26th Dec, 2018

Victor Anthony 1952-2018

I debated whether or not to post this here as my website is generally for my career. But then I decided I wouldn’t even have a career if not for the support of my wonderful husband, Victor Anthony. So…if you’ve come here looking for things about me as an author, just know that I’m sharing this with you because everything I’ve written over the last 16 years has been run by this amazing man and he’s as much a part of it as I am. And if you’re a friend or family who came here specifically for this, please know I love you and wish you peace and grace at this difficult time.

(photo credit: James Emler)

George “Victor” Anthony

(nee Mecyssne)

April 1952 – December 2018

Victor Anthony (nee George Victor Mecyssne) passed away at home on Gabriola Island, British Columbia on December 17th, 2018 with his wife Joëlle at his side. He married Joëlle in 2004, and thinking it would be great to have a simple last name, he changed his to hers and became Victor Anthony. Instead of simplicity, he ended up with three first names, and for the rest of his life, much to his chagrin and amusement, half the people he knew called him “Anthony” instead of Victor.

He was predeceased by his father George Mecyssne and his mother Victoria Elizabeth (Drennon) Mecyssne, and is survived by his wife Joëlle Anthony, his mother-in-law Linda, father-in-law Frank, brother-in-law Erik (Mizu), and niece Ashly. An only child, he often referred to his three best friends as his brothers, Bob Deck, Andrew Smith, and Tom Mitchell of Tennessee also survive him.

A Nashville native, he made his living around the edges of the art world starting in 1985, working as a musician, actor, and photographer, occasionally all in the same week. He appeared on national television performing his music, and toured 48 of the 50 States and Europe. In 2000, The Nashville Ballet choreographed six of Victor’s songs into a new work called Short Stories, which had its world premiere at the Tennessee Performing Arts Centre. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he could often be seen playing venues like The Blue Bird and The Radio Café with his band The Ragtops.

For more than fifteen years, he worked on and off as a musician and performer at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tennessee, his last role being Burl Sanders in Smoke on the Mountain. Before immigrating to Canada, Victor recorded three CDs in Nashville as Victor Mecyssne (Personal Mercury, Hush Money, and Skinnybones).

After moving to British Columbia, he recorded Mystery Loves Company featuring all new songs and several local musicians he’d come to know and love. In 2014, Victor became a Canadian citizen and at the ceremony the judge encouraged the candidates to share their home culture with their new one, which led to Victor recording Those Nashville Blues, a collection of pre-World War II songs he’d learned back in Tennessee.

Victor’s greatest wish after moving to his new country was to see it by car, to explore it, to get to know it and its people. While he never made the trip all the way across the country, in 2016, he did do a Home Routes House Concert tour with Joëlle of northern British Columbia and it was a highlight of his time here in Canada.

It is only fitting that Victor ended up living in the West as he’d had a fascination with it from early childhood. This interest eventually led him to a take a course and then volunteer at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He spent one amazing summer working at the youth camp there which changed his life forever. He was also an environmentalist and lover of the work of The Nature Conservancy of Canada and felt it was so important to protect our wild lands. In lieu of flowers, Joëlle requests donations be made either to the Allen Youth Center at the Pine Ridge Reservation http://okini.net/index.cfm or The Nature Conservancy of Canada http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/

Events to remember Victor:

Portland, Or – 5th January, 2019, The Kennedy School, 1-4pm

Nashville, TN – 13th January, 2019 – 3pm

Cloister Club House
105 Emma Neuhoff Court
Nashville, TN 37205

Gabriola Island, BC – 3 February, 2019 Gabriola Community Hall…and as Victor would say, “Doors 1pm, downbeat 2pm.” We’re going to raise the roof.

To see Victor’s amazing photography or hear his music, please drop by his website at www.victoranthony.ca

Victor’s Instagram is still up, also, at VictorAnthony52

Victor on Youtube, including very old footage of him on Prime Time Country.

I’m adding links here for write-ups that are happening for Victor.

Celebration Of Life Planned For Musician Victor Mecyssne

Country Update – Scroll to Page 11

The Cumberland County Playhouse put up these wonderful pictures of Victor’s time there.

 

 

Responses

Like all great things in life, Victor will be remembered. I feel blessed to have known you both.

I am so sorry for your loss Joelle. The news is just getting out to some of us in Nashville. I found your site and your blog. Those of us who worked in the Wolf Trap Institute program at TPAC Education want to attend the event for him in Nashville. He was a special man with incredible talent. I enjoyed reading some of your posts about him and finding videos. I’m so glad you two found each other.

I’m an off-islander who was introduced to Victor’s music about 15 years ago by my daughter and son-in-law who’ve lived on Gabe since 2004. His roots music speaks to me. It’s all about the music and not the staging, pyrotechnics or whatever. Through Flickr, I discovered his photographic talents as well. His monochrome images are sublime. I’ve been an amateur musician and photographer since the 1960’s and find his body of work truly inspiring. He will be fondly remembered as a special person with a lot of talent to share with others.

I hope you can find comfort at this difficult time in knowing his memory will live on in those he has touched.

I didn’t realize it until I listened to “Personal Mercury” this morning for the first time in a decade or more, but Victor has always been with me. Every time I step out of my car our out of an air-conditioned building here in Nashville in the dog days of August, the phrase “Summertime Way Down South” goes through my head. That’s the lasting impact is very original music and lyrics had. I hadn’t thought of him for a while (it is winter now…), but I miss him now.

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