WILMINGTON — Jerry Wayne Jackson passed away on the morning of August 13, 2021 in New Hanover Regional Medical Center. He was 77 years old, his body worn down by Covid and a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. The sun was rising over the trees as his spirit slipped away, his adored wife sitting by his side, Aretha Franklin’s version of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” playing in the room over a portable speaker.
He was many things to many different people—beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, relative, colleague, and friend. He traveled far in his life, starting his education in a two-room school house in rural Appalachia and becoming a globe-trotting executive who visited every continent except Antarctica.
Born in Buchanan County, Virginia in 1943, the son of Ann Addison Jackson and Corbit Clide Jackson, his birthday was either November 18th or 19th, depending on whether you put your faith in family lore or official state documents. Jerry happily celebrated both dates. He grew up in what he called the “holler,” alongside his cherished sisters Dolores and Sharon and surrounded by a loving extended family that included numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
He was the first in his family to attend college, earning a degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1965. He began his career with DuPont in Kinston, N.C.—and it was there that two good friends introduced him to his future wife Nancy Page. They married in 1968, settling in Martinsville, VA, where their son Jeff was born.
In 1972, he accepted a job with Exxon and moved to the Caribbean island of Aruba, where his daughter Julia was born. He began his 30-year career with the company as an instrumentation engineer but shifted positions many times as he rose through the ranks, responsible for a computer analysis group and the international sale of jet fuel. He lived in Miami and New Jersey, where he retired in 2000 as the Global Managing Director for Base Stocks.
Several years later, he and Nancy moved to Wilmington, N.C., becoming involved in the community and taking countless classes at UNCW’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. A man of great faith, Jerry volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and Good Shepherd Ministries, and was an active member of St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church.
As a father, Jerry was proud of his children, both their professional accomplishments and their character. He enjoyed attending jazz concerts with Jeff and spending hours crabbing and watching birds with Julia.
He was also an enthusiastic and tireless grandfather to Caleb, Cole, and Addison, creating elaborate games and stories and attending their school events, soccer games, and ballet recitals. As they grew older, he got to know their friends and never missed an opportunity to shoot hoops or play Uno. He enjoyed travelling with his family, particularly his brother- and sister-in-law John and Nancy Page, hiking to waterfalls in the North Carolina mountains near Cashiers.
Jerry Jackson was marked by his kindness, generosity, good humor, and megawatt smile, as well as his diligent work ethic and overriding sense of fairness. He was a person of unlikely facets—a country boy who sought out concerts by soul legends Ray Charles and James Brown, a successful businessman who shunned the trappings of status, an oil executive who held a membership in the Sierra Club.
He leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Nancy Page Jackson; his son Jeffrey Corbit Jackson and daughter-in-law Stephanie Dempsey; his daughter Julia Donne Jackson and son-in-law Jim Luft; and his grandchildren Caleb Jackson Chitester, Cole Gibson Chitester, Addison Page Chitester, and step grandson Jack Tuttle-Luft; his sisters Dolores Jackson Ratliff and Sharon Jackson Kocak; and many cousins, aunts, nieces, and nephews. He will be missed.
A memorial service is planned for the future. His ashes will be interred in the Memorial Garden of St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be sent to St. Andrews (sacpc.org) or Good Shepherd Ministries (goodshepherdministries.org).
Please sign the online Guestbook at www.andrewsmortuary.com