Vera Ruth Jackson, 88, Pacific, passed away Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, at Pacific Care Center, Pacific.
Mrs. Jackson was born Feb. 18, 1924, in Howard's Ridge, the youngest daughter of Joe Hicks and wife Lurah, nee Simpson.
She was raised on a farm during the Depression.
Mrs. Jackson attended the Church of Christ with her parents and nine siblings, traveling by wagon.
She graduated as the valedictorian from Gainesville High School.
Mrs. Jackson began her career as a teacher in a one-room school in northern Arkansas in 1942. In the fall, she enrolled at Southwest Missouri State Teachers College, Springfield, on a two-year scholarship.
While in school, she met Donald Coy Howell, a U.S. Army medic. They were united in marriage June 3, 1943. They were blessed with four children.
In 1952, she was teaching eight grades at Barnett School, a one-room school, in Howell County. In the mid 1950s, Barnett School consolidated with five other country schools and formed the C-12 Junction Hill School, located near West Plains.
Mrs. Jackson daught there from 1955-1960.
The Howell family moved to Times Beach in 1961 and Mrs. Jackson began teaching in Robertsville.
While teaching, raising a family and working as a cook in Valley Park, she began night classes and correspondence courses to finish her degree.
Mrs. Jackson graduated from Washington University in June 1967.
She then taught second grade at Geggie Elementary before changing to teach fourth grade.
Probably the most exciting activity she held for fourth-grade students and parents was her "Pioneer Day," which followed a social studies unit on Missouri history. For the occasion, most students and guests dressed in costume and enjoyed a variety of fine foods characteristic of the pioneer era.
In May 1984, Mrs. Jackson was awarded the "Outstanding Teacher Award." She retired after 30 years of dedicated teaching.
At her retirement dinner, Dr. Dan Schlegel said "Mrs. Jackson is indeed a very unique and special teacher who planted many seeds of love and kindness. Her influence most certainly (will) continue in the lives of those who have had the pleasure and good fortune to know her. We will all truly miss her."
On Nov. 18, 1972, she married Ralph "Curly" Jackson. A few years later, they moved from Times Beach to Robertsville.
Mrs. Jackson was busy in her retirement with her quilting, counted cross-stitch pictures and reading. During the summer months, she canned meat, vegetables and fruit.
She is survived by her husband, Ralph Gerald Jackson, Robertsville; her children, Joyce O'Connor and husband Johnny, Travelers Rest, S.C., Gary Howell and wife Carole, Union, and Joe Howell, Eureka; five grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandsons; her stepchildren, Greg Jackson and wife Jenny, Marshfield, and Paula Jackson, Florida state; one daughter-in-law, Raelynn Jackson, Odgen, Utah; nine stepgrandchildren; 25 great-stepgrandchildren; other relatives and many friends.
This great lady that has touched so many lives will be missed by family and friends.
Mrs. Jackson was preceded in death by her first husband, Coy Howell; one daughter, Vera Howell; one stepson, Ralph Jackson; six brothers and three sisters.
She donated her body to Washington University for science research. At this time, there will be no services.