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Jo Anne G. Jackson, Fisher-Price Toys executive, horsewoman

June 4, 1943 – Feb. 22, 2017

Jo Anne G. Jackson, of Clarence, former chief financial officer for Fisher-Price Toys, died Wednesday in Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after a short illness. She was 73.

Born in Lindsborg, Kan., where her father was stationed in the Army, the former Jo Anne Gordon grew up in Williamsville and attended Williamsville High School. A 1964 graduate of the University at Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in business, she went on to become the first woman to earn a master’s degree in business administration from UB.

She worked as an accountant and in other positions in the financial departments at Lockport Felt Co., Carborundum Corp. and Marine Midland Bank. She joined Fisher-Price in 1977 and advanced to become executive vice president of finance and comptroller.

In 1991, she was appointed chief financial officer for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and oversaw the bond issue for construction of the new terminal at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

In 1994, Mrs. Jackson went to the University of Minnesota, where she was chief financial officer for the Academic Health Center for two years and senior vice president for finance and operations for the University of Minnesota system for two years.

She then was vice chancellor for financial affairs for the University of Alabama System, where she helped arrange financing for construction of a new university hospital, before going to Rutgers University in 2000, where she was senior vice president and treasurer. She retired in 2004.

She was active in Ducks Unlimited, North Forest Rod & Gun Club and the American Quarter Horse Association.

A horsewoman since she was young, she operated a boarding stable as a teen and won trophies with her championship jumping horse at the Erie County Fair. She continued riding and showing horses in retirement.

She and her husband of 48 years, Peter K., raised beef cattle on their farm in Clarence. She was a member of the Town of Clarence Farmland Protection Committee and helped draw up the town’s 2012 Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan.

In addition to her husband, survivors include nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in Shepard Bros. Funeral Home, 10690 Main St., Clarence.

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