Dr. Robert W. "Bob" Jackson
SPRINGFIELD - Dr. Robert W. "Bob" Jackson, 82, of Springfield, passed away Thursday, October 25, 2012, at St. John's Hospice in Springfield.
Robert was born in Coolidge, Arizona on July 13, 1930, the son of William and Betty (Britton) Jackson. He married Carolyn Ann Haack, March 27, 1961, in Williamsburg, Iowa, and she survives.
Also surviving are his two sons: Brian L. Jackson of Springfield and Timm W. (wife Emma) Jackson of West Charleston, Vermont; grandson: Todd M. Jackson of Springfield; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and grandsons honoraires: James, John, Patrick, and Elijah Grayson of Virden. Robert's parents and two brothers preceded him in death.
As a young man, Bob put his studies aside in his third year of college to volunteer in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After returning to his studies, he completed his bachelor's and master's degrees, and received his doctorate from Purdue University in 1963. Dr. Jackson became a full professor of microbiology and immunology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and played an instrumental role in the founding of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, ultimately serving as Executive Associate Dean until his retirement in 1998.
Bob's interests were many. He was a model railroader extraordinaire, and helped to found the National Association of S Gaugers in the 1960s. He played an active role as well in the Springfield-area, model-railroaders' Once-a-Month Club. Bob's own model railroad layout has been featured in many national publications and has been the inspiration of boys and men for decades.
Bob was a member of the Springfield Motor Boat Club, where he enjoyed taking his grandsons fishing and boating. He was an avid reader, stargazer, and music aficionado -- especially of classical and jazz. Bob also toured his BMW motorcycle to California or the East Coast many times during the summer. In earlier years, he once drove his beloved '51 Hudson from San Jose to Baltimore in 54 hours.
Bob often said, "I couldn't have had a better life," for he was always aware of his great good fortune--a loving and dedicated family, a meaningful career, and lifelong, loyal, caring friends. Known for his generosity and compassion, he possessed an uncanny ability to recognize what others needed, even when they didn't recognize it themselves. He was revered by his family and friends alike as an advisor and mentor.
The Jackson family will receive friends from 4:00-7:00 PM on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, with additional visitation on Thursday, November 1, 2012, from 9:30 AM until time of funeral services at 10:30 AM at Bisch Funeral Home West, 2931 S. Koke Mill Rd. in Springfield. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield where military honors will be provided by the Inter-Veterans Burial Detail of Sangamon County.
Those who wish may direct memorial contributions to the SIU School of Medicine Foundation.
Please visit the online "Life Remembered Story" at www.bischfuneral-homewest.com where tributes and condolences may be left for the family.