Jack Fearey had many passions, with music at the top of the list. He studied music when he attended Whitman College in Walla Walla and at...
Jack Fearey had many passions, with music at the top of the list.
He studied music when he attended Whitman College in Walla Walla and at the University of Washington. He played nearly every musical instrument and in college had his own band.
Seattle Center was another passion. As the center’s director from 1971 to 1982, Mr. Fearey was a guiding force in the transformation of the 74-acre center grounds at the foot of Queen Anne Hill from a neglected relic of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair into a cultural hub and civic center for the city.
Mr. Fearey died July 21 after a long illness. He was 84.
Most Read Local Stories
- What are the most common reasons people are homeless in Seattle?
- Seattle's upzones were a yearslong fight, and could be ‘just the tip of the iceberg'
- Capitol Hill homeowners say Eastlake upzone would ruin views of Lake Union VIEW
- Seattle-area forecast: Clear skies, warm temps and a 'Full Worm Supermoon' on first day of spring
- Take a common houseplant, add a little rabbit DNA and voilà! You get a super air purifier
Bumbershoot, the city’s Labor Day weekend music and arts festival, and the Memorial Day weekend’s Northwest Folklife Festival each got their starts during Mr. Fearey’s tenure as director. The site of the Seattle Children’s Theatre at Second Avenue and Thomas Street was acquired. And he was instrumental in the development of the Bagley Wright Theater and renovation of the Seattle Playhouse that is now Intiman Theatre on Mercer Street.
“These moves helped create a burgeoning theater district along Mercer Street, which now includes a refurbished Opera House,” said C. David Hughbanks, who served under Mr. Fearey as an assistant director. “He was program-oriented. He encouraged his staff to look for new ways to bring new activities to that site.”
Hughbanks also credited Mr. Fearey with playing a major role in preparing facilities to stage the “Treasure of Tutankhamen” exhibit in Seattle Center’s Flag Plaza Pavilion for four months in 1978.
Mr. Fearey resigned in 1982 under fire from the Seattle City Council about Seattle Center’s financial management.
Mr. Fearey also was a pioneer in radio and television broadcasting in the Northwest. In the late 1940s, family members said, he worked at radio stations in Bellingham. In the early 1950s, he moved to Seattle’s KING-TV, and during the course of nearly two decades was a program director, producer and operations manager. He had served on the board of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, and he was a former president of the International Association of Auditorium Managers.
In later years, Mr. Fearey had been a consultant with The Fearey Group, the Seattle public-relations firm owned by his wife, Pat.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons John F. Fearey, of Boise, Idaho, and Stephen Fearey, of Bellevue; 8 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He also is survived by his wife’s daughter, Shelby Goodrum, of New York, whom he helped raise.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at Christ Episcopal Church, 4548 Brooklyn Ave. N.E. in the University District. A reception will follow at the Seattle Tennis Club.
Remembrances may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, Children’s Home Society of Washington, Whitman College or the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Charles E. Brown: 206-464-2206 or firstname.lastname@example.org