Jeane Louise MacPherson was loaned to our planet by the Universe, and ended her joyous stay here on Mar. 26, 2023. She was born in Hastings, Nebraska, to Orville and Lucille Zwiebel. She graduated in 1964 from Morrill High School, where she was the Homecoming Queen. She attended a community college with a major in Theater Arts, and, soon after, moved with her first husband, Dal Ross, to the San Francisco Bay Area, where they had a son, Alex.
In the late 1970s, Sonoma called to her. She worked at Northwestern Title Co., followed by 10 years with developer Ken Niles of Sonoma, for whom she managed many properties and assisted during the campaign to establish Maxwell Village.
Jeane met Doug MacPherson in the Sonoma Valley Chorale, and they married in 1985. They moved in 1992 to Ketchikan, Alaska, where Doug was a harbor pilot. They spent their summers in Alaska during the cruise ship season, enjoying multiple outings on their boat when Doug wasn’t working. When Doug retired in 2012, they returned to full-time residence in Sonoma.
Jeane was very active in the theater and musical scenes in both Ketchikan and Sonoma. In Alaska, Jeane participated in a summer jazz workshop; she played the part of Violetta LaRosa, the notorious madame, in Fish Pirate’s Daughter, a fun melodrama that was a local tradition in Ketchikan; and she had great fun playing Dotty Otley/Mrs. Clackett, “the sardine lady,” in Noises Off. In Sonoma, her theater credits ranged from acting to behind-the-scenes roles, including director, stage manager, costumer, and props mistress. She fondly remembered her roles as Golda in the Chorale’s Fiddler on the Roof production, and she and Doug had great fun playing Madame Thenardier and the Master of the House in the Chorale’s concert version of Les Misérables.
One of her favorite pastimes was singing with the Defying Gravity Gals, a vocal sextet that put on several shows in Andrews Hall of the Sonoma Community Center. She and fellow DGG member Monica McKey also performed several cabaret shows over the years in Sonoma.
Jeane and Doug traveled extensively in Europe and the Balkans, and visited Vietnam, Cambodia, Tahiti, Chile, Argentina, and Peru. On a couple of more adventuresome trips, they helped move a motor yacht from San Diego to Panama, and Jeane accompanied Doug on a container ship from Seattle to Hong Kong via the Bering Sea during his Merchant Marine service days.
Jeane is remembered by countless friends as a talented, fun-loving, quick-witted, generous and accomplished woman who loved the arts, and she was a great mom to her beloved rescued greyhounds.
In addition to Doug and son Alex, Jeane is survived by her brothers, Terry and Brian Zwiebel, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her parents and younger brother Rodney.
A Celebration of Life will be planned at a later date.
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