ST. JOHN'S -- James Russel Jackson, 83, of Odenville, Alabama, formerly of St. John's, went to his heavenly home on Saturday, June 23, 2018.
The family will hold a graveside service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Swanwick Bethel Cemetery in Swanwick. Family and friends are invited to attend. A Celebration of Life service is planned for Nov. 23 with family and friends at the Odenville Civic Center in Odenville, Alabama.
James was born Jan. 23, 1935 in St. John's, a son to the late Les and Lavina (Holland) Jackson.
James was united in marriage to the love of his life, lvory Heiman, on Feb. 13, 1954 and together they raised four children of their own and mentored loved and cared for countless others up to their final days.
James was the owner of Jackson's United Shows, a traveling carnival that he enjoyed working with for over 60 years. He simply loved people, loved their friendship and never knew a stranger. He always had time for conversation, a handshake, a phone call, a hug or just to pat you on the back.
He enjoyed traveling from Florida to Illinois for years and brought his carnival to many county fairs, some continuously for over 50 years.
James was a lifetime member of St. Louis Chapter of The Showmen's League of America. the lnternational lndependent Showmen's Association and a faithful member of his beloved church, Family Christian Fellowship. He had a strong faith in God and loved attending church where he enjoyed singing in the choir.
His greatest pasttime was being ever present in his treasured family's lives, hosting big dinners and get-togethers. He never missed anything and loved being in the center of life. He was a valued support to all who knew him and a constant source of encouragement and advice. He was greatly loved and admired by all and will be greatly missed.
James was preceded in death by his precious wife of 62 years, lvory (Heiman) Jackson, on Aug. 21, 2016; his parents, Les and Lavina Jackson; his brother and best friend, Eugene Jackson; dear sister-in-law, Betty; beloved sister, Mildred Burris; loving brother-in-law, Warren; and two loved brothers-in-law, Blanie and Ron Heiman.
James is survived by his brother and dear friend, Raymond Jackson, and sister-in-law (Dorothy); three faithful sons, James Jr. (Annie), Michael and Russel (Annette) Jackson; his devoted daughter, Tammy (Darrell) Jones; loving brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and friends who he adopted as family.
He leaves his legacy of 10 grandchildren, his pride and joy; and 18 great-grandchildren, his source of new hope, to carry on until the day the family is reunited in Heaven, meeting at the beautiful Carousel where he and Grandma watchfully wait.
Memorial donations can be made to the family, to be distributed to the St. Louis Chapter of The Showmen's League of America scholarship fund in honor of James and Ivory Jackson.