Life Story for
Page Jackson, III
Page L. Jackson III was born on October 28, 1952 in Glen Allen, Virginia, the first- born son of Jeannette Houston Jackson and the late Page L. Jackson, Jr. He grew up on Bent Pine Road in Glen Allen and attended Hermitage High School where he graduated at the top of his class in 1970. That same year he matriculated at Columbia University which he attended for two years before switching to a dance major at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Many years later, after working and studying at both NYU and Columbia, Page finally graduated with his degree in Women & Gender Studies and Italian from Columbia in 1999. #He persisted.
Page was a natural born performer and entertainer and loved to sing, act and dance. He was a founding member of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players as well as a founding member of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus with whom he proudly performed for over a quarter century. Page was also part of a singing trio called “Just Good Friends” with his pals from the Chorus, joining Peter Clem and Aurelio Font singing Larry Moore’s gorgeous arrangements to his piano accompaniment.
On New Year’s Night 1978 Page met his partner, Victor Grossetti, with whom he shared his life and his love for over forty years. They established residence on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and filled their modest apartment with books, art, music and friends. They loved having friends over for their Oscar and Tony Awards parties for many decades.
Page had a bass voice and loved singing and traveling with the Pan Am World Airways Chorus Angelorum, visiting most of Europe, and some of Central and South America on singing tours from 1983 until the group disbanded in 1992. He particularly loved researching the places he was going to visit and planning interesting and fun filled itineraries for himself and his friends.
While studying Italian at Columbia, Page became active in the Italian Theater Program and spent two glorious summers studying and performing in Italian in the beautiful town of Scandiano, Italy. He never looked or felt better in his life, riding his bike to town and eating healthy Italian vegetarian food. He made life-long friends with the Italian family that housed him there, Anna and Valerio Confetti, and charmed everyone he met with his gorgeous dimpled smile and his way with words in either English or Italian. Page loved Italy and he loved Victor’s family there and was able to converse and visit with them many times over the years, and like everybody else, they adored him.
Page and Victor spent many years collecting books. Page went to many readings every week of his life and frequented book stores and book sales wherever he was in the world. He hated paying retail for a book but managed to build an impressive library of over 40,000 volumes, mostly first editions, many signed by the authors. That was his abiding passion and it made him very happy to lug home a bag of books that he had been collecting for years, having just met the author at Barnes & Noble or the NY Public Library, who was (usually) very happy to sign the dozens of first editions of their collected works that Page proffered.
Page loved to read, loved music, dance, theater and museums, all the finest things New York City has to offer. During the 48 years he lived here, he tried to see as many shows, hear as many concerts, visit as many galleries and museums, and hear as many authors and poets read publicly as was humanly possible. He loved New York.
Page was also an active proponent of Equal Rights for Women, for People of Color, and for the LGBTQ Community. He was proud of his work for social justice and was one of the most decent, honest, loyal, caring and loving people who ever walked the earth. He was also sassy, funny, charismatic and passionate, and loved to laugh with his many fine friends and carry on with his loving family.
In addition to his partner, Victor E. Grossetti, Jr., Page is survived by his mother, Jeannette Jackson, his sisters Helen Bowles and Patricia (Carlos) Rios, his cousin Barbara (Butch Findley) Overton and his sister-in-law, Mary White, nine nieces and one nephew, many great nieces and nephews, and many cousins and friends. He was predeceased by his father, Page L. Jackson, Jr., his brother, Thomas Jackson, and his brother-in-law, James White.
Page filled our hearts with music and laughter and challenged our minds with his love of learning and understanding. Page was truly unique and unforgettable and we are blessed to have known him and loved him.