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Help Fund Nashira Priester's Funeral and Memorial

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*** Update: We are expanding the scope of what we had planned in consideration of Nashira’s vast network of people she touched and all of your generosity.

Let’s keep pushing, for all the people who didn’t see the fundraiser for our mother’s services, and haven’t had a chance to donate. Proceeds will go to the funeral, celebration of life, and supplemental support for our father, because retirement was already difficult, and now it’s even more of a hardship. We have already raised significant funds but this is an opportunity for all our people to contribute to loving, honoring, supporting, grieving, and celebrating the life of a majestic woman who had amazing character and powerful intellect.

Thank you all who have contributed, and to all who intend to contribute. We would like to see the names of our loved ones and sympathizers on the list of donors. We appreciate each individual and are paying close attention with humility and gratitude for the people who mean to show love to our family throughout this process. She is Love. She is Empathy. She is Humanity. She is Creativity. She is Strength. She is Life. Give life, especially to those who are no longer living with us. Respect. ***

My name is Julian Priester. On May 6, Jaymi “Nashira” Priester, the love of my life, died suddenly. I am writing to you with a heavy heart-stricken with sorrow and grief, and also with a good conscience full of happiness, gratitude, and a sense of divine fortune for Nashira’s presence in our lives. Myself, my sons Ade and Atuanya Priester, and my granddaughter Amaya Priester, are writing to you to raise funds for the funeral and memorial service to mourn the death and celebrate the life of my wife Nashira Priester.  

Nashira had a remarkable spectrum of experience and talents that energized her life of activism, arts, jazz, movies, and intellectual prowess. Hailing from Queens, New York, and college-educated in the California Bay area she graduated from Mills College and attended UC Berkeley. Her time spent in the Bay included a spectrum of experience from involvement with the likes of the Black Panthers to parlaying with jazz music legends. Then we got married and relocated to Seattle where we settled nearly 40 years ago. 

Nashira was a force, as everyone who knew her knows. She was a voracious reader with remarkable retention of information and attention to detail, with a keen sensibility that she could bring to any conversation. She worked as a set decorator in the movie business, she helped facilitate the African American Film Festival at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Theater, she was an active member of Freehold Theater, and she participated in multiple other projects related to her passion for black history, black heritage, and justice. She was a poet published in multiple anthologies and via her own book, Mystic Glyphs from Onyx Larynx. Nashira was a taxi driver, fluent in French, and at one time hosted a radio show. A poet friend who Nashira mentored in the Bay Area spoke of Nashira’s spirit when she heard Nashira had died: “We’ve lost a soldier in the arts world. She was a nurturer and jazz historian by default, supreme in all things and sincere in all ways.”

Nashira was not only a powerful mother for Adebayo and Atuanya and grandmother to Amaya, but she was also a prominent mother figure for many of their friends.  “Everything came from love,” Ade says, “her love was infinite, eternal, and just ridiculous.” She was my partner and my muse for 45 years.

Now we are asking you to assist us, as you can, through supporting the costs of laying Nashira’s body to rest, and a celebration of her life that will commence in the coming weeks (details to come). We are using the Go Fund Me as it seems the easiest way.

Thank you for your consideration.


  • Dorothy Rodes
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Steve Dickison
    • $30 
    • 2 yrs
  • Sharon R Wagner
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Janice Foster
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs
  • Eric Laska
    • $40 
    • 3 yrs


Julian Priester
Seattle, WA

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