Obituaries: Jackson

Gene JacksonGene Jackson

By the Grace of God, Lowell Eugene “Gene” Jackson is resting in the arms of his Savior. He went to be with the Lord on Saturday evening, Feb. 3, 2018 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, Peoria, Ill.

Gene’s service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Ill., with Pastor Leonard Astrowski and Pastor Charles Bahn officiating. Burial will be held at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Kenney, Ill. Visitation will be held on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington.

Gene was the oldest son of Merrill and Ruth Jackson. He was born Aug. 16, 1939 in Mattoon, Ill.

He married Bertha Willner and had four Children Janet (Ron) Mau of Davenport, Iowa, Gene (Barbara) Jackson of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jerry (Candy) Jackson of San Diego, Calif. and Rusty Jackson of Bloomington. He later married Betty Hankins and cared for her children; David (Kathy) Hankins of Edwardsville, Ill. and Mike (Michelle) Hankins of Stanford, Ill. Lastly, he married Barbara Johnson who had one child Eric (Heather) Bean of El Paso, Ill. Ron Mau started working for Gene when he was in 8th grade and married the boss’s daughter. He was a mentor and second father to Ron who has been a Produce Manager for HyVee for over 30 years.

Gene was the founder of Produce-A-Plenty in 1968. After a fire destroyed that business, he opened Jackson’s Farm Fresh Produce and later Jackson’s Car Barn. He operated the produce business for 38 years. Many family memories were created and life lessons learned as we worked together flocking Christmas trees, making fruit baskets, designing planters and selling bushels of peaches, apples, watermelon and strawberries. His positive attitude, love for the people and his willingness to work long hours made these businesses a success. Jackson’s Farm Fresh Produce was a Midwest destination for beautiful and unique plants and great fresh produce when local grocery stores did not carry the variety that they do now.

Prior to going into business for himself, he worked for JM Jones as a Produce Supervisor. He competed in many drag races when he was first married and later stock cars. He enjoyed testing his limits whether water skiing or jumping out of a plane. He had a passion for Corvettes, motorcycles and was always willing to race anything or anyone.

He is survived by his brothers Rev. Lee (Georgia) Jackson, Wayne (Theresa) Jackson, four children, three stepchildren and three former wives. He also is survived by 18 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, OSF Hospice House or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Online condolences may be made to


WJBC Voices: The safe, legal and rare fraud

At one time, Hillary Clinton’s mantra about abortion was that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”  I suspected then that she really meant only the “legal” part, and time has borne out that suspicion.