Jacqueline “Jackie” Court

Jacqueline “Jackie” Court, 81, of 24 Ministerial Road, South Kingstown, went home to our lord, peacefully, on Easter Sunday, 2020. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, she was the daughter of the late John and Cora Stewart. Jackie, a graduate of Hampton University, excelled in science, dance and physical education. Hampton is where she would meet her husband of 50 years, the late Kenneth O. Court. After settling in RI, Jackie became a public-school teacher and in 1969 was the first minority coach hired by Brown University, where she served as head gymnastics coach for over 30 years. Jackie was ECAC Coach of the Year in both 1997 and 1999 as well as NCAA Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 1999. Jackie served as the states 1st Chairperson of USA Gymnastics, a position she held for 18 years; as the District Chairperson for the National High School Federation and on the advisory boards for the Women’s Sports Foundation and New England Women’s Fund. In 1994, Jackie earned a Special Service Award from the national Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches, and in 1996 she gained induction into the Northeast Women’s Hall of Fame. She was a nationally ranked gymnastics official for over 40 years. Jackie was a pioneer in women’s equality in sports and was recognized by the NCAA for her support and actions that improved the betterment of college sports for women through Title IX. Jackie mentored hundreds of athletes and coaches. The women she mentored became educated and powerful leaders. Jackie loved her family, friends and hobbies. She is survived by her sons Kenneth M. Court and John A. Court, her daughter in-law Julie A. Court and granddaughter Jessica. A celebration of life will be at a later date.


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6 entries.
Kim Hanley from Mountain View, CA wrote on April 19, 2020 at 10:33 pm:
Dear Kenny, John, and family, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. May peace and love surround you all in this time of sadness. Since my parents called to tell me this sad news, I've been thinking a lot about your mom. What an amazing coach she was! What an amazing life she lived as a positive influence in the lives of many girls and women. Her example of grace, leadership, and confidence shaped our youth. I was one of the lucky girls that got to be a Saylette at Brown. I’ve been recalling many moments from the 6 years I practiced at Marvel and Sayles gyms with your mom as my coach; they were wonderful years. When I was little, she was bigger than life. When she walked into the room, everyone stood up a little straighter, pointed their toes a little harder, and held their hollow body a little longer. I can still see her face clearly and hear her laugh. To this day, over 35 years later, her voice is vivid in my mind. One of the funniest memories I have is the smile and roll of her eyes when I'd ask her for “just one more spot” on something she knew I could do on my own. She did it with such humor and kindness; I wonder how she had that much patience. That back walk-over back handspring on the high beam was the one. Just her standing near me, reaching out a hand or even one finger, and not even touching me, gave me the confidence to learn many new skills because I knew she believed in me. That has stuck with me, and I’m sure it has impacted the lives of many of us that are remembering her now. I am so very grateful to have spent those years of my youth under your mother’s wing. She definitely helped many of us soar both in the gym and in our lives. A few years ago, I was fortunate during a summer visit to Rhode Island to have lunch with Susan Webb and your mother at Gregg’s Restaurant. I hadn’t seen her since I was 18, and I was thrilled to spend time with her and reminisce. We laughed so much that day. She talked proudly about you both and your successful careers, her daughter-n-law and her granddaughter. Thank you for sharing your mom with all of us. My sincerest sympathy, Kim Hanley
Debbi Fuhrman from Manhattan, NY wrote on April 19, 2020 at 9:25 pm:
Dear Court Family, It saddens me so to hear of Jackie's passing. She was my gymnastics coach at Brown and eventually a friend. She brought the joy back into gymnastics for me and inspired me in so many ways. Her bright smile would make my day! She will always be a major part of my life and I am so honored to have known her. Sending lots of love and light to all.
Jonn Garrick from West Warwick wrote on April 17, 2020 at 11:45 pm:
Ken I a truly sorry for the loss of your mom. My prayers are with you and your family. God bless!
Norman Lynch from Danbury wrote on April 17, 2020 at 10:49 pm:
Kenny: I remember when you and Cameron first met. Your mother must have been exceptionally proud of you, and your career achievements. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Norm..
Tracy Vietze from Boston wrote on April 17, 2020 at 9:22 pm:
To the Court family, I share your sorrow at this time. I also had the greatest joy and privilege of knowing your wonderful mother for 50 years. She was the judge of my first gymnastics meet, my college coach, a life beacon, a kind friend and mentor. I will keep her in my heart always.
Cameron Lynch from Westerly wrote on April 17, 2020 at 9:12 am:
Kenny, John and Julie, I am so very saddened to hear of your Mom's passing. I remember her fondly and I know she will be sorely missed. Cameron