James “Jim” Jackson, of Liberty Borough, died on February 25, 2021, from complications from dementia. He’s survived by his loving wife of nearly 52 years, Louise Jackson, and his brother Albert Jackson (Carol). He will live on in the lives of his three children: Susan Jackson Dunsey (Darren); Brent Jackson (Aimee); and Kathryn Haskin (Matt); and the grandchildren he adored: Ethan Dunsey, Gabriella Jackson, Aidan Dunsey, Emma Jackson, and Adeline Haskin. He’s also remembered with love and great affection by his brothers-and-sisters-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews, friends, and extended family. In death, he is reunited with loved ones, most especially his parents, Albert Jackson and Anna Jackson Gibson, and his sisters, Lois Jean Wunderley, Mary Ann Bowman, and Linda Trunzo.
Jim was known to many in the community as Mr. Jackson - a longtime teacher, principal, coach, and eventually school board member at South Allegheny School District. Born and raised in Glassport, he spent his entire career in the district and in the community. He loved his family fiercely, and everything he did in this life was to help them know that he loved and supported them. He was a devoted friend, and he had a kind word for every person he met. During his time as an usher at St. Mark Parish (now part of St. Joachim and St. Anne Parish), he happily shared Christ’s love with everyone who came through the door - greeting and saying goodbye with a smile, a handshake, and a helping hand to every “Young Man” or “Young Lady” who came through. He could be found at just about every school concert, performance, sporting event, and community activity, whether he was volunteering, participating, or just sitting and enjoying the time with others. He loved sports - playing, coaching, watching, cheering from the sidelines, and hearing about games that he couldn’t be at in person. He also had a well-known sweet tooth, rarely turning down ice cream or a donut, and always happy to buy enough to share with everyone else. In the past year, as the effects of dementia took its firmest hold, he still kept his signature willing nature and kind spirit. He loved to see his family and friends, seeming to take comfort in the familiar sounds of kids’ laughter and jeering. He especially loved watching his grandkids and the other kids he loved playing sports - basketball, football, softball, and baseball. Until he could no longer physically do so, he was always willing to shoot basketball or catch, and he was an endlessly patient coach and teacher. Even when he couldn’t be out on the court or the ballfield, he was always a willing participant in playing “don’t let the balloon touch the ground” in the house. He will be missed forever by those who love him. In his memory, the family asks that you consider the ways you can help the kids in your life and community, and do so in his honor. And, feel free to have an ice cream cone or a donut (or both!) in memory of Jim. Family and friends will be received at Jaycox-Jaworski Funeral Home & Crematory on Monday, March 1, 2021, from 2-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Saints Joachim and Anne Parish, St. Eugene Church, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Condolences may be shared at www.jaycox-jaworskifh.com. Chris Odasso, Supervisor.
Originally published February 26, 2021.