• Anthony (Tony) Jacobs-Brown

    by  • 28 July 2015 • News • 0 Comments

    Floris Books is sad to hear of the recent passing of Tony Jacobs-Brown, a former colleague and long-time friend. Below is an obituary, based on the eulogy by Darryl Coonan.

    Tony was born in London, England on August 24, 1954. He was an only child and was the first in his family to go to university (his father was a butcher). His degree from King’s College London was in Philosophy. He later completed a post-graduate degree in Education from Winchester University while teaching at Kings Langley Steiner School in Hertfordshire, England.

    Tony first encountered anthroposophy at eighteen, through a chance meeting his father had with Les Astell, a teacher at Kings Langley. Tony’s father encouraged him to make contact with Les and this connection led him into the world of Steiner-Waldorf education. He became an upper school teacher of philosophy, religion and history. After six years at Kings Langley, Tony took up a teaching post at Michael Hall School in Forest Row, England, as he wanted to work alongside some of the leading teachers in the world of Steiner education. He was a much-loved teacher – his wisdom shone forth – and became guide and mentor to many young people.

    He became Chair of the college of teachers at Michael Hall where he was known to be an extremely able, conscientious, methodical person who got things done. He was a deeply reverent man but could also be quietly irreverent, deflating any over-developed egos.

    Tony was at Michael Hall for fifteen years and during this time he also gave courses at Emerson College and lectured more widely. Tony had a long and deep interest in religion, and a great love of books. After Michael Hall, Tony worked for Rudolf Steiner Press and also briefly for Floris Books and Anthroposophic Press in America. His deep and wide knowledge allowed him to work as an editor and bring into the English-speaking world significant works of, among others, Emil Bock and Rudolf Frieling.

    Tony was in his 33rd year when he met his future wife Ann-Marie. At the end of a conference Tony was thanking the guest speaker and summarising the content when Ann-Marie heard a voice in her head tell her that she would marry him. This was a surprise to her in more ways than one – he was certainly not her type, they were from different backgrounds and working lives and had very different personalities. But after a couple of false starts the relationship developed and deepened. They were married in 1989 and had their silver wedding anniversary last year. For Tony there was a deep meaning in changing his surname when he married Ann-Marie – it signified a deep and abiding union.

    Tony’s life changed quite significantly with the decision to return to Ann-Marie’s native New Zealand. He found it hard to find a new career path, he seemed to have left behind his passion for teaching, but was struggling to find new meaningful work, to build new connections to people – he seemed unsure of where his destiny lay. He had many loves: people, music, books, teaching. He had a very English soul and away from the English folk soul he seemed to be lacking a clear focus for his life, he became somewhat lost, and he had periods of depression.

    His love of books and his experience in the world of publishing meant he found work at Ceres, a wholesale distributor, in charge of their book sales. He distributed the books of many of the publishers he had previously worked for. Although he could sometimes be somewhat aloof and a bit of a loner, he related well to customers and was good at his work. He was known to be thorough, obsessive, even a perfectionist.

    Tony died suddenly after a very brief illness on June 9, 2015, aged sixty.

    Tony was a valued and active member of the anthroposophical community and edited Journey Through Time in Verse and RhymeBock: Studies in the Gospels, Bock: Caesars and Apostles, Bock: Childhood of Jesus, Bock: Moses and Bock: Genesis during his time at Floris Books.

    Tony will be sadly missed by his family and friends, his colleagues and former students, and by all at Floris Books. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

     

    Journey Through Time cover  Bock: Studies in the Gospels  Bock: Moses

      Bock: Childhood of Jesus  Bock: Caesars and Apostles

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