Rosemary Herrick “Posy” Jackson died in Newport, RI, on Valentine’s Day 2023 after a brief illness. Born on May 28, 1947, Posy grew up in Manhattan, London, East Hampton, and Amagansett. Her family home near Devon was a place of adventure with her sister, Helene Danforth “Danny” Magill. They rode their ponies through the dunes and into the bay alongside their many friends from Devon Yacht Club.
She was a granddaughter of Rose Herrick Jackson and John Day Jackson, the legendarily dynamic editor and publisher of The New Haven Register. Her father, Richard Seymour Jackson, was later the president and editor of The Register. His marriage to her mother, Helene Danforth Coler (later Seiferheld, then Muensterberger), ended in divorce. A PhD art historian, Helene was a specialist in Old Master drawings, which she handled in the Seiferheld Art Gallery in Manhattan.
Posy was a graphic designer and photographer. A graduate of the Parsons School of Design of the New School for Social Research, in 1976 at the age of 29 Posy founded the Museum of Holography on West 20th Street in New York City. The purpose of the museum was to collect, preserve, interpret, and educate the public about cutting-edge fine art made with the technology of holography. When the museum closed in 1992, the collection was donated to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Posy’s marriages, to Joseph P. Wells (deceased) and Bailey Smith (deceased), both ended in divorce. She was preceded in death by her parents and is survived by her sister, Danny Magill of Wellington, Florida, and New Hope, Pennsylvania; three stepchildren, J. Smith (Trudi) of Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, Bee Smith of Wilmington, North Carolina, and Scott W. Smith (Erica) of East Hampton; six grandchildren; beloved friends Daria, Christy, and Jailyn Sturrup of Deland, Florida, and many others around the world.
Throughout her life, wherever she lived, Posy was an energetic and effervescent force for good. Her quiet elegance, her humor, her ingenuity, her boundless generosity sharing whatever she had, her quirky individuality, were compellingly attractive to people from every walk of life—all of whose interests and needs she embraced and sought to serve. Posy had a fascinating life filled with many adventures. Her last one before Covid was to drive around the country for nearly a year visiting friends and seeing the beauty and grandeur of America, in a small RV with her beloved dog, Gracie. She retired to Newport in 2020.
Posy provided a college education for many young Bahamians from Great Exuma, where she once lived, and continued to encourage and support them into adulthood. Posy’s undeterred actions on behalf of so many were pure grace. In her kindness she saved many lives, bringing hope, comfort, food, and rest: she was a remarkable soul devoted to service and love. She was also a generous benefactor to many worthy organizations, usually anonymously.
Called to the priesthood, Posy moved from the Bahamas to Austin. She took a Master of Divinity degree from the Seminary of the Southwest in 2001 and was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in 2004. As Executive Director of the William Temple Center in Galveston, she brought her deep respect for world religions to programs she created supporting the diverse, international staff of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Posy also served as a priest in Episcopal parishes and helped found food banks in Galveston, and Hendersonville, North Carolina, as she had in the Bahamas.
When Posy moved to North Carolina she was looking for another life-fulfilling adventure. She found it on fifty-four acres that would soon become known as Tigg’s Pond Retreat Center. Posy approached this project with tenacity and loving care. She imagined what the land could be, collaborated with the land itself, and then brought into being the amazing vision that had come to her. Posy was a creative genius, and Tigg’s Pond was her masterpiece. There, her many natural gifts—as a designer, researcher, seeker, teacher, lover of life— reached their pinnacle. She created a peaceful haven, a sacred space that served people from all across the country. Posy’s spiritual journey, her quest to learn everything about the unknown ‘more’ that she so avidly believed in, opened doors for many others to pursue their own journeys. Everyone who met Posy benefitted from the encounter. She truly touched the masses, as she humbly lived life doing God’s work. Posy once commented that the best way to honor her was “provide funds to a young person needing help in their education or any homeless person needing something to eat or some money to live on.”
Emmanuel Church, Newport, where Posy worshipped and taught, will welcome Posy’s friends, family, and neighbors to a celebration of her life, on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2 to 4 p.m.