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Ethel "Jonnie" Jackson

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Ethel "Jonnie" (Johnson) Jackson, 91, of Great Falls, a retired cook, died from complications of Alzheimer's disease Saturday, April 27, in Great Falls.

Funeral services are 10 a.m. today at O'Connor Memorial Chapel. Cremation will take place after the service under the direction of O'Connor Funeral Home. A four-day memorial and feast is underway in Frazer through Friday at the Frazer Community Hall. Burial of her ashes is Friday in Frazer, where she will be reunited with her sons.

Ethel was born July 28, 1921 to Benjamin and Lucy (Strike) Johnson in Fort Belknap. She attended various boarding schools during her education years and graduated from Haskell University in Haskell, Kan. She met her husband, Enright William Jackson, in Frazer, and they married in Wolf Point. Together they raised nine children.

Ethel worked various jobs in her life: nursing assistant, laundry worker, manufacturer for AVCO at Glasgow Air Base, and she retired as head cook at the Sweet Memorial Nursing Home. She also cared for her son, William, as well as helping to raise numerous children and grandchildren.

Ethel will be remembered as a strong-willed, stubborn and loving grandmother and mother to all who needed her help. She looked forward to the Assiniboine Medicine Lodge and the Iron Man Sundance every year and enjoyed visiting with her friends and relatives who gathered there.

Ethel moved from Wolf Point in 2005 to Great Falls after residing with her children around the state. She moved into assisted living after she had a fall and broke her wrist, and she resided there until she fell again and broke her hip. She then entered Benefis Extended Care Alzheimer's Unit until her time of death. She kept the staff at Extended Care on their toes with her creative antics. She was extremely fond of her foster granddaughter and favorite CNA, Marcell Lopez.

Ethel is survived by her daughters, Carla (Dennis) McCarty of Great Falls, Bunni Jackson of Poplar, Jonnie (Lisa) Jackson of Poplar and Paula (Dave) Tennant of Glendive; son Richard (Bernie) Jackson of Wolf Point; 32 grandchildren; 52 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Enright Jackson (1978); sons Benjamin Jackson (1971), William Jackson (1994), Melvin Jackson (2009) and infant son Leslie Jackson; parents Ben and Lucy Johnson; brother Edgar Johnson; and sisters Ruth Tucker, Elizabeth Grandchamp and Pat Dickerson.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations or contributions be made to Benefis Alzheimer's Unit in her name.

Condolences may be posted online at www.oconnorfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.

Published in Great Falls Tribune on May 1, 2013
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