Joseph “Joe” Jackson, 57, of Piedmont, MO, passed away Friday, March 2, 2018 at St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO. He was born at Nicosia, Cyprus, November 22, 1960 to Ray and Athaneula (Demitriou) Jackson.
Joe met his wife, Whitney Van Matre during high school in Zalma, MO. They both attended college prior to his career in education. On September 11, 1981 they were united in marriage. They spent the next thirty-six years building a wonderful family of five sons. He was a loving husband, proud father and grandfather. He enjoyed hunting and being outdoors. He liked cars, sports, and spending time with his family. Joe found a career with the United States Navy earning his way to Lieutenant Commander. Along the way, he also earned several medals including: Armed Forces Expeditionary medal; Armed Forces Service medal; Expert Pistol Shot medal; Expert Rifleman medal; Good Conduct medal; Joint Meritorious Unit award; Humanitarian Service medal; Joint Service Commendation medal; and Kuwait Liberation medal (Kuwait); Kuwait Liberation medal (Saudi Arabia); National Defense Service medal to list a few. He earned many ribbons and pins as well.
After retiring from the US Navy, and having a general love to help others, Joe entered a career as an educator. His personal, military and life experiences molded him into a phenomenal educator with huge influence that left an impact on his students. Many students have responded saying, “He was a big influence on my life and going into the education field. Joe was loved by his students and they have many stories to talk about from their times with him. They talk about him saying funny things and how he made his lessons interesting in a memorable way. He was my favorite teacher in high school. I have a feeling he never knew the impact he had on his students. He was the toughest, but taught the best lessons on history, government and life in general. He showed us the importance of discipline and responsibility, along with respect and kindness. Students lost a great role model.”
He was preceded in death by his father; Ray Jackson and one brother; Dan Jackson.
In addition to his wife, Whitney, he is survived by five sons; Edward Jackson and wife Victoria of Piedmont, MO, Andrew Jackson and wife Dana of Ladewood WA, Mark Jackson and fiancé Alli of Annapolis, MD, John Jackson of Hanford, CA, and Tim Jackson and fiancé Connie of Cape Girardeau,MO; his mother: Athaneula Demitriou; one brother: Kristian Gustavsson and wife Christinia of England; one sister: Kjerstin Howie and husband Sabastin of White Rock, British Columbia; grandchildren: Joe, Eli and Gabriel Jackson.
There were graveside services with military honors, Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Peach Tree Cemetery, near Piedmont, MO, at 1:00 pm. Pastor Mike Green ministered to the family. Edward Jackson, Andrew Jackson, Mark Jackson, John Jackson and Tim Jackson served as pallbearers. Online condolences can be made at www.rueggfuneralhomes.com