Remembering Maggy Jacqmin

Remembering Maggy Jacqmin

Maggy Jacqmin served on the River Arts Alliance Board of Directors briefly prior to her diagnosis. We were happy that she shared her expertise and enthusiasm for the arts with us. As Winonans, we will always be grateful for her significant contributions in helping to expand  cultural opportunities in the area.The following remembrance was written by close friends.


Many here in the Winona community and beyond mourn the passing of Maggy Jacqmin, actor, director, arts organizer and promoter. She was admired by everyone who knew her, and was a driving force in the arts community.

There will be a Celebration of Maggy’s life on Sunday, April 24th, from 2-5pm, at the Historic Masonic Theatre, 255 Main Street. There will be music, food and shared memories. We will conclude with a Processional to the River. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Maggy Jacqmin Performing Arts Fund of the Winona Community Foundation.

Marguerite Irma Josephine Jacqmin was born on June 6th, 1947 in Brussels Belgium. She died after a battle with cancer on February 1st, 2016 in Brussels surrounded by her husband Will Kitchen, her son and daughter and their spouses and two of Maggy’s grandchildren. 

Maggy is survived by her beloved husband Will, her daughter Pascale Gigot (Etienne Vauthier), her granddaughters Marion and Jeanne, her son Jean-Michel Gigot (Sandrine) and granddaughter Aurora, as well as her many friends here in the Winona area that loved her and will cherish her memory.

Will and Maggy met in Brussels and fell in love immediately and he convinced her that she should move with him to Wisconsin to spread the gospel of theatre. Almost immediately, Will and Maggy founded Theatre du Mississippi, an acting company that used the Masonic Temple as a performing space but also brought in an amazing number of singers, songwriters and performers to the Masonic.

Maggy and Will were also involved in expanding the horizons of the arts in Winona. They were instrumental in convincing the Great River Shakespeare Festival to set root in Winona, they started the Frozen River Film Festival, and, of course, Theatre du Mississippi kept on rolling. Will and Maggy left for seven years but it is a testament to the foundations they laid that all three organizations continue to grow and prosper.

Will has said that even though Maggy had an active life in the theatre while she was in Belgium, she felt that she did not come into her own until she moved to Winona. She regarded this as her true home.

Maggy was a joy to work with, considerate, observant and generous. But if you were dogging it, she let you know. She had a gentle soul and always conducted herself with charm and grace. Maggy meditated, did tai chi and yoga, kayaked and hiked–she also moved through the world with grace. She was a good person to have as a friend, accomplice, and mentor. We will not forget her example of how to BE in the world, particularly as she struggled with illness. It was an honor to know you, Maggy, to be in your presence and let us be blessed by your radiance. We will carry you in our hearts, forever.


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