LANCASTER, Constance Jacqueline Gault "Jackie" formerly of South Carolina, lost her battle to cancer and passed away on May 1, 2012. She spent her whole life in her hometown Spartanburg, SC and moved to St. Petersburg to be near her daughter, Connie Lancaster after retiring from a 35 year career with BP/ Phillips Petroleum. As a cheerleader at Spartanburg High School, her yearbook described her best as "short, sweet and sporty." The Sand Flea and The Living Legend Association inducted her as "Living Legend" for her love of shag dancing, love of good music, in addition to her lifelong beach visits that made her part of beach music history. Jackie's fondest memories were spending time with friends, traveling to the beaches in South Carolina, dancing and enjoying the sun. She certainly was part of the first S.O.S, "Society of Stranders" that started the annual beach music and shag events in North Myrtle Beach. Dancing and good music were a passion and she was once featured dancing in North Myrtle Beach in an AP picture that was published across the nation's newspapers. She always loved the "Good Friends, Good Times and Great Memories" that she shared at these events over the years. Music and activity continued to be a joyful part of her life and she loved listening to smooth jazz and spending time with friends. Jackie traveled on Jazz and Shag cruises with her daughter and friends, and looked forward to seeing everyone year after year. For several years, Jackie was a flag carrier for "The Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band of St Petersburg" and was thrilled to have marched in the Tampa Super Bowl parade. She couldn't sit still! Gardening was something that brought her great pleasure. She worked tirelessly in her yard and for others as well. She took great pride in and enjoyed her flowers, plants, and beautiful landscaping. She was known as "Jackie Scissor-hands," always on the lookout for a rogue weed or out of place limb. Weeds or out of place vines were not going to survive! Paramount in her life was Jackie's love of animals. Her four legged friends were always close to her heart and she loved many that she shared time with during her life. Most recently, her 12 year old rescue Pug Harley was by her side until his passing. Animals were a delight to her and always made her smile. There were many animals left in her care and at Christmas she would always take food and treats to the local shelter. Born to and predeceased by her parents, Conway Jackson and Mary Novelle Gault on Nov. 22, 1932. She is survived by daughter, Connie Lancaster and her partner Anastasia Hiotis of St. Petersburg; nieces, Diane Walton and Becky Castro; nephews, Neil Morris and Sam Reeves of Spartanburg, SC. Jackie had so many self adopted children and wonderful caregivers that there are too many to mention, and you all know who you are. We all will miss her tremendous energy and drive to get things done. She was deeply loved and will be missed by all that knew her. A Celebration of Life will be held sometime in the future in both St Petersburg and Spartanburg, SC. In lieu of flowers, it was Jackie's request to have donations made to your local SPCA Rescue or to your local Hospice.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times from May 5 to May 6, 2012