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The American Music Research Center is a rare music repository dedicated to exploring and celebrating the rich traditions of American music.  Included in their research is a collection of information dedicated to Glenn Miller.  The beloved University of Colorado Boulder legend C. F. "Alan" Cass (1941-2018) was the founder and curator of the Glenn Miller Archives.  Glenn Miller Archives has changed their name to Glenn Miller Collections and is  currently run by Dennis Spragg and the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society is honored to partner and work together with GMC. You won't want to miss this national treasure of history of the Big Band Era!

Jean, March 7, 1940 -   October 24, 2019, was always involved in community activities and   volunteering her time to make Clarinda a special place. She was often asked to sit on boards or serve on committees where she often had leadership roles. Some of the organizations she had been a part of included the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, the Clarinda Academy, Trees Forever, and the Glenn Miller Birthplace  Society.


On April 30, Clarinda Trees Forever planted a tree at the Lied Library in memory of Jean.  Jean’s son, Paul from Urbandale, Iowa along with Marvin, Lisa Hull Mayor of Clarinda, Richard Anderson from the Clarinda Academy, and many friends from Clarinda were in attendance.


                                      Richard Anderson spoke about Jean’s life and legacy:

                                  Arbor Day - April 30, 2021 – Clarinda, Iowa Lied Public Library
                                     "How Jean Negley is One of my Favorite Trees"

                                                        “It is both easy and difficult to honor Jean Negley.  It is easy because she                                                           is so honorable.  It is difficult because she is so humble and doesn’t                                                                   particularly like being the center of attention.  I will do my best to find                                                               an appropriate balance.  I will speak primarily about trees and make an                                                           occasional reference to Jean.”


                                                        1. Trees are rooted or anchored deeply and held firmly in the ground.                                                              Jean was rooted or anchored deeply in her faith and in her family.  There                                                          is a passage in scripture, in the Bible, found in Psalm 1:2-3 which states


that “those who delight themselves in the law of the Lord (or in the things of God) are like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither - whatever they do prospers.”  Jean Negley prospered.

2. Trees are strong. They protect us from the wind and the sun and erosion.  Jean was a farm girl. She was the daughter of Vern Abbott, who was my bus driver on bus number eight which carried me out to East River Country School for a couple of years.  If you know anything about Vern Abbott, you know why Jean was a strong girl.  Jean was strong physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.  For nearly 30 years Jean used her strength to provide for and protect children in need through her service at the Clarinda Academy.         

3.  Trees are fun.  You can climb in them, swing in them, and jump from them.  As children we loved climbing high in a tree and doing so gave us a new perspective on the world around us.  Jean was fun and her love of trees and children ensured that the trees she planted were labeled for identification. That gave us new perspectives we saw the tree as an individual tree properly identified, not just a tree.  “Why look, that one is a Quaking Aspen, that one is a Red Oak.”  

4.  Trees are beautiful. Jean was a beautiful person, and nothing is more beautiful than love. Jean had beautiful love for her four boys: Paul, Van, Mark and …Marvin.   But she also had a beautiful love for us all.  Everyone who knew Jean personally felt adopted and loved by her.

5.  Trees are quiet. They are still and undemonstrative. They just quietly go about their business of being a tree. Jean quietly went about her business of planting and watering trees, and loving others.

6.  Trees are a legacy. It has been said the best day to plant a tree was 30 years ago; the second-best day to plant a tree is today.  So today trees have been planted in honor of Jean Negley.  These trees and the hundreds of trees planted by Jean (and the thousands planted by her boys) are a legacy that will last for generations.  Generations from now someone may wonder who planted those trees.  We know.  Jean Negley planted those trees. 


So what are we to do about this?  Jean was a teacher and the teacher in me wants to ask: How are we to follow Jean in leaving a legacy?  What is our legacy?  What are you going to leave behind?  What are you going to do that last for generations?  If you can’t answer those questions, just be like Jean: be rooted and anchored in faith and family; be strong protecting others; be fun; have beautiful love for others; quietly go about your business and leave a legacy.”


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