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Jackie Guthrie, wife of Arlo, dead at 68

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Jackie Guthrie, wife of music legend Arlo Guthrie, and mother of Abe, Cathy, Sara, and Annie, died earlier today. She was 68 years old.

Born Jackie Hyde, she and Arlo married in 1969.

From Arlo's Facebook page and official website:

Jackie Guthrie
July 25, 1944 - Oct. 14, 2012

Dear Friends,

This morning Jackie left her body surrounded by her family and a few friends. She called us to her about 3 this morning to let us know she couldn't fight any longer. She was at peace with the life and dreams we shared together for almost 45 years. We stayed at her bedside through the morning until about 11:45 when she gently breathed her last breath. She will remain in our hearts and memories as she does for many of you. Thank you for your prayers and notes… With Love, adg (Arlo Davy Guthrie)

Fans had been updated with posts at Arlo.net:

September 18:

  • We are very sad to say that our Mom, Jackie is battling liver cancer. She is surrounded by her family and in good spirits. We respectfully ask for privacy at this time.
  • Things are changing too quickly to update everyone everyday but we will let you know how we are doing when we can. There's no need to post "get well" wishes throughout the social media as she isn't reading any of it, and she prefers that everyone holds their wishes and prayers in the privacy of their hearts - where it really counts, because we really do need them now. (Dave)

October 2:

  • ... Jackie is fighting for her life at this point. She is continually surrounded by her family. She has good days and bad days. The hospitals and doctors she has seen are trying their best to deal not only with her particular situation, but with her family as we are totally out of the box when it comes to health care. ....
  • Like so many others, Jackie is beyond the ability of regular docs and hospitals to help, except to make her comfortable with pain management etc. So naturally, being who she is, she stopped taking the pain meds, and ripped off the patches that made her groggy opting to actually recover and not just sink into a deeper sleep. We understand she may not recover from this but no one in this family is going to sleep without a fight. We are treating her with therapies to help her recover. It may not work, but we've never been known for going along with the system, so we're giving it our best and we are all agreed that there's nothing to lose.
  • After laying in hospital beds for the last few weeks unable to walk, we got her home where she began sneaking out of bed on her own. She cast aside the wheel chair, then the walker and was caught roaming by herself on numerous occasions. She was supposed to have someone with her at all times, but you can't always do what you're supposed to do. (adg)

October 13:

  • Jackie & I were able to celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary at our home in Sebastian with family and friends. We broke her out of the hospital that same day where she had been for almost a week...
  • Without going into technical details her cancer was non-operable and according to the oncologists, the course of chemo/radiation at its best would have extended her life for only a short time. In other words doing nothing at all or using the best medicine available, the outcome was the same except for the difference in time. Also, using the treatments of chemo/radiation her immune system would have been compromised to the point where we could not try any alternative therapies with any realistic hope of success...
  • I have taken some time off to be with my wife and kids in order to set up our own plan to recovery. It may not work but the alternatives were beyond stupid and totally unacceptable. While politicians argue over who has access to health care, I have not heard one word from any of them that has anything to do with the state of our actual health care itself. Don't get me started… (adg)

Jackie and Arlo Guthrie lived together in Washington, Massachusetts. At this summer's 100th Woody Guthrie birthday anniversary celebration at the nearby Green River Festival, Arlo told a humorous story of Jackie being held at a local airport with some illegal herbs a fan apparently gave to the folk singer, and it was found in a bag with his name on it. Arlo had to go back to the airport and smooth everything out. The concert featured many members of the Guthrie tribe joined together on stage.

  • I had the great privilege of knowing Jackie Guthrie over the years, just casually, but enough to love her and appreciate what a beautiful, smart, wise, funny, warm and caring person she was. She was the quiet, powerful offstage force behind her onstage husband and children, and she sat back and soaked everything in. When you were in her presence for just a few minutes, she made you feel like you were the most important person in the world for that time, and that whatever it was you were doing was the most important work that could be done. She knew a lot more than she let on, and she remembered everything. And she didn't miss a trick. Hers was a special and unique gift that directly and indirectly touched hundreds and thousands of lives. -- Seth Rogovoy, author of "The Essential Klezmer" and "Bob Dylan: Prophet Mystic Poet"

The embedded video was part of Jackie's "Mrs. G's Homegrown Videos" series (a.k.a. "jguth3.")

Jackie had been "Tweeting" as @Jackieuma. She described herself as "Mother and grandmother of a bunch of folk singers. Married that wandering folk singer, Arlo Guthrie 42 years ago. Work in multimedia & art."

Sincere condolences to the Guthrie family. Wishing you peace.

Keep up with Performing Arts Examiner news. Just click on Subscribe above, or follow @DylanExaminer on Twitter. Harold Lepidus also writes the Bob Dylan Examiner column. Thanks for your support.

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