Music 08


John Paul Jervis

1944 - 2021



John Jervis, 77, died March 26, 2021 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence, KS. John was born in Cambridge, MA on New Year’s Day 1944 to Rita L. Clarke (died 1983) and John P Jervis Sr. (died 1990). He was preceded in death by brothers Alan C Jervis in 2012 and Paul J Jervis in 2014. He is survived by brother, Mark M Jervis, sister, Ramona A Manes, niece, Susan R Jervis, son, David Shelton, and many, many friends in Lawrence and all over the country. 

John Jervis was an ever-present personality in the community of Lawrence, KS. Typically seen in his telltale suit, he always had his guitar ready to teach or perform at a moment's notice. Over his more than twenty-year residency in the Lawrence area, he performed regularly at restaurants and cafes all over town, including Fifi's, Scarlet Orchid, Panera Bread Company, and countless others.

He was a recurring feature at the Blintz Brunch held annually at the Lawrence Jewish Community center. He performed numerous public concerts at Signs of Life and the Lawrence Public Library. He would often share historical anecdotes related to the guitar pieces he was performing, which usually included music by his favorite Renaissance, Baroque, Early Modern Spanish, and South American composers. 

John was a lover of all art forms and a prolific poet. He was also quite skilled at drawing and portraiture. His latter years were devoted to finishing and compiling volumes of manuscripts of poetry and original compositions, which have been preserved for future readers and listeners. In 2013, he was awarded a Phoenix Award by the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission for his artistic contributions to the community.

John came to Lawrence after a lifetime of traveling and performing all over the continent. Along with curious historical tidbits, he loved to share tales of palling around with the likes of Tiny Tim, Peter Tork, Chuck Berry, and Bob Dylan. His lively storytelling might include his memories of hosting poetry readings at the Blacksmith's House in Cambridge, Mass or hitching a cross-country ride with famous director John Houston.

John will be well remembered by all who knew him for his vision of a life of embracing adventure, beauty, and the arts.

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Kathy Shea

March 31, 2021 11:45 PM

I am very sad to learn that our friend John is gone, even though he leaves us with many good memories. We shared a love of classical music and an interest in Native American cultures. I will miss him!
Kathy Shea

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Chris Ruhlman

March 27, 2021 7:39 AM

John was a dear friend to many; a breath of fresh air in a jaded and polarized world. In his words he has reached escape velocity. Fare well in the heavens my friend.

A Memorial Tree was planted for John Paul Jervis

March 26, 2021 4:36 PM
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