Obituaries: Alan Jaffray

  • by BAR staff
  • Friday November 3, 2023
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Obituaries: Alan Jaffray

September 12, 1974 — July 20, 2023

Born in Santa Rosa, Alan Jaffray grew up playing chess and bridge with his dad. Alan excelled at school, especially math. Alan tested out of high school at 14. His mother recalls his beaming face upon coming home from school and announcing: "I don't have to be there anymore!" Alan completed a bachelor's at Sonoma State before age 18, then moved to the University of Chicago for graduate school in mathematics. Alan discovered himself there, coming out as bisexual and polyamorous, and becoming a fixture at the U of C Bisexual Union over the next several years. After Chicago, Alan helped create a bridge-playing computer program in Eugene, Oregon, that competed in bridge tournaments including the world bridge tourney in Bermuda. In his early 20s Akamai hired Alan as a computer programmer.

Soon Alan became a professional poker player, gambling in casinos as an advantage player using his math skills to secure a comfortable living. Alan won "prizes" like cases of barbecue sauce and a singing-and-dancing stuffed Christmas iguana. His advantage gambling career led to a series of math lectures where some students refuse to believe he exists, or that so many adventures and misadventures could originate from just one person. Alan cherished blurring the lines of gender expression, and took to wearing a small metal chain flogger clipped to the front belt loop of his jeans.

Alan made a life of caring for partners and friends in need. He proudly stood for progressive causes: electric vehicle infrastructure, reproductive justice, abortion access, transgender rights, and LGBTQ+ visibility. Alan loved cats, juggling, many genres of music, trivia, and watching most sports, especially disc golf. In recent years he regularly sunbathed nude poolside at his home in Woodland, and enjoyed making unusual cocktails.

Alan is survived by his partner Bex, by his parents, and by friends and former lovers from across the country. He is pre-deceased by his adored cats: Zan, Jayna, Ursa, and Ellie.

Alan adored cats. Please adopt or foster your next cat from a local shelter, on Alan's behalf.

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