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Deacon Willie Lee Jackson, a cherished pillar of strength, wisdom, and love, completed his earthly journey on November 22, 2023, at Southeast Health Medical Center. Born on February 13, 1945, in the warm community of Arlington, Alabama, Willie was the embodiment of resilience and joy, leaving behind a legacy that will be treasured by all who knew him.
Willie's story began as the beloved son of the late Town Jackson, Jr. and Edna Louise Jackson. His early years in Arlington laid the foundation for a life marked by faith, hard work, and devotion to family. Willie's educational pursuits at Annie Manie High School were just the beginning of a path that would lead him to explore and embrace the vastness of the world.
In the heart of Columbia, Alabama, Willie's heart found its match in Vera Sampson Jackson who was joined in Holy Matrimony on May 20, 1985. Their love blossomed, and together they built a life in Cedar Spring, Georgia, woven with mutual respect, laughter, and unbreakable bonds. As a couple, they navigated life's twists and turns, their partnership a beacon of hope and unwavering support.
Willie's professional journey reflected his adventurous spirit. After many dedicated years at Georgia Pacific, he embraced the open road as a truck driver, a career that allowed him to fulfill his passion for seeing the world. His retirement did not signify the end of his adventures but rather a new chapter where he could share stories and inspire others to pursue their dreams.
A man of deep faith, Willie heard the Master's Voice on that tranquil Wednesday afternoon, guiding him to his eternal rest. Though his physical presence is no longer among us, the memories he created are indelible. Willie was a guiding light to his family, predeceased by his brother Town Jackson, III, and son Nathaniel Jackson, but his spirit lives on through his children: Louise Jackson, Velma (Wheeler) Jackson, Thelma Jackson of Thomasville, Alabama, Maggie (Eddie) Huffman of Montgomery, Alabama, Derrick Samson of Huntsville, Alabama, Leon (Stacie) Samson of Tennessee, and Starling Samson of Americus, Georgia.
The Jackson family tree, robust and full of life, continues to flourish with his four sisters: Virginia Powe of Dothan, Alabama, Sarah (Kim) Richardson of Birmingham, Alabama, Claire (Larry) Smith of Arlington, Alabama, and Alvenia (Levon) Hathaway of Pine Hill, Alabama; his five brothers: Tony (Idell) Jackson of Arlington, Alabama, George (Carolyn) Jackson of Gordon, Alabama, Charlie (Ida) Jackson, Cleveland (Sarah) Lilly of Dothan, Alabama and Henry (Margie) Jackson of Carrollton, Georgia - who will carry forward his legacy of kindness and integrity.
Willie's grandchildren: Chenetta (Chris) Voltz, Daril (Cherrelle) Jackson, Shaquille (Kelsea) Jackson, Katelynn Huffman, James Webster, Jr. Belinda Jackson, Dewayne (Callie) Jackson, Laquita, Brittney, Derrick, and Arlester; his great-grandchildren: Amelia Voltz, Christopher Voltz, Kynlee Jackson, De’Andria Jackson, Ja’Christion Jackson, Emberly Jackson, James Turner, Jordon, Tydarius, and Levi, are the apples of his eye - will forever be guided by his wisdom and the values he instilled in them as well as his aunt: Mary Bridges of Sacramento, California.
Willie's life was a testament to the power of perseverance and the beauty of dreaming big. As Helen Keller once said, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." Willie embraced this philosophy wholeheartedly, living each day as a daring adventure, filled with purpose and passion.
As we celebrate the life of Deacon Willie Lee Jackson, we are reminded of his infectious smile, his unshakeable faith, and his boundless generosity. His journey may have reached its sunset here on earth, but the dawn of his impact is only just beginning to rise. Willie's story is not one of finality but of continuous inspiration - a call to live authentically, love deeply, and embrace every moment with gratitude.
To the world, Willie may have been one man, but to his family, he was the world. His love, teachings, and spirit will continue to resonate through the generations, echoing in the laughter of his great-grandchildren, the resolve of his children, and the unity of his siblings.
As we bid farewell to Deacon Willie Lee Jackson, let us honor his memory by living life to the fullest, just as he did. Let us find joy in the journey, strength in our faith, and love in our hearts. May his soul rest in peace, and may his story continue to motivate us all to reach for the stars and cherish every precious moment we are given.