Earl Jackson

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

March 15, 1925 ~ May 31, 2012

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Earl Bernard Jackson, former military pilot, family man and Boise business owner, died May 31, 2012 in Missoula, Mont. He was 87.

Mr. Jackson was born to John Alfred Jackson and Signe Elizabeth Johnson Jackson in Venice, Calif., in 1925, growing up in Santa Monica and in Hollywood. After graduating from Hollywood High School in 1943, Mr. Jackson enlisted in the Army Air Force and began training as a pilot.

While training in Walla Walla, Wash., he met Violet May Bailey, and they were married Sept 30, 1945. The war ended before Mr. Jackson left for overseas, and he was honorably discharged in November 1945 while stationed at Gowen Field Air Force Base. Mr. Jackson and his wife returned to California and eventually settled in West Covina.

Mr. Jackson continued to patriotically serve in the reserves, much of that time as a pilot flying military aircraft, before retiring from the reserves with a rank of lieutenant colonel.

He attended UCLA and Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, receiving a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1949), and later earned an M.B.A. from USC.

Children followed: Karen Ann (Cron) in 1951, Linda Marie (Rowan) in 1957 and Barbara Jean (Harrison) in 1959. Mr. Jackson worked largely as an engineering or plant manager for companies including Studio Girl Cosmetics in California.

In 1966, the family moved to Caldwell where he worked as a plant manager for Glen L. Evans Fishing Tackle. Later, he went into business for himself, running various fishing tackle companies in Boise.

Mr. Jackson loved to build things with his own hands, whether it was playhouses for his children, toys for his grandchildren or the log cabin to which he and his wife retired in Pine/Featherville, Idaho. Later, as his wife's health faltered, he also helped build the house where they lived in Mountain Home.

He was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, constantly seeking out the mountains and especially enjoyed fly-fishing in Idaho streams and rivers.

Mr. and Mrs. Jackson loved being involved in social and service organizations, such as the Order of Runeberg in California, the Elks in California and Boise, and the Lion's Club Boise Capital Chapter, where Mr. Jackson served as a president. The two also loved dancing, particularly to big band orchestras.

He often sought to actively serve with distinction, whether it was as a board member of Faith Lutheran Church in Caldwell, president of his HOA in Featherville, or as president for five years of the Mountain Home chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (1999-2004).

Culturally Swedish, Mr. Jackson was raised Lutheran and practiced a steadfast faith, often attending Lutheran churches.

Mr. Jackson was preceded in death by his wife, who died in 2005. He is survived by his three daughters, eight grandsons, and five great-grandchildren. He leaves his family with a legacy of faith rooted in Christ, a profound love for family, the example of serving in one's community and a deep passion for our country.

A memorial service and reception honoring Mr. Jackson will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Augustana Chapel, in Boise on July 21 at 9:30 a.m. A military graveside service will follow at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Cemetery in Mountain Home.

Idaho arrangements are by Summers Funeral Homes, Boise Chapel.

Flowers for the memorial service may be sent through Boise at its Best Floral. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or the Hospice of Missoula.