Paul Wakelee Jackson, 86, of Quincy, died suddenly on Oct. 27, 2013.
Born in Gary, Ind., on May 19, 1927, a son of Marvin Gregory and Martha Thetis Jackson, Paul was raised in Shawneetown, Ind., until the great flood of 1937 forced his family to relocate to Carmi, Ill.
He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II
. During his six years in Germany he learned fluent German. On his discharge in 1954, Paul pursued an undergraduate degree at the University of Evansville in Indiana, graduating in 1957. He went on to earn a master's' degree in history from University of Illinois
at Carmi in 1958.
He became a teacher, first at Quincy Junior High School for many years, and also at Fenton High School in Bensenville. He taught the subject he was most passionate about â€" history. After retiring from teaching in 1978, Paul switched careers in mid-life and became a federal immigration officer, a career he enjoyed and excelled in.
In 1960, he married Virginia Jackson, and was a loving and devoted husband and father to her and to their daughter, Sarah Elisabeth Jackson.
His whole life was devoted to security for his family: he worked two jobs, having only Sunday off. He paid off his house, owning it outright in just seven years. He devoted his free time to the accumulation of knowledge, a legacy that continues with his daughter. He went beyond simply reading about a topic, but would go on to learn every bit of history on it. He was often described as having brilliant mind. Paul enjoyed making beer and wine, hiking and bicycling, attending opera and listening to German music. During the Vietnam era, he regularly wrote deeply researched letters protesting the war. He loved the Constitution and the law.
In his last years he fulfilled his promise to his wife of over 50 years, which was to return them to Quincy. Though he was already over 80, he kept his promise and made the move back to Quincy, her home town and the town in which they met. He tended faithfully to his wife, Virginia, who has lived with Alzheimer's disease for several years. He sacrificed every day so that she could have as normal and happy a life as possible.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia Musick Jackson of Quincy; a daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Jeff Manwaring, and two grandchildren, Colin Asher and Zoe Sylvia Musick Manwaring of Knightdale, N.C.
Though his grandchildren are very young, Paul's legacy -- to learn, to question and to stay curious â€" will live on with them.
He will be deeply missed.
SERVICES: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, in the Chapel at Sunset Apartments, 301 N. Eighth, Quincy.
MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in honor of Paul to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, 267-07 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.
ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home, Quincy.