Toby Gleason toby_gleason at sbcglobal.net
Thu May 7 18:05:46 EDT 2009


Jean Rayburn Gleason


Jean Rayburn Gleason of Berkeley, California, daughter of Eliza  
Elizabeth Miller and Ray Rayburn and widow of internationally renowned  
jazz and popular culture critic and television producer Ralph J.  
Gleason, passed away peacefully at her home on May 5, 2009, surrounded  
by family and friends. She was 90 years old.

Jean was born on December 31, 1918 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the  
fifth of eight children. She grew up primarily in upstate New York and  
became an avid jazz fan. She married Ralph in 1940.

As well as being the primary editor of her husband’s work throughout  
his career, in 1947 Jean co-authored a book entitled Cats, Cats &  
Cats. She worked closely with Ralph on the periodicals Jazz  
Information published in the 1940s and Jazz: A Quarterly of American  
Music published in the late 1950s and was the west coast campaign  
manager for Dizzy Gillespie’s 1960 write-in Presidential campaign. In  
1982 she compiled and edited the first Rolling Stone Index, published  
in 1983. She continued to preserve and administer her husband’s legacy  
throughout her life.

Jean and Ralph opened their Berkeley home to a diverse array of  
political and social free thinkers, musicians, artists, writers and  
political activists. Their home became a gathering place for those in  
the forefront of artistic and political expression and Jean adopted  
many of them into her extended family.

Jean is survived by her sisters Merle, 94 and Joyce, 83; children  
Bridget, of Greenbrae, CA, Stacy, of Wauconda, WA, Toby, of Oakland,  
CA, and Katherine Haynes-Sanstad, of Berkeley, CA, grandchildren  
Kelly, Tasa, Kehala, Isaac and Aaron and her beloved dog Emma.

There will be a private memorial service in June. In lieu of flowers,  
please send a contribution to your favorite non-profit organization  
that supports music, social justice or President Obama’s re-election  
campaign. To contact the family off-list, e-mail toby_gleason at sbcglobal.net 

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