Faith R. Jackson, author and headmistress

December 8, 2012

Faith R. Jackson, 93, a Washington author and a former headmistress at the Washington Academy of Ballet, died Nov. 12 at the Collington Episcopal Life Care Community in Mitchellville, where she had lived for 15 years.

She had Parkinson’s disease, her son Jeremy Jackson said.

In 1962, Mrs. Jackson became headmistress of the academic school at the Academy of Ballet, where she also taught dance history. The academic school closed in 1977, but the dance unit of the academy remained open.

She was also a choreographer for arts festivals in the Washington area and an adjunct professor of the arts at American University.

As an author, Mrs. Jackson was best known for her 1997 biography of William Lyman Phillips, “Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture,” and for a novel, “Meadow Fugue and Descant,” which won the 2002 Washington Writers’ Publishing House award.

In a review in the Washington Times, writer and critic Stephanie Deutsch wrote, “This is an exquisite little book, a welcome antidote to coming of age novels that dwell on the side of frustration and despair.”

Faith Houwich Reyher was born in New York City and was a 1939 graduate of Bennington College in Vermont.

She worked as an editor at the New York Post and, in the 1950s, was book editor of the Miami Herald. She moved to the Washington area in 1961 and wrote book reviews for the Washington Star and other newspapers and periodicals.

Her marriage to Gardner Forscutt Cook ended in divorce.

Her second husband, Melvin H. Jackson, died in 1983 after 35 years of marriage.

Survivors include a son from her first marriage, Jeremy Bradford Cook Jackson of Washington, who was adopted by her second husband; two sons from her second marriage, Thomas Jackson of Santiago, Chile, and Daniel Jackson of Tel Aviv; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes

Most Read Local