JACKSON, Michael "Mike"|
Michael Scott "Mike" Jackson, 55, passed away on March 24, 2014.
Mike was born in Newport News, Virginia May 31, 1958 to Suzanne and Dr. Roland Jackson. They moved to Houston in 1959, where Mike attended school. Mike graduated from Memorial High School in 1976 and enrolled in Texas A&M University. In 1977, he transferred to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where he graduated with honors. His achievements in college included: A&M Distinguished Business Student Award, Deans List, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Blue Key National Honor Fraternity, Sigma Lota Epsilon National Honorary & Professional Management Fraternity, Triniteers Social and Service Fraternity, President of Trinity Management Club, Chairman of Trinity Marketing Club, Graduate Trinity Cum Laude. Mikes many friends from grade school, high school and college remained close throughout his life. Mike shared weddings, sailing trips, ski trips and participated in the MS 150 Bike Ride with many of these same friends through the years.
Mike began his career in advertising before finding his passion in the growing business of Access Control Security. He moved to Austin, Texas in 1991 and founded his own company, Internal Control Systems. Mike always considered his employees as a family and part of his team rather than his employees.
Mike met Diane Mandola in 1993 while in Lake Tahoe. He married Diane in April, 1994 and was welcomed with love and enthusiasm by her young children Brittany and Justin. Mike became in every sense of the word a father. The family moved to Lakeway, Texas in 1994 and Diane joined Internal Control Systems. Together as a team they grew their company and their family. They had a son Brady in 1995 and son Bryce in 1998.
Mike gave the most precious gift to all four of his children, his time. He was fully in the moment with his attention whether they were working on a science project for school, box car races for boy scouts or teaching them snow skiing, water skiing, scuba diving, golf, tennis, hunting, or paintball. He assisted in coaching baseball and basketball teams and was even a Boy Scout Troop leader. He was the most dedicated, loving, and selfless husband and father.
Mike loved and supported his community of Lakeway, Texas. Lakeway has been a very special place to live. The support, friendships, volunteerism and patriotism is like no other place on earth. He has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission. He also founded the "Patriot Fund" for which he received a Proclamation by the City of Lakeway, honoring their work.
While walking with his kids near the Lakeway Airpark in 2001, Mike saw Greg Norman's helicopter land. Right then and there he decided he was going to learn to fly...and he did. That decision to learn to fly a helicopter changed his entire life.
In 2002 Mike joined a group of volunteers to fly a Vietnam Era Huey Helicopter, call sign Huey 091. The group flew across the Nation in support of the documentary film "In the Shadow of the Blade" whose purpose was to honor and salute our Nation's Vietnam Veterans. After the film was released in 2003, Mike became involved in a follow on project with Huey 091, to fly the aircraft cross country to schools, universities, museums, national cemeteries and the three major military academies. Lakeway was a prominent stop on Huey 091's journey.
The final landing of Huey 091 took place on March 19, 2004 on the National Mall in Washington D.C. where Huey 091 was donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. It is now the largest single artifact in a 30 year exhibit titled, The Price of Freedom. Mike and a group of volunteers formed the Huey 091 Foundation. Its purpose is to provide adaptive mobility devices for our Nation's wounded service members and to educate future generations about the price of freedom. In 2007, Mike along with his friend Jim Palmersheim, inspired the residents of Lakeway to raise funds for the purchase of an Ibot Mobility Device which allows users to climb stairs, maneuver over different types of terrain, or to reach a sitting height of six feet. Because of Mike and the citizens of Lakeway, the very first Ibot was donated to Army Veteran Eric Jordan, paralyzed as a result of combat actions in Iraq. Mike was instrumental in the formation of the Patriot Fund. The fund raised over $500,000 dollars resulting in the donation of Ibots and other life changing devices for the benefit of our wounded service members. In 2007, Mike and a group of volunteers hosted Patriot Fest in the City of Lakeway raising funding and awareness of the needs of our disabled veterans. In 2009, Mike and a group of volunteers traveled to Iraq to deliver and donate over 20 tons of school supplies for the troops to deliver to the Iraqi Children. Legendary entertainer Tony Orlando headlined a concert at Camp Victory for the troops; it was not uncommon to see Mike on stage, drumsticks in hand, "assisting" the band.
Mike's passion for giving back included his involvement since 2009 with 'Salute to the Troops" in Las Vegas, helping 75 wounded service members get away from the hospital and enjoy four days of VIP treatment. Despite his illness, Mike was in Las Vegas in November of 2013 for the event. Mike was also very involved in the annual American Airlines Sky Ball Gala in Dallas Texas whose mission is to honor our Nation's Defenders, Veterans and their families. Mike was there this past October supporting the wounded service members, Gold Star Families, and Medal of Honor Recipients. Mike was recognized for his efforts in support of those who serve when he received the prestigious "Patriot Award" at Sky Ball in 2010. There are many other initiatives Mike led in support of his passion. Golf Tournaments, Bike Rides, School Assemblies, the list goes on and on. It has been said that patriotism is not about what you say think or feel; it is about what you do. Mike epitomized the spirit of servant leadership, quietly making a profound difference in the lives of so many deserving men and women and their families .
Mike is preceded in death by his father, Dr. Roland Jackson, father-in-law, Frank A. Mandola, sister-in-law, Felicia Hicks and his son Justin Patronella.
Mike is survived by his wife of 20 years, Diane Jackson. Children: daughter, Brittany Elliott and husband Marc, Sons, Brady and Bryce Jackson. Grandchildren: Avery and Dean Elliott. Mother, Suzanne Jackson, Brother, Dr. David Jackson, Sisters: Catherine Jackson, Julie Turrentine and husband Richard Turrentine. Mother-in-law, Lynn Mandola, Sister-in-laws: Theresa Palermo and husband Sammy, Vita Mandola-Tooley, Brother-in-law, Mike Hicks. Uncle: Mr. Bob Seaman, Aunts: Charlotte Petty and husband Larry Petty and Gift O'Neil Johnson. Numerous: cousins, nephews and a niece.
I would be remiss if I did not say that he is also survived by so many childhood, college, and close friends he made through his volunteerism. Many were right there supporting him throughout his courage's battle with glioblastoma. He handled this disease with strength, humor and dignity.
Mike lived a great and adventurous life. He shared the lesson of how to live life, be a friend, and the joy of selfless giving. We are all so lucky and blessed to have known him. He never took for granted the gift of family, friends and the opportunities that God bestowed on him.
A Memorial Mass will be held at Emmaus Catholic Church, 1718 Lohmans Crossing, Lakeway, TX. On Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 12:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Huey 091 Foundation to benefit "Salute the Troops" in honor of Mike Jackson. Donations can be made online at www.huey091foundation.org or checks sent to: America's Huey 091 Foundation, 901 Main St., Suite 4400, Dallas, TX. 75202
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Apr. 6 to Apr. 7, 2014