McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


January 25, 2014

Gene Henry Jackson

McALESTER — Gene Henry Jackson, 93 died Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.

Visitation will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, before the service at Bishop Funeral Home in McAlester. Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Bishop Chapel of Memories with Rev. James Crowson officiating. Burial will follow at Memory Gardens Memorial Park Cemetery in McAlester.

He was born in Hot Springs, Ark. on Dec. 19, 1920. His parents were Eugene Hailman and Elizabeth Henry Jackson. He attended school through high school in Little Rock, Ark. He began a long relationship with the John Deere Company in Little Rock in the parts department in 1939. He served in the military during World War II as a pilot and navigator in the United States Naval Air Force. While stationed in Lawton, he met Mary Jean Pope at a USO dance.

After the war, he told his family that “he was going back to Oklahoma to marry that Indian Princess.” The wedding took place in Coalgate. Fayetteville, Ark. was their new home as he finished a degree in Business Administration and Marketing at the University of Arkansas, and his new wife taught school.

He returned to the John Deere Company, working in Altus. In May of 1949 the company moved him to McAlester as a territory manager for eastern Oklahoma and in 1951 he purchased the dealership in McAlester. In 1971 the business was sold to Roger Key.

He then turned his part-time ranching into full- time on the family land west of Coalgate. He and his wife have been long time Grand Avenue Methodist Church members: he serving on the Board of Stewards and she teaching various Sunday school classes. He served two terms as president of the McAlester Country Club. Along with his membership in the Masonic Lodge, McAlester Consistory, he holds the 32nd Degree in Masonry.  He worked in the 15th Degree for 30 years.

He was a member of the Oklahoma Hardware and Implement Assoc.; served on the board of directors for eight years, and served as its president in 1971.

Golf was important to him. He played regularly, taught many family members to appreciate the game, and was supportive of the McAlester High School Golf team.

He was never happier than planning his next trip. He and Mary Jean enjoyed numerous travels by ship and air.  They were often stars on the dance floor. He  played the piano and kept up with the latest fads in music. He introduced his boys to the Beatles.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Jean Pope Jackson and their two sons, Richard Henry and Joe Alan.

Dr. Richard Henry Jackson and his wife, Christy Duran Jackson, reside in Dallas. Their two daughters, Jeanie Lyn Harris and Suzanne Christine Curnes, also live in Dallas. Jeanie and her husband, Andrew, have two boys, Jackson Thomas and Parker Montgomery. Suzie and her husband, Bunker, have a daughter, Bridget Kelley. Joe lives in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife Ginny. They have two children: Alan and his wife, Chelsea, have a daughter: Pepper Ada Jean; Emily Jean Jackson live in Oklahoma City.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations are made to the charity of your choice.


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