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Leni Jacksen


1918 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Leni Jacksen Obituary
November 23, 1918 - December 11, 2016 Leni M. Jacksen, teacher, mother and friend, died in Oakland on 11 Dec. 2016. She began her extraordinary life in Berlin right at the end of World War I and came of age in Hitler's Nazi Germany, her Jewish background rendering impossible her dream being a member of Germany's Track Team in the 1936 Olympics. Immigrating alone to the US in 1936, she eventually met and married Eric Jacksen, raising two children through a 50-year marriage ending with Eric's death in 1992. Leni found her profession early in Los Angeles nursery schools and, in 1949, helped to found Westland School. There, she helped keep the school running with a diverse student body, grew the parent base and established a progressive educational agenda. After her first retirement, Leni and Eric founded Children's Community School (CCS) in Van Nuys and together with their first teacher and current director, Neal Wrightson, developed CCS into one of the top progressive schools in the country. Leni was also a world traveler as well as international educator, having spent a year at the JFK School in Berlin teaching and staff training. She retired finally in 1999 but continued to volunteer in Head Start and other programs in the LA and SF Bay Areas. She is survived by her son and daughter, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A memorial Service will be held in Oakland in January 2017. Donations in her name can be made to a .
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 22, 2016
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