there. And most recently, there was Marjorie Ann Jackson, indefatigable landlady, undertaking or supervising all the physical labor the Wallingford family home/now rental property required. So, in answer to the question what did Ms. Jackson do, she did it all.
Marjorie Ann Jackson was born to Edith and Walter Jackson and raised in Wallingford, Connecticut. She played saxophone in the marching bands of Lyman Hall High School and New Haven State Teachers College, from which she graduated.
As for those amazing organizational skills and her supportive nature, these traits were equally on display in her personal life: doing the heavy lifting every Memorial Day weekend with friends opening their summer house, helping her neighborhood friend tend her garden, and contributing delicious appetizers (and shoveling the snow!) over decades of Vermont New Year’s Eve celebrations with a tightknit group of Vermont and NYC friends.
She was thoughtful, funny, modest, and most of all, a good listener when it mattered. And last but not least, she was about as devoted, if unsung, a fan of the Mets as ever there was— period.
There will be a celebration of Marjorie Ann Jackson’s life in the not-too-distant future.
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