On Tuesday September 14th, we lost Jeremy Tow to brain cancer, which he had been fighting for almost two years. Jer had been the artistic director of Chemainus Theatre for many years, and was known to Pacific Theatre audiences for his remarkable performance in MASTER HAROLD & THE BOYS, and his direction of A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Though distance separated us, Jer and I had a strong and unique friendship, with a shared love for God and a passion for acting that sometimes placed us in tension with a calling to serve as artistic directors of our respective companies. His wife Anita Wittenberg is also dear to Pacific Theatre: you would know her from performances in PT shows such as MOURNING DOVE or AGNES OF GOD, as well as years of work on the Chemainus Stage.
Here is a note from Jeremy and Anita's dear friend, Michelle Lieffertz.
Wednesday September 15th
... the post I didn't expect to write when this began: - O, for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention and help me know how to write...
My friends, and fellow warriors: We have fought, with all our strength, a battle on Jeremy & Anita's behalf. - Jeremy had planned to be with us for many more years, but has been invited to a much greater celebration. He passed from this life last evening.
Anita, the children and his parents are so SO grateful for the support they have received from everyone over the past 13 months, and our prayers are still needed as they transition to an altered version of their lives. A memorial service is planned for Monday, September 20th, at 2:00 pm at 10th Avenue Alliance Church in Vancouver (corner of 10th and Ontario).
More than anything, Jeremy clung firmly to his deep faith, and went peacefully into the arms of his Father. And although we weep for the loss of him this side of eternity, let your hearts be encouraged:
"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will all sleep, but we will be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory: Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you." (1 Corinthians 15:51...58)
WAKE FOR JEREMY
Sunday September 19, 2010 8pm onwards
Progress Lab 1422, 1422 William Street
This is an informal gathering: come and have a glass of wine and a nibble with fellow artists and friends, ponder muse dream laugh grieve…a chance for the community to express their love for this remarkable actor, musician, director, writer…this soulful beautiful man.
Our aim is to also gather stories, remembrances, songs, whatever expresses your experience of Jer – in a compiled book/DVD for Emma and Sebastian to have: to know and remember the impact their father had on you and on so many people. We will have a basket to put any writing/cards/pictures in that you may want to bring. We will also have a videographer around if you want to record something in the moment. We hope to have a keyboard on hand…
Bring: your story of Jer, your own bottle of wine if you like, anyone you want to come along
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR JEREMY
Monday, September 20th, at 2:00 pm
10th Avenue Alliance Church in Vancouver
(corner of 10th and Ontario)
If desired, memorial gifts for their children's Education Fund may be directed to Anita Wittenberg. His friend Rev. Jyothi's Reddi's orphanage in India, Home for Children, was close to Jeremy's heart: as per Jeremy's wishes, a portion of memorial funds may be thus designated in the memo line on the cheque.