In Memoriam: Lenore Travis, 67

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Lenore TravisLINCOLN, MA – Lenore Travis, who in the 1970s worked for Tom Field and Associates (TFA) and also Mike Brown Grandstands (today Brown United), died April 26 in a tractor accident on her farm in Lincoln, Mass. She was 67. She shared that farm with her husband George Travis, 2013 Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Honoree and Bruce Springsteen’s longtime production manager.

Interviewed by PLSN’s Kevin Mitchell shortly before those awards, George Travis credited his wife of 35 years for … well, everything.  “I would not be who I am without her,” he said.

Recalling their early days together he added: “She would pay zero attention to me because I was just the guy driving the Clair Bros truck to Elton John’s show in Buffalo. Then we met again later when I was rigging, and then again when I was in production. When we first married, I was known by many as the guy who married Lenore!” They were both working for TFA when the Parnelli Award namesake, Rick “Parnelli” O’Brien was first hired at the start of his career, and reminded close to him until he passed away from cancer in 2000.

Lenore eventually retired from the business, and husband and wife worked on many environmental projects and political causes together, including opening their farm to inner city kids so that they could learn where their food comes from and build respect for animals.

Lenore (Gessner) Travis was born in Escanaba, MI on Feb. 3, 1948. Her mother’s family fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Her father’s family emigrated from Germany in the 1870s and founded The Fair Store in Escanaba. After graduating from college in 1969, she taught at Shady Hill School, worked at the Ha'Penny Pub, volunteered at Revels, and shortly after began her career at TFA producing rock and roll shows nationally. She then moved on to Mike Brown Grandstands in California, and in 1980, married George.

The Travises then moved to Lincoln, MA, where they raised three children, Ben, Matt, and Kyra. Lenore is also survived by two brothers, David and Susan. Services will be held in the Story Chapel, Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm. Following interment at Mount Auburn Cemetery, memorial observance will be at the Travis residence from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, and 5-7 p.m. on Friday.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Food Project (,  Revels (, or Farm School(

“This is a tragic and monumental loss for all of us who knew and loved Lenore,” wrote lighting designer and longtime friend Jeff Ravitz. “Apart from building one of the most amazing families any of us have known, she had quite an active and respected professional career in our business and had a thorough understanding of the complexities (and eccentricities) of our industry. She was a friend to all, kept her front door and kitchen table open and welcoming. This turn of events is hard to comprehend, and we hurt on behalf of the family. She will be sorely but fondly missed.”

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