The Jazzcat

John Stubblefield Feb. 4, 1945-July 4, 2005

by on Jul.05, 2005, under News

At five minutes before seven on the

evening of the forth July 2005, after enduring great

suffering with remarkable strength and courage, our

beloved John Stubblefield left us on a soft note held

gently at the end of a bitter sweet ballad. Surrounded

with love by wife Katherine Gogel, sister Joyce

Pattillo, cousins Harry Stubblefield and Stephanie

Barber, and by friends Rolando Briceño and Yvonne,

John quietly passed away into paradise, where he will

compose brilliant works and perform music to fill the

universe with love, hope and joy. We will continue to

be inspired by John’s generosity of spirit, his for

ever glowing soul, and the vision of John’s smiling

face, which always lights up the lives of everyone he

encountered. Thank you for sharing with us your

thoughts about how John touched your lives. May peace

be with us all. Sincerely, Katherine, Joyce, Harry and

Stephanie p.s. : Please pass this message on.

Katherine Gogel 5 Granison Road Weston, MA 02493

email: 27th June 2005 Since the

3rd April 2004, John Stubblefield had been

hospitalized with prostate cancer. I have been with

him most of the time. Now I am with John day and

night. John is now here at Calvary Hospital in the

Bronx. John is very quiet these days. He also eats

very little food and drinks a little water. On the

19th May 2005, John’s blood pressure dropped

drastically to 60 over 40. He was listed as critical.

We expected that we had very little time left with

John. Recently, John has been taken off the critical

list. Just the same, I stay with John day and night.

We still take each moment as it comes. Some great

things have happened since John was first

hospitalized. In September 2004, we went to Symphony

Space in Manhattan, where the Mingus Big Band was

performing at a John Kerry fund raiser. John was on

stage with the band, sitting in his wheel chair,

microphone in front of him. He recited “Don’t Let It

Happen” (the title?). John felt really good about

being back on stage with the band again and feeling

the music so close. In October 2004, we went to the

recording studio where Sue Mingus has assembled the

Mingus Big Band to record “Song With Orange”, “Orange

Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk”, and

“Pedal Point Blues”, all arranged by John. During this

six-hour session, John conducted the band. The

recording was released on 7th June 2005. We have been

hearing good reviews about John’s arrangements. On 4th

February 2005, John’s sister Joyce had organized a

surprise birthday party for John at the apartment of

Sue Mingus. Many of John’s friends and family members

were there. The apartment was bursting. He was indeed

surprised. While John was at the nursing home, he

completed writing a 4th arrangement to a Mingus

composition: “Prayer For A Passive Resistance”. The

band has performed it and John made sure they did it

right after hearing the tapes. One day Boris Kozlov

came the orchestral score and they made final

corrections. On the 23rd May 2005, Pastor Lind from

Saint Peter’s church in Manhattan came to bless John.

After the blessing, John wanted to phone my mother.

When we put her on, he asked her: “May I have

permission to take your daughter’s hand in marriage?”

We were all surprised and touched. Joyce and Rolando

Briceño were there. Pastor Lind ministered the

marriage ceremony. It was really sweet and brought

much joy. Here at Calvary Hospital, John has received

two very prominent visitors, bringing joy and

excitement to all those around. In March, Bill Cosby

arrived one morning, taking John completely by

surprise. He was most delightful and even took time to

look in on other patients. On Thursday, the 16th June

2005, President Clinton arrived to visit John. It was

a gorgeous visit, making so many people happy. Clinton

spoke of his saxophones. He has not been able to play

since three years, having written his book and then

undergoing the heart surgery. Clinton also visited

patients on his way out Many have come from near and

far to visit John since April 2004. We are grateful

for all your support and healing thoughts. John is

very quiet now. We like to hold hands and smile at

each other. All we want is peace. Thank you and be

well. Katherine

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