Robert W. "Bob" Jackson, Sr.
Photo No. 2401
Robert W. ("Bob") Jackson was born June 22, 1930 to Robert Joseph Jackson and Elizabeth Mary Louise Watler Jackson in Beaumont, TX. Bob passed away on August 8, 2018 after a lengthy illness at his residence in Houston, TX.
Bob was preceded in death by: parents Robert and Louise Jackson; wife Theta Ann Watt Jackson; sisters Helen Jackson Ward and Ruby Jackson Turner; brother Ted Jackson; brothers-in-law Arnott Ward, Jack Turner, Bill Purcell and John Edgar Watt; and niece Sandy Ward Davidson.
He is survived by: son Robert W. Jackson, Jr. (Mary Ann) of Cypress, TX; grandson Trenton Jackson, a sophomore at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN; granddaughter Amy Jackson, a freshman at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR; brother Henry Woodrow Jackson (Jean) of LaVerne, CA; sister Sally Jackson Purcell of Shenandoah, TX; and sisters-in-law Betty Watt Pratt (Roy) of Port Neches, TX and Maria Jackson of Maryland. Also, survived by loving nieces and nephews: Kathryn Purcell Miller (David) and Patrick Purcell of Shenandoah, TX; Mark Jackson of Maryland; Bill Davidson of Portland, TX; Rev. Beth Pratt Tatum of Sinton, TX and Kathy Pratt Hearn (David) of Richmond, TX. Special acknowledgements are also in order for grandnieces and grandnephews, as well as many close life-long friends.
Bob grew up in a loving family that had its share of personal challenges. In 1942, when Bob was only 11 years old, his father was killed when the merchant ship he was working on was torpedoed in the Caribbean. Bob s mother was left to care for the six children. Throughout the years, Bob and his siblings found odd jobs to help his family make ends meet. As a teenager, Bob taught swimming lessons at the YMCA to many fellow Beaumonters including J.P. Richardson, who later became famous as the "Big Bopper". In 1948 he graduated from Beaumont HS and moved on to Lamar Jr. College where he graduated in 1950. In 1953 Bob received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and excelled in intramural volleyball. He enlisted in the U.S. Army to help provide for his family and pay for Woody's college expenses, just as his older brother Ted had done for him.
Bob's professional career began in 1955 with Gulf States Utilities (GSU) in Beaumont, TX. On Valentine's Day, 1959, Bob became engaged to Theta Ann Watt. They married on August 14th of that year and remained best friends throughout their lives together. In December of 1961 they were blessed with a son named Robert William Jackson, Jr. Theta supported Bob with all his business endeavors, which created a great partnership throughout their lives. Bob often brought business associates home with him where Theta would provide an immaculate environment and great home-cooked dinners. In 1979 Bob moved his family to Springfield, IL to work with Central Illinois Public Service Company (CIPS). In 1983, at age 52, Bob graduated from the University of Illinois with a Master's in Business Administration. In 1995, after 40 years of working, he retired as the senior vice president-finance for CIPS and celebrated by throwing himself a "100th" birthday party. Bob would joke that he would not be alive at 100, so he wanted to celebrate early!
Throughout his professional career Bob was involved with his only child Robert. Despite working long hours at times, Bob usually found a way to attend Robert's ballgames, and the two of them went on memorable trips to New York, Chicago and West Texas.
Bob spent his free time helping his church, as well as participating on various advisory boards in the community throughout his lifetime. A few of the boards he served on included CIPS, First Bank of Illinois, the Business Advisory Council of the College of Commerce and Business Administration at the University of Illinois, St. John's Hospital of Springfield and the Conroe Symphony. Throughout their marriage, Bob and Theta took many amazing trips around the world. They often traveled with close friends and family. They also traveled on many outings throughout the U.S. with Bob's golfing club and their church group.
In 2002 Bob and Theta moved full-time to Texas to be closer to their grandchildren. Bob loved Amy and Trenton very much, and he spoiled them constantly. He and Theta often took them to the places where the four of them enjoyed eating, including IHOP, Olive Garden and Incredible Pizza. You could always find Bob at his grandchildren's programs at school from the time they were in preschool to eighth grade. In 2007 he took the whole family on a memorable trip to Disney World.
As retirees, Bob and Theta also spent a lot of time at First United Methodist Church in Conroe, where they participated in "The Gathering Place" (for loved ones with dementia) and the seniors group, "The Amazing Grays". Bob enjoyed teaching lessons for the BASIC Sunday School class, as well as cooking for the Men's Breakfast Bible Study. He kept in contact with other GSU retirees when he moved to Conroe, too.
Bob supported the fine arts everywhere he lived. He spent a lot of time even into his 80s promoting the Conroe Symphony. Being a veteran, Bob, along with Theta, truly enjoyed sponsoring the Patriotic Concert for seven years in a row. This might explain where his grandchildren got their love for music.
In 2014, when their health became too challenging for them to manage in their own home, Bob and Theta relocated to Houston so that Robert and his family could care for them. The change in lifestyle was especially hard for Bob due to his inability to understand what was going on with his Alzheimer's Disease and Theta's dementia. In January of 2017 Theta passed away after 57 wonderful years of marriage.
Bob's family is most grateful for the close friends and extended family that supported them through these last very challenging years. The family is especially appreciative to the staff at the Silverado at Cypresswood who cared for Bob since 2016 and Pastor Tim Carter from Salem Lutheran Church who visited with Bob throughout the years.
Bob's funeral will be at Klein Funeral Home in Tomball, TX. His burial will take place at Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont, TX.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made online to Salem Lutheran School (SLS) in Tomball, TX. Bob frequently visited this Christian K-8 school when his grandchildren attended and supported their mission and vision wholeheartedly.
Go to http://salemlutheran.com/
Click Here For the obituary at the Klein Funeral Home site.